Latest: 533,000 receiving COVID-19 Unemployment payment – including 115,000 hospitality workers and 71,000 in Construction.

Today (April 14th 2020), the Department of Social Welfare have announced an additional 26,000 people successfully applied for the emergency COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment by the end of last week. This brings the overall total in the state to 533,000.

The number is lower than many would have expected and perhaps indicates that the massive weekly increases we have seen to date are beginning to slow. It indicates that the economy at base level is starting to show some resiliency but it remains to be seen how long this can last in a global economy where demand has almost totally collapsed across a multitiude of sectors.

The hospitality industry are the business sector effected the most to date with 113,000 hospitality and catering workers in receipt in payments. This followed by huge losses in the main street retail and wholesale sectors and also the construction industry.

Covid-19 Unemployment Pandemic payments by Sector

Industrial SectorNumber of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing; Mining and Quarrying7,000
Electricity, gas supply; Water supply, sewerage and waste management1,800
Wholesale and Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles81,400
Transportation and storage16,000
Accommodation and food service activities115,500
Information and communication activities10,200
Financial and insurance activities11,000
Real Estate activities7,000
Professional, Scientific and Technical activities21,400
Administrative and support service activities40,200
Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security12,800
Human Health And Social Work activities21,500
Arts, entertainment and recreation12,600
Other Sectors34,900
Unclassified or unknown14,600

Today, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments to 533,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Around 54,000 are receiving a payment for the first time. It is not known how many people have left the scheme since it’s inception but based on the above numbers 28,000 people have exited the scheme.

Employees, self-employed people, students and part-time workers can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Both EEA and non-EEA workers qualify.

These payments are in addition to the 210,000 people on the Live Register and over 42,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office today, Tuesday 14th April. My own reports indicate that many people, setup via their bank accounts had the payments paid to these accounts over the bank holiday weekend.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said:

“With just over 50,000 additional payments approved in the last week, these figures would suggest that we are perhaps reaching a plateau in terms of those on the Covid payment. Furthermore, increasing numbers of employers are participating in the wage subsidy scheme and approximately 1.4m are still in full time work “

“It is clear that we are living through the most challenging of times. Never before has there been such a need for welfare support from workers and employers, with more than three years’ worth of claims being processed in less than a month. My Department has risen to the challenge and has enhanced our online facilities making it quick and easy for people to apply for an emergency Covid-19 unemployment payment, the enhanced Illness Benefit or indeed to close their Covid-19 claim, or change their payment details “

” I am very proud of the quick and efficient response of my Department and all that the staff have achieved over the past month.“This is a temporary health crisis but it needn’t be a permanent economic emergency. As we reach the plateau of those on income support, we hope to bend and lower that curve also – getting as many back to work as soon as possible as and when the health environment permits.”

To qualify for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 66
  • Live in the Republic of Ireland
  • Have been in employment or self-employment immediately before Friday 13 March 2020. If you work shifts, short time or other atypical work patterns you must have been in employment on or after 6 March 2020.
  • Have lost your job or be temporarily laid off from work or asked to stay at home from work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • Be self-employed and your trading income has ceased due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. You do not need to de-register as self-employed to get a payment.

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