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Thousands to receive €350 Covid Unemployment Payment today

The payment has led to almost 390,000 applications to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Mar 31st 2020, 8:12 AM 50,692 121

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people across the country will receive the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment into their bank accounts from today.

The €350 benefit, which was first introduced two weeks ago, has led to almost 390,000 applications to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

More than a quarter of a million people have received the payment to date, in addition to almost 20,000 new standard jobseeker payments.

Last week, the department said it had experienced unprecedented demand for income supports since mid-March, equivalent to ten months of normal claims in just ten working days.

The first Covid-19 related payments, which cover approximately 90% of claims received from 13 March to 19 March, were paid into bank accounts last Tuesday.

However, some payments were withheld for various reasons, with approximately 15,000 not meeting eligibility criteria. This included people not previously in employment, those under 18 years of age or those still in employment.

A further 8,700 had invalid Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers and 6,600 had invalid International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs).

Yesterday, Minister Regina Doherty said she is expecting a rise in applications for the new wage subsidy scheme, amid further coronavirus restrictions announced last Friday.

Some 16,000 companies have signed up for the scheme so far.

The scheme will refund employers up to a maximum of €410 euro for each qualifying employee – the equivalent of €500 euro per week before tax.

A Department spokesman said the level of payments reflects the unprecedented demand for the department’s income supports over the past two weeks.

Niall Cody, Chairman of the Revenue Commissioners said that companies who applied for the scheme would not be considered insolvent in the eyes of the taxman.

“The purpose of this scheme is to support employers to pay their wages, but also to leave those companies in a position for when the recovery comes, to still be a valid viable business,” he told Morning Ireland on RTÉ Radio 1.

“I think we are looking at a very serious issue here for a vast number of companies.”

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