Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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110. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the refusal of pandemic unemployment payments to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15133/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) Scheme was made available to employees and self- employed people who had lost their employment due to the effects of the Covid pandemic. It has proven to be a vital income support to workers, thousands of whom lost their jobs virtually overnight.

In line with the standard practice applying to all jobseeker payments, my Department undertook a number of exercises where it contacted recipients of the PUP and requested that they confirm their continued eligibility to receive the payment. In doing so, my Department also advised individuals that failure to respond would have affected their entitlement to continue to receive a payment.

The person concerned was in receipt of PUP from 13 March 2020. In March 2021 they failed to respond to a request that they confirm their ongoing eligibility for the payment. As a result, payment of their claim stopped from 2 April 2021. A letter confirming this issued to the person concerned at that time, outlining the options available to the customer. The Department has no record of any response from the customer on foot of this letter.

The person concerned reapplied for the PUP on 8 June 2021 and their claim was awarded from 4 June 2021. They subsequently closed their claim on foot of a return to work on 9 August 2021.

The person concerned contacted my Department on 16 September 2021 requesting payment of PUP for the period 2 April to 3 June 2021. Following an internal review of the case, this request was refused. A letter issued to the person advising them of this on 22 September 2021. This letter also advised of the right to appeal this decision.

My officials have confirmed with the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office that it has no record of an appeal from the person concerned.

If the person concerned wishes to submit new facts or evidence relating to their eligibility to payment for the period in question, my officials would be happy to review the matter.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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