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Coronavirus

Recipients of Covid-19 illness benefit who were underpaid will get arrears this week

The department said the benefit was paid at the original rate “pending the system being built to apply the increased rate”.

THE DEPARTMENT OF Social Protection has acknowledged that recipients of the new Covid-19 illness benefit have received the usual payment rate of €203, rather than the increased rate of €350.

The department told TheJournal.ie that those who received the reduced rate will be paid the balance this week. To date it has received 23,800 applications for the enhanced illness benefit.

One reader told TheJournal.ie that he received the reduced rate after applying for the illness benefit. He said he called the department’s helpline and was told that there had been “a big issue where a lot of people only received the normal rate”.

The Department of Social Protection today said the illness benefit was paid at the original rate “pending the system being built to apply the increased rate”.

“This has now been tested and implemented. Any arrears due should be paid this week.”

In total, 507,000 people have so far been availed of the Covid-19 unemployment payment scheme and there are 850,000 people in the country receiving some kind of support because of a loss of earning due to the virus outbreak.

Today the government said it also wanted to address concerns raised in relation to tax and the wage subsidy scheme. 

“Today we want to provide clarity on that issue. In order to ensure speedy payments, and minimise hardship on people in the short-term, the temporary wage subsidy scheme is not being taxed at the time at which you receive it,” said Assistant Secretary at the Department of An Taoiseach Liz Canavan

She added that the tax will be collected at a later date in the year.

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