Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
1200. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a reply will issue to the feedback by a person (details supplied) regarding those who have seriously reduced income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic but are ineligible for support and the difficulties encountered trying to contact with her Department [5647/20]
The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic emergency. As stipulated in the scheme guidelines both employees and self-employed people can apply for the payment if they satisfy a number of qualifying conditions as set out below.
In order to qualify for the payment, the applicant must:
- be aged between 18 and 66 years old and
- be currently living in the Republic of Ireland and
- have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic and
- have worked in the Republic of Ireland or were a cross border frontier worker and
- not be in receipt of any employment income.
The payment also applies if the applicant is self-employed and their trading income has ceased due to COVID-19.
In the case of the person concerned, her circumstances as she outlined them, are that she ceased her self-employment as a physiotherapist due to the Covid-19 crisis but has continued her insurable employment with her employer.
I am advised that as the person concerned is partially employed and deriving an income from her employer, she does not meet the criteria for receipt of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). However, it should be noted that under the SWA scheme, a single payment may be made to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. Should the person concerned consider that she may have an entitlement to a payment under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme she should contact my Department’s Community Welfare Service at her local Intreo centre.
In relation to the person’s difficulty making contact with the Department, the Department is operating the Income Support Helpline to assist our customers with information and advice about income supports available for people impacted by Covid-19.
The Covid-19 Income Support Helpline is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm and it can be contacted at 1890 800 024.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.