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480,000 workers to receive Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow

Over 10,000 people closed their PUP claims last week.

Image: Shutterstock/chainarong06

€144 MILLION IS due to be paid to 480,000 workers through the Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow.

In January, 23,000 people closed their PUP claims, including 10,606 in the last week.

However, the number of people receiving the payment has risen slightly since last week by 1%, from 475,364 to 479,633.

Half of the people in receipt of PUP are on the maximum rate of €350 a week.

Construction workers whose jobs have been impacted by the pandemic account for the largest increase in this week’s figure of any sector, with an additional 1,375 recipients.

111,809 workers in Accommodation and Food Services are receiving the payment this week, along with 76,367 people in Wholesale and Retail Trade and 62,534 people from the Construction sector.

Of more than 10,000 people who closed their PUP claim last week, 7,330 said they were ending it because they are returning to work.

Dublin has the highest number of people receiving PUP – 148,617 – but also the most returning to work – 1,889.

In Cork, 835 people are returning to work, along with 361 in Kildare.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphries said the PUP numbers are starting to “plateau again”.

“I am pleased to see that despite the Level 5 restrictions, over 23,000 people closed their PUP claims in January as they returned to work,” Humphries said.

“While all of these are positive signs, the worst possible thing we could do right now is drop our guard,” she said.

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 “By working together and adhering to the public health advice, we can drive the virus numbers down much further throughout the month of February.

 “I can assure people that the supports under the Department of Social Protection, such as the PUP and Enhanced Illness Benefit, will continue to be made available to people impacted by the Pandemic.”

In January, the Department of Social Protection confirmed that current rates of the PUP would remain in place until at least 31 March.

The payment is made at four weekly rates depending on the workers’ prior earnings - €203, €250, €300 and €350.

Changes to the payment had originally been planned for today, 1 February, but were postponed after Covid-19 restrictions were extended.

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