The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has been doing a difficult job coping with the massive demand for the emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment .
Well Done to all Welfare Staff
It was announced that The first COVID-19 for claims made between 13 –19 March were paid to customer’s bank accounts or Post Offices on Tuesday (24th March).
The Department said that all applications received by close of business on Thursday 26th March were processed and paid into customers bank accounts on Tuesday 31 March 2020.
Welfare said that applications received online through www.MyWelfare.ie before 4pm on Friday 3rd April and which met the qualifying conditions were due to paid to customers’ bank accounts on Tuesday 7 April.
Note – all claims made before 24th March will get the first week at €203 and subsequent weeks at the revised rate of €350.
Some Payments went to Post Offices when claimants were expecting it to go to their bank- more about that here
About 46,000 claims were not paid for various reasons such as eligibility or errors on IBANs or PPSNs.
If you think you filled in wrong details you will probably be quicker to reapply here
The Dept of Welfare said they will write to people whose claims were invalid you to explain which of the above reasons applies to the rejection of their application. However, as they are faced with very high volumes of customer applications it will take some time for them to contact you.
Please note that they will never ask you to confirm bank details over the phone.
Originally we were told that these Pandemic payments would be for 12 weeks. This has now been amended to say “Covid Emergency payment will now be paid for the “duration of the crisis” – .
On 15th March) Minister Doherty said in a press release that ..
” Payments will issue based on date of application, not date of processing, meaning that all payments will be backdated” .
Then on 31st March Minister Regina Doherty ,talking on Newstalk Radio , said that these payments could NOT be backdated because of IT system issues. But – she said everyone would be paid the full “12 weeks”.
…. – but since then the duration of the payment has been changed and is no longer 12 weeks .
On April 2nd – Welfare issued a press release and in it was the statement that the” initial payment will be €350, any arrears due back to their last date of employment will be calculated and paid at a future date. “
On May 25th – Social Welfare said on their website that when a claim is closed “If you are due arrears you will be paid when your claim is reviewed. It may take a number of months before the Department will be able to review payments made to customers for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment. If you are due arrears you will be notified and receive payment. There is no need to take any further action.”
As at May 24th – as far as we are aware – nobody has received any backdated arrears ov the Covid Unemployment Payment.
We were originally told that all people still on this Covid payment after 12 weeks would be moved to Jobseekers Benefit.
That is no longer mentioned on the Welfare website. They just say that people with dependants/ children may be better off on Jobseekers.
It now seems that the Covid Emergency payment will continue until welfare decide it should stop. When that happens – if people are still unemployed they will probably need to claim Jobseekers Benefit/Allowance.
(All other benefits have now been moved to fortnightly)
It is important to note that the department said they will only send these payments into Irish bank accounts or via the Post Office network
So if you entered a Revolut account , N26 or another EU account it won’t be paid there.
(This is actually against EU regulations – but is understandable in the circumstances in order to reduce potential fraud.)
We discovered an update on the welfare website on April 1st that stated “People who do not have an Irish bank account can apply for the standard jobseeker payment and opt for payment at a post office. The payment will be paid at the same rate as the Covid-19 payment”