Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

With thousands of workers in Ireland affected by the closure businesses , pubs and other hospitality venues – there are going to be large numbers of out of work staff claiming jobseekers benefits this month.

Details of the new Wage Subsidy Scheme Here This is to help employers retain staff on the payroll who may be working less hours or no hours at all . Revenue will subsidise wages upto a specified maximum . Full Details Here

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection introduced a new “Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment” to help people who have lost their job. It was amended on 24th March and will now be paid for TWELVE WEEKS instead of 6
Everyone (some exceptions below) who applies for the new payment should also apply for a jobseekers’ payment within the first 12 weeks.

You are not eligible to apply for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if:

  • you were not in employment immediately before Friday 13 March, or
  • you were not laid-off from work by your employer, or
  • you are continuing to receive income from your employment, or
  • you voluntarily left your employment.

How Much Is It?

The payment is now €350 per week for 12 weeks. It was originally set at a rate of €203 but the government increased it to €350 on 24 March. If you had already applied before the 24th of March or are already in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you do not need to do anything. Your next payment will be paid at the increased rate.

The same rate of €350 is paid to all regardless of previous wage or hours worked. I know this is a crisis – but there will be many part time workers who will now get more from this payment than they were earning!

With the COVID payment No payments are made for dependants. If you eventually qualify for a higher amount of Jobseekers – then any underpayment will be backdated. If you have a dependent partner and/or children you will probably be better of on full Jobseekers. But single people will be better off on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment .

When Will I Get First Payment of Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

Who Can Get It ?

  • Aged between 18 and 66
  • The payment is available to employees, full time or part time, including people working and getting other social welfare benefits IF if they have lost ALL employment since 13 March because of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
    (includes temporarily laid-off from work or asked to stay at home from work due to the pandemic )
  • Self Employed people can claim it but they must have ceased trading because of the pandemic.
  • Students who lose all employment can also claim the new COVID-19 payment. However, students should not apply for a jobseeker’s payment afterwards as they are not eligible. They should remain on the new COVID-19 payment.
  • If you were working and were also in receipt of any social welfare payment such as a Carers Payment, Working Family Payment (WFP) or One-Parent Family Payment, you can, provided you have lost your job due to Covid-19, also claim the Covid emergency payment, in addition to retaining your existing welfare payment. The €350 COVID- 19 Payment Unemployment Payment will replace your employment income and will be regarded by the Department as equivalent to previous employment income.
  • People getting Working Family Payment (WFP) will keep their WFP if they have lost all their employment because of COVID-19 related issues. They should also claim the new COVID-19 payment. But they shouldn’t apply for a jobseeker’s payment as this will close their Working Family Payment claim.

Who Can’t Get it ?

  • If you have lost your job and were getting a partial social welfare payment, such as Jobseeker’s Benefit or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you do not need to apply for the Pandemic payment. Instead, you should contact your local Intreo Centre by phone or email.
  • Community Employment (CE) participants will continue to get a CE payment – so they should not apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
  • The application form asks the applicant to declare “I declare that I am not being paid by my employer at the moment.” So it should not be applied for if your hours have just been reduced. Your employer should be applying for the COVID Wage Subsidy


How to Apply

There is no need for to attend your local Intreo Centre

You can now apply online for the new COVID19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. To apply, visit http://MyWelfare.ie and register using just your email address.

Paper applications for the new Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment can also be downloaded here , printed and returned to PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1. via Freepost, (you just write “Freepost” on the envelope).

Or you can phone the Dept of Social Protection on 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 and they will send you the relevant application form for the new payment. Or email them – forms@welfare.ie

Payments to Irish banks only apparently. (Revolut and N26 accounts are not supported ). This is actually against EU regulations – they should pay to N26 as it is a proper EU bank.


You can then apply for full Jobseekers Payments through the online channel mywelfare.ie . This will kick in after 12 weeks if you qualify.

After 12 weeks – the normal Jobseekers payments will take over and any underpayments will be backdated where applicable.

You will be paid from the date you became entitled to the payment and all payments will be backdated. Payments will issue based on date of application and all payments will be backdated.

You do not need to have a Public Services Card (PSC) to claim the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. However, you will need to get one later.


Note: Where employers send staff home in circumstances where they are not advised to do so, it is expected that they will continue to pay staff as normal. Employers can claim the Wage Subsidy if they keep paying them.

Any person who is not advised to self-isolate in accordance with the up-to-date guidelines of the HSE, but is requested to stay at home by their employer as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 will, in situations where the employer cannot continue to pay their wages, be considered to have been temporarily laid-off and can apply for an income support in the form of a Jobseeker’s Payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

The Department have said will eventually review all claims and will engage with Revenue Commissioners to identify those workers not eligible to avail of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and will take steps to recover any incorrect payment. Any person who knowingly claims the payment in circumstances where they are not entitled to the payment will be prosecuted.

The Dept asked for the co-operation of the public to ensure that only correct claims are submitted to ensure that they can process claims for people who really need the support as quickly as possible.

17 thoughts on “Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

  1. Hi,idid work on part time hours,and got 203 euro for first payment..do i’ll get 350 follow week?

  2. Do you know if seasonal workers need to reapply for the covid-19 payment. We are submitting casual dockets every week, have not worked for 2 weeks. So carry on submitting dockets or reapply? Thanks

  3. Hi.
    Is it available for 12 weeks from 24th March or 12 weeks from the date you first get it? E.g. If I apply for the payment in let’s say 2 weeks time (mid-April) – could I still get it for 12 weeks?
    Thanks.

  4. Can you apply for this if you are working parttime and getting the state pension and then lose your job?

      • As far as we understand – is a temporary benefit which was set up to exist for 12 weeks only from the date it was announced.
        It is expected that if the crisis continues that claimants will move on to Jobseekers Benefits .
        So – as we understand it – when they end the COVId payment it will end for everyone.
        Not sure how they will move everyone over to Jobseekers – they might stagger it – so some people may well stay on the COVid payment for more than 12 weeks
        I am sure they will explain when the initial rush is over.

  5. Hi, I’m receiving Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment and I’m working part time as well. I’m earning less than €165 weekly, so I’m receiving full allowances. My employer said he has to lay me off as there is no more work for me due to covid 19. Can I apply for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

  6. hello, self employed here, I sell online worldwide and sales mostly stopped. those that I received I couldn’t post due to postal restrictions. I do hope to continue business as soon as situation improves. does this mean I haven’s ceased trading? Or do I qualify? thanks

  7. can my employer process the €350 payment through their payroll, this was the system last week with the €203 or has that all changed

  8. If someone was put on 3 days week can they claim 2 days from 203€ or 350€.My hours were cut because of Covid 19 and I have letter from employer.

    • If your working hours are reduced to 3 days or less per week, you should apply for Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit.
      Alternative is that your employer could go for the Wage Subsidy Scheme

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