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Number of people getting Covid PUP falls below 100,000 for the first time

The Department of Social Protection said that 97,130 people got a payment this week.

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THE NUMBER OF people who are receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has fallen under 100,000 for the first time.

This week, Covid welfare payments worth €25.1 million is to be given to 97,130 people – this represents a fall of 4,340 compared to last week.

The greatest reduction this week is in the accommodation and food services sector, as it has been for the past 18 weeks.

The PUP figures published this week are in addition to the 162,898 people who were on the Live Register at the end of September.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments have been paid into recipients’ bank accounts or at their post office on Tuesday 12 October.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said that today’s figures mean there has been an almost 85% reduction in the number of people receiving the PUP since May 2020, at the height of the pandemic.

“To date, my Department has paid over €8.8 billion in Pandemic Unemployment Payments to almost 900,000 people. This income support has been a vital lifeline for these people and their families.

More and more people continue to return to work and the numbers on the PUP have now fallen every single week for the past nine months.

“This clearly demonstrates the significant progress we are making in getting people off the PUP and back into the workforce, as supported by our new Pathways to Work strategy.”

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The Department of Social Protection also reminds workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment on the actual date that they start back at work, in order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly and to avoid incurring an over-payment that the department will take steps to recover.

“As PUP is paid weekly in arrears people who have closed their claim last week are receiving a final payment this week and are still counted in the numbers in payment for this week,” it said.

“The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via MyWelfare.ie. Any worker returning to work with an inquiry about closing their claim can contact the Department’s dedicated Income Support Helpline at 0818 800 024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.”

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