Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
A person who is cocooning for medical reasons is not entitled to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment unless they meet the conditions of the payment including that they:
- have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic
In these situations their eligibility for the payment is based on their employment status, not on their health status.
A new enhanced rate of Illness Benefit was introduced in March in response to the infectious disease, COVID-19. A person who is cocooning for medical reasons is not entitled to this payment unless they have been:
- diagnosed with an infectious disease or
- are a probable source of infection of an infectious disease.
In recognition of the concerns raised by individuals and support groups in relation to those cocooning on health grounds, the Department introduced a policy change in May. Where a person is not eligible for the enhanced rate of Illness Benefit, standard Illness Benefit payment may be payable subject to normal certification and eligibility criteria to a person with a serious health condition, where a medical practitioner certifies that a person is incapable of work due to the medical condition. This may be paid for an extended period, depending on the person’s continued eligibility.