Social Welfare Branch office, Donegal Town
Figures released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection show that 20,000 people in Donegal are in receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
Nationally 533,000 people have been awarded the payment. 54,000 of these people are getting the payment for the first time.
These payments are in addition to the 210,000 people on the Live Register.
More than 42,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty said: “It is clear that we are living through the most challenging of times. Never before has there been such a need for welfare support from workers and employers, with more than three years’ worth of claims being processed in less than a month.”
Minister Doherty said her department had risen to the challenge and had improved online facilities. This made it quicker and easier for people to apply for an Emergency Covid-19 Unemployment Payment, the enhanced Illness Benefit or to change their payment details.
“I am very proud of the quick and efficient response of my Department and all that the staff have achieved over the past month,” said the Minister.
She said that with just over 50,000 additional payments approved in the last week, figures would suggest reaching a plateau in terms of those on the Covid payment.
The minister added that increasing numbers of employers were participating in the wage subsidy scheme and approximately 1.4m people were still in full time work.
“This is a temporary health crisis but it needn’t be a permanent economic emergency,” she said. “As we reach the plateau of those on income support, we hope to bend and lower that curve also - getting as many back to work as soon as possible as and when the health environment permits.”
The Department has to date received 27,300 applications for the Covid-19 enhanced Illness Benefit. This predominantly relates to applications in respect of people who have been advised by their GP to self-isolate together with a smaller number in respect of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Approximately 68,000 payments have been withheld for a variety of reasons. These include the people concerned who were still in employment, who had not been in employment prior to claiming the Covid-19 payment, a Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy was being paid in their name, who were not resident in the State or because they submitted incorrect details including invalid PPSNs and IBANs. The department is working with people who submitted incorrect details.
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