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Covid-19: More than 283,000 people receive social welfare payments

More than 283,000 people have received social welfare payments after losing their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Social Protection has had 323,000 individual applications from people who have been made unemployed over the past two weeks.

The government says that is the equivalent of 19 months of social welfare claims in just 14 days.

Liz Canavan, assistant secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach, said: “Over 283,000 payments related to these are being made this week.

“Unemployments payments have issued and will be in a bank or post office account tomorrow.

“This represents 90% of the applications received by Thursday, 26 March.

“15,000 applications were deemed ineligible for a variety of reasons.”

Earlier today, Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty urged people to ensure their details were correct on any forms that they have completed.

Ms Doherty told RTÉ radio that 16,000 plus companies had applied for the wage subsidy scheme.

“Lots of people thankfully are using income support.”

However, Ms Doherty pointed out that a lot of those people would not have thought about income support because they were not on the restricted list until Friday night.

“We expect to have a significant draw again this week based on the companies that have closed down.”

[ul][b]Useful information[/b] [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here [/li] [li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li] [li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li] [li]ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li] [/ul]