New update on payments awarded for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Enhanced Illness Benefit


David Lynch


David Lynch

Tipperary man is jailed for cashing dud €50 notes

A Tipperary man has been jailed for cashing dud €50 notes

The Department of Social Protection issued payments valued at €153.6m to 439,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). This represents a decrease of 26,900 on the 465,900 people paid last week.

Since last week’s payment, 25,700 people have closed their claim for a Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Some 14,000 will be receiving their final payment tomorrow.

As well as those availing of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there are now over 63,500 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). An estimated 405,000 employees are currently being supported by the scheme having received a subsidy in their most recent pay period.

The above payments are in addition to the 225,600 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of May. 

The newly appointed Minister with responsibility for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys, T.D. today said:

“I have been appointed Minister  for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands at the most challenging time in our State’s history - a time that the State is managing emergency payments for so many people and households in every county. At the outset, I want to acknowledge the work of the Department and its officials in developing two new schemes to meet the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and in continuing to steer them through.  I also want to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of my predecessor, Regina Doherty under whose stewardship, the Department rose to this unprecedented and enormous challenge.

“I welcome the continuing fall in the numbers of people who are depending on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. I look forward to working closely with the officials in my Department in making every effort to help people who have lost their jobs get back into employment as quickly as possible. This will involve providing people from all communities across the State with the necessary supports and services to assist them transition back into employment . This will be one of my main priorities as Minister with responsibility for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands and it will be high on my agenda when I meet with senior management in my Department early this week.”

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday 30th June.


People returning to work

Last week, some 25,700 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of which 20,100 reported that they were returning to work. Of those 20,100 returning to work, approx. 14,000 are receiving their last payment this week. As the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a weekly payment paid in arrears, there can be a one week lag in how closures, due to people returning to work, are reflected in the payment data.

The top three sectors in which employees are returning to work this week are Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles with 4,100 back in work, while  3,600 have returned to their jobs in Accommodation and Food Service activities and 2,900 have returned to work in the Construction sector.  A full breakdown of the sectors is set out at Appendix 7 below.

Since the peak on 5th May of the numbers receiving a Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the number of recipients from the Construction sector has dropped by 55%, Manufacturing by 42% and Wholesale and Retail Trade by 37%. 

Looking at the age profile of employees returning to work this week, the largest cohort are those aged 35-44 with (5,100), followed by those employees aged 25-34 (4,500).  This is followed by 3,900 in the 45-54 age category and 3,800 more under age 25, all returning to work.  Full details are available at Appendix 8.

The number of Pandemic Unemployment Payment recipients who closed their claim since 16th March and who are currently availing of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) is 41,300.

The Department continues to remind workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

In order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly, workers who will be returning to work must close their claim for the PUP payment on the actual date that they start back at work.  Since the commencement of Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business, over 145,000 employees have closed their claims and returned to work.

The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via  Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm).


Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

There are now over 63,500 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).  Workers whose employers have registered them on the scheme are not eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment. In addition workers who were in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but who have now been registered by their employers on the TWSS are no longer eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment.


Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

To date 51,850 people up to age 66 have been medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit.  Just over 7% (3,706) have been diagnosed with Covid-19 while almost 93% (48,144) were required to medically self-isolate.


Since the beginning of June, 90 people have applied for the Enhanced Illness Benefit  as they have been medically certified with having Coronavirus while 710 others have applied because they are medically self-isolating.


The sector with the largest number of employees medically certified to receive Covid-19 Illness Benefit is the Human Health and Social Work sector (11,900) followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (11,000) and Manufacturing (6,950).  


Currently, there are 1,050 people receiving a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment from the Department.


Please apply online at