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Minister reminds affected workers in Kildare, Laois and Offaly to avail of PUP and illness benefit

Heather Humphreys emphasised the income supports available to people impacted by regional restrictions.

Image: Shutterstock/katarinag

THERE HAS BEEN a decrease of 12,100 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in the past week, the Department of Social Protection has said. 

Social protection minister Heather Humphreys today welcomed this reduction and said “we cannot take this progress for granted”. 

The number of those in receipt of the PUP has now reduced to 262,500 from a peak of 598,000 on 5 May when more businesses were closed due to pandemic restrictions. 

Although many businesses across the country have since reopened, regional restrictions were implemented in Kildare, Laois and Offaly on Saturday due to an increase in Covid-19 cases in those counties over the past couple of weeks. 

“I want to emphasise that workers who are affected by these restrictions in Kildare, Laois and Offaly are entitled to access the Covid-19 Illness Benefit payment and the Covid -19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment,” Minister Humphreys said in a statement. 

“This includes people living in Direct Provision Centres and non-nationals whose employment has been temporarily suspended due to a forced closure of a business as a result of Covid-19.”  

The minister said the best way to apply for income supports is on the MyWelfare website.

The department has also reminded that there are around 29,000 people who have so far failed to confirm their continued eligibility for the PUP. 

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People who have not done so already are required to confirm they are still eligible by 12 noon this Friday on the MyWelfare site in order to continue receiving the payment. 

11,100 workers closed their PUP claims in the past week and 5,000 people will be receiving their final payment tomorrow. 

The three sectors from which most employees are returning to work this week are accommodation and food services, retail, motor vehicle repair and construction. 

The largest age group returning to work in the past week is those aged between 25 and 34. 

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