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104 people have had their Covid unemployment payment stopped due to international travel

The Department of Social Protection said the payment is not for people going on holidays.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has confirmed that 104 people have had their €350 Covid payment stopped due to overseas travel.

The department said that the clear advice from Government remains that it is safer to stay at home this summer and that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is paid to people who are genuinely seeking work.

A statement said that the money “is not paid to people who go on holidays abroad or when they are going through their 14 day quarantine period”, as first reported by the Business Post this morning. 

The department added that it “will, of course, consider cases whereby somebody in receipt of PUP has to travel abroad for urgent or exceptional reasons”.

The statement explained that department officials carry out regular inspections of those travelling through Irish airports.

Their duties include conducting interviews with customers by trained investigators, auditing employers’ PRSI records, carrying out specialist investigations and joint enquiries and operations with other agencies such as Revenue and the gardai. They also include multi-agency checkpoints and checks at airports.

The statement added: “Since 7th July, 104 cases of Pandemic Unemployment Payment have been stopped as a result of work done in the airports. In addition, 44 other social welfare payments (e.g. jobseekers payments, means assessed payments) have also been closed.”

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