COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Introduction

COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a new social welfare payment of €350 a week for employees and self-employed people who have lost employment due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

You can apply for the payment if you are aged between 18 and 66 and have lost your employment due to the coronavirus restrictions. Students, non-EEA nationals and part-time workers can apply for the payment.

If you have voluntarily taken time off work to look after your child because of school (or childcare) closures and you are no longer paid by your employer, you can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

You should apply online at MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest way to apply.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been told to self-isolate by your GP, you should apply for Illness Benefit.

You can find out more about COVID-19 and social welfare payments.

Rules

Employees, self-employed people, students and part-time workers can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Both EEA and non-EEA workers qualify.

To qualify for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 66
  • Live in the Republic of Ireland
  • Have been in employment or self-employment immediately before Friday 13 March 2020. If you work shifts, short time or other atypical work patterns you must have been in employment on or after 6 March 2020.
  • Have lost your job or be temporarily laid off from work or asked to stay at home from work due to the pandemic
  • Have taken time off work to mind your child because of school or childcare closures and your employer is no longer paying you
  • Stopped trading as self-employed due to the pandemic

It will be paid for up to 12 weeks. (Originally it was to be paid for up to 6 weeks.)

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid at a flat rate. If you have a spouse or partner and children (known as adult or child dependants), you should claim a jobseeker's payment as you will get a higher rate.

People who cannot get the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

You cannot claim the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, if you:

  • Are continuing to get income from your employment or
  • Voluntarily left your employment (except to look after your children)

If you applied for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and your employer has re-employed you under the new COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme, you must close your claim for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. You can close your claim using MyWelfare.ie.

If you are returning to Ireland after losing employment abroad, you are not eligible for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. You can apply for a jobseeker’s payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Jobseeker’s payments during the coronavirus pandemic

If you were working casually and you became fully unemployed as a result of the pandemic, you can claim the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

If your working hours are reduced to 3 days or less per week, you should apply for Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit.

Find out more about the payments available:

Other social welfare payments

If you have lost your job due to the pandemic and were also getting another social welfare payment, like a carer's payment, Working Family Payment or One-Parent Family Payment, you can claim the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. However, you must have lost your employment due to the pandemic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will replace your employment income and will be regarded by the DEASP as equivalent to employment income.

Your underlying social welfare payment will be adjusted to take account of the difference between the Covid-19 payment and your normal employment income. This may take some time and any overpayments will be taken from future payments.

If you are a qualified adult on your partner’s social welfare payment and you have lost your job because of the pandemic, you can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Your partner must contact the section that pays their social welfare payment to get their payment re-rated.

Pregnancy and the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

If you are pregnant and your employer has no work available, you can apply for a social welfare payment. The payment depends on the number of weeks from your last day of employment to the date you are due to give birth (your due date):

  • If your due date is within 16 weeks of your last day of employment, you must apply for Maternity Benefit. This is because you must be in insurable employment immediately before your maternity leave starts.
  • If your due date is more than 16 weeks from your last day of employment, you should apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Rates

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid at a flat rate of €350 per week for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. It was originally set at a rate of €203. This was increased on March 24.

There is no payment for dependants.

If you were awarded the original rate of €203, your next payment will be paid at the increased rate. It is paid every Tuesday into a bank account in the State.

Apply online

You should apply online for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment on MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest way to apply.

You need:

  • A basic MyGovId account (all you need is an e-mail address and password)
  • Your personal details
  • Your bank details (payment can only be made to an Irish bank account)

The DEASP has asked people to ensure that essential details such as dates of birth, PPS numbers and IBANs are entered correctly as this has been delaying applications. An IBAN has 22 characters.

Where to apply

Apply online at MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest way to apply.

Page edited: 30 March 2020