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Over a million people in Ireland receiving some sort of State income support

Around 50,000 people currently receiving the unemployment payment are receiving income support for the first time.

Image: Shutterstock

MORE THAN ONE million people in Ireland are receiving some sort of State income support, with half of those in receipt of the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment.

Today, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued payments (to be received tomorrow) to 584,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 unemployment payment. Around 50,000 are receiving a payment for the first time.

These payments are in addition to the 212,000 people on the live register and over 46,000 employers have now registered with Revenue for the temporary Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme. 

All Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow.

The Department of Social Protection has said that over 51,000 people have been in contacted to close their Covid-19 Pandemic payment, with the majority of these requests due to employers taking people back onto their payroll under the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme. 

There are now over 46,000 employers who have registered for this.

The department also confirmed today that there are 32,000 people medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 illness benefit. This predominantly relates to people who have been advised by their GPs to self-isolate, as well as a smaller number who have been officially diagnosed with Covid-19.  

Approximately 52,000 Covid-19 payments have been withheld for a variety of reasons, the Department said.

These include the people concerned who were still in employment, who had not been in employment prior to claiming the Covid-19 payment, a Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy was being paid in their name, who were not resident in the State or because they submitted incorrect details including invalid PPSNs and IBANs.

The department said it was working to rectify issues with legitimate applications.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said this is a temporary health emergency and many sectors of the economy “will be able to switch back on relatively quickly once the danger has passed”.

“However, some sectors will be slower than others to recover and we will also have a challenge with youth employment as many young people who could have expected to have entered a buoyant jobs market will now face a much more complex environment.”

She said her department is already planning for the post-pandemic environment and considering the best measures to help every worker “to get back into the labour force as quickly as possible”.

Analysis of the Covid-19 pandemic payment

image002 Source: Department of Social Protection

There were 584,000 people in receipt a Pandemic Unemployment Payment on 21 April, of which 252,000 were women and 332,000 were men.

Dublin has the greatest number of recipients, at 169,000, while Cork has the second highest at 60,400.

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After that, Galway (31,600), Kildare (25,500), Meath (24,500) Limerick (22,100), Donegal (22,000) and Kerry (21,500) have the highest number of recipients.

The sector with the highest number of people in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment is accommodation and food services activities (126,000) followed by wholesale and retail trade (88,400) and construction (77,400). 

A sector-by-sector breakdown is available here:

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 16.24.25 Source: Department of Social Protection

Screenshot 2020-04-20 at 16.25.18 Source: Department of Social Protection

- with reporting from Gráinne Ní Aodha 

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