Significant numbers of Cork people avail of Covid-19 Unemployment Benefit; what you need to know

Significant numbers of Cork people avail of Covid-19 Unemployment Benefit; what you need to know
Signs on Cork business premises in Oliver Plunkett street, Cork Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Fifty-two and a half thousand people in Cork are availing of the Government's Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment benefits.

That equates to more than ten percent of the entire number of people in receipt of the payment.

507,000 employees nationwide are getting the payment, 147,100 of which are in Dublin.

Cork has the second highest number in receipt with 52,500.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty said: “The scale of demand for the Covid-19 payment demonstrates the once in a century nature of the emergency facing the country as we face this unique emergency. The focus of my Department is to ensure that we get assistance to all who need it as effectively and quickly as possible and I would like to acknowledge the innovation, commitment and energy of all my staff who have moved mountains to meet this historic challenge.

“This is a temporary health emergency and the Government is determined that it won’t be a permanent economic one. As much as we are focussed on helping people today, my Department will be also be playing its part to help people get back into work as soon as this emergency passes,” she added.

Areas in receipt of Covid-19 Unemployment benefit. Image: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Areas in receipt of Covid-19 Unemployment benefit. Image: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What is the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is an emergency payment for employees and the self-employed who are unemployed and have lost their income due to the pandemic. It is paid at a rate of €350 per week into a customer’s bank account.

Those individuals who have an adult dependant and at least one child, or if they are single and have four or more children, after applying for the emergency payment should also apply for a Jobseeker’s payment to receive their full social welfare entitlements.

If I am due to get the payment, when will I get it , and how?

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued on Friday will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office from Tuesday April 7.

Does everyone who applied get the pandemic payment?

Not necessarily. The Department has issued payments to 90% of people who made claims. However, approximately 46,000 payments were withheld. This may have been because the applicant was already in receipt of a jobseeker payment prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the applicant was still in employment despite stating otherwise, the individual was not in employment prior to claiming the payment, a temporary wage subsidy was being paid to them, they were not resident in Ireland, or because they submitted the incorrect details including invalid PPSNs and IBANs.

What if I’m one of the people who filled out my details incorrectly?

The Department is contacting the people concerned directly over the next few days. Work is also underway in relation to the online applications process, to minimise the capacity to enter incorrect data in order to reduce the number of invalid applications.

The Department are reminding people to take care entering their details. Some customers when filling out the IBAN are using BO1 as opposed to BOI. This will cause their application to be rejected when the Department processes their applications.

Are there any people who were getting the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment that aren’t anymore?

Yes. Since the scheme launched on March 16, the Department processed applications from 583,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment. To date, approximately 19,000 people have asked to close their Pandemic Unemployment Payment. This may be because they have found alternative employment.

What is the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme and how many employers have signed up for it?

The scheme is available to employers who keep employees on the payroll throughout the pandemic. It is a subsidy payment based on up to 70% of the normal net weekly pay of an employee of up to €410.

There are now 39,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

What is the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment?

This is for people who have been medically certified to self-isolate or have been diagnosed with Covid-19. It is paid at a rate of €350 per week. The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the enhanced Illness Benefit cannot be paid concurrently.

If you have lost your employment or are diagnosed with Covid-19 and you apply for income support you will be paid €350 per week from the Department.

How many people have applied for the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment?

The Department has to date received 23,800 applications for the enhanced Illness Benefit.

How do I apply for any of the benefit payments?

The quickest and easiest way for everyone to apply for this emergency payment is online at

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