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Over 1.6 million to get Christmas Bonus this week, as those receiving Covid PUP drops slightly

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be available until March of next year.

Image: Shutterstock/Marek Bidziski

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has issued the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) to 348,256 people this week.

There are 3,168 less people on the PUP this week compared to last week, and the cost has decreased from €103.65 million to €102.67 million.

The sectors with the highest number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment hasn’t changed since Level 5 restrictions were eased: accommodation and food service activities (101,335) followed by wholesale and retail trade (55,173) and other sectors eg, hairdressers and beauty salons (31,008).

This week’s figures are in addition to the 194,058 unemployed people who are on the Live Register as of the end of November.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow.

Back to work

In the past seven days, some 28,682 people closed their PUP claim, with 25,350 stating that they were doing so because they are returning to work.

It is expected that many more people will return to work in the coming week; almost two thirds of these are female (16,876).

The top sectors from which employees closed their Pandemic Unemployment Payment to return to work are Wholesale and Retail Trade (7,298), Other Sectors e.g. hairdressers and beauty salons (6,635), Accommodation and Food Service Activities (3,968), and Administrative and Support Service Activities (1,077).

Dublin had the greatest number of people closing their claims (6,441), followed by Cork (3,265), Galway (1,458), Kildare (1,244) and Wexford (1,019).

Christmas Bonus Payment

Also, this week, just over 283,000 PUP recipients will receive the Christmas Bonus payment totalling €83.14 million.

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The Christmas Bonus payment (an extra week’s payment) is normally made to people who are in receipt of long-term social welfare payments and who are entitled to a normal payment in respect of the week that the bonus is paid.

People who are unemployed for less than 12 months do not normally receive this payment. As an exceptional measure this year, the bonus payment will be made to people in receipt of PUP or a jobseeker’s payment for at least 4 months (17 weeks).

Social Protection Minister Humphreys said: “This week, the Christmas Bonus will be paid to over 1.6 million social welfare recipients, with payments totalling €390 million. This includes €83 million that is being paid to people receiving PUP payments alone.

“In total, over a half a billion euro has been paid out by the Department in the form of the Christmas bonus and PUP arrears.

“I am again encouraging people to spend this money locally. That way, you are helping your local economy and supporting small businesses.”

The Covid payment will be available until March of next year.

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