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Highest level of Pandemic Unemployment Payment to be restored to €350 a week

The payment was cut to a maximum of €300 per week last month.

Image: Shutterstock/katarinag

THE HIGHEST BAND of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will be restored to €350 per week, it has been announced.

The payment moved from two rates of payment to three rates last month, when the top rate of €350 was also reduced to €300.

However, as part of the introduction of new Covid-19 restrictions, the top band has been restored for those whose earnings were more than €400 per week before the pandemic.

The new payment structure for the PUP is as follows:

Screenshot 2020-10-19 at 22.15.14

This change will apply to payments issued from 27 October for all existing and new applicants.

The EWSS is also being amended to align with the amendment to PUP. This means there will be five payment rates/bands as follows:

  • 0 – €151 = €0
  • €151 < €203 = €203
  • €203 < €300 = €250
  • €300 < €400 = €300
  • €400< €1,462 = €350

This revised scheme will run to end January 2021.

Figures released earlier today showed that the number of people in the State receiving the PUP rose by more than 15,000 in the last seven days, with 244,153 people now in receipt of the welfare payment.

The number of people on the payment has risen by 38,560 in the last two weeks, following the implementation of Level 3 measures across the country.

The figure is likely to rise significantly as a result of the latest round of restrictions.

Last week, the Government also announced that self-employed workers will be allowed to claim the PUP while still earning money through work, as part of Budget 2021.

The initial decision to reduce the top rate of the PUP and change the bands was criticised at the time, with many whose livelihoods had been affected, such as those working in the arts, having no prospect of work due to ongoing restrictions.

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With reporting from Christina Finn and Gráinne Ní Aodha.

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