Number of Longford people in receipt of Covid-19 unemployment payment falls

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Number of Longford people in receipt of Covid-19 unemployment  payment falls to 3,400

Number of Longford people in receipt of Covid-19 unemployment payment falls to 3,400

The number of Longford people in receipt of the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) has dropped to 3,400.

This is a decrease of 300 from the June 16 figure of 3,700 people in receipt of the payment. 

Meanwhile, there are 400 Longford people who are medically certified for receipt of Enhanced Illness Benefit. 

Also read: Revealed | Map shows location of Longford's 285 confirmed Covid-19 cases

Nationally, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has issued payments valued at €163.1m to 465,900 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

Taking the 498,700 who were paid last week, this represents a decrease of 32,800 on the number of people paid last week.

Since last week’s payment, 30,000 people have closed their claim for a Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Some 17,900 will be receiving their final payment tomorrow.

As well as those availing of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there are now over 61,800 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) with at least one subsidy being paid in respect of over 551,800 people under that scheme since it began.

Also read: No new deaths and only six new cases of Covid-19 reported today

An estimated 410,000 employees are currently being supported by the scheme having received a subsidy in their most recent pay period.

The above payments are in addition to the 225,600 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of May. 

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty said: “I am very pleased to see the trend in the number of people depending on the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment continuing to fall with almost 33,000 fewer due to receive a payment tomorrow than at the same time last week. These statistics are clear evidence that many businesses are returning slowly but surely especially in the Construction, Manufacturing and Wholesale and Retail industries throughout the country.

“My Department continues to support those workers who have not yet gone back to work and particularly those whose jobs are no longer there, with a view to helping them back into new employment safely.  Already we are seeing early but healthy signs of the economy beginning to recover as workplaces and society continue to re-open from the Covid-19 pandemic, which is a welcome and positive signal for everyone.”

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday, June 23.

Also read: New warning to young people about Covid-19 spread from Dr Tony Holohan as cases spike

People returning to work

Last week, some 30,000 people closed their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment of which 23,900 reported that they were returning to work. Of those 23,900 returning to work, approx. 17,900 are receiving their last payment this week. As the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a weekly payment paid in arrears, there can be a one week lag in how closures, due to people returning to work, are reflected in the payment data.

The top three sectors in which employees are returning to work this week are Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles with 6,300 back in work, while 3,900 have returned to the Construction sector and 2,600 have returned to their jobs in Accommodation and Food Service activities.  A further 2,400 employees are returning to their jobs in the Manufacturing industry. A full breakdown of the sectors is set out at Appendix 6 below.

Since the peak on May 5 of the numbers receiving a Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the number of PUP recipients from the Construction sector has dropped by 50%, Manufacturing by 35% and Wholesale and Retail Trade by 30%. 

This week sees the numbers in the Wholesale sector dropping faster than Construction for the first time.  The numbers in the Accommodation and Food Service activities returning to work have surpassed those returning to work in Manufacturing.

Looking at the age profile of employees returning to work this week, the largest cohort are those aged 35-44 with 6,000 returning. Another 5,100 employees aged 25-34 and 4,500 more under age 25 are returning to work.  Full details are available at Appendix 7.

With the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business now in Phase Two, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection continues to remind workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).

In order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly, workers who will be returning to work must close their claim for the PUP payment on the actual date that they start back at work.  Since the commencement of Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap for the Reopening of Society and Business, over 125,000 employees have closed their claims and returned to work.

The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via www.mywelfare.ie. 

Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated income support helpline at 1890 800 024 (Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 5.00pm).

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment Checks

As is the case, for all social welfare schemes, the Department conducts a series of pre and post payment checks for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, including:

-        Integrity checks made against records already held by the Department including Public Service Information data and cross checks with payments on other schemes. These help to verify if a person is who they claim to be and that they are entitled to claim payment.

-        A reconciliation process between the Department’s payment file and Revenue’s payment file for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme.

-        A prior employment status check by comparing all claims for PUP against prior earnings and employment records from Revenue data.

-        As with other welfare schemes, the Department contacts recipients to ensure that they continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

-        Data analytics.

-        The Department’s inspection staff participating with Garda and Customs staff, in security checks on major transport routes and transport hubs.

Also read: Revealed: CSO data outlines impact of Covid-19 on Virtual Life in Ireland as internet use soars

Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

There are now over 61,800 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS).  Workers whose employers have registered them on the scheme are not eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment. In addition workers who were in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but who have now been registered by their employers on the TWSS are no longer eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment.

Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

To date 51,600 people up to age 66 have been medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit.  Just over 7% (3,706) have been diagnosed with Covid-19 while almost 93% (47,894) were required to medically self-isolate.

Since the beginning of June, 67 people have applied for the Enhanced Illness Benefit  as they have been medically certified with having Coronavirus while 533 others have applied because they are medically self-isolating.

The sector with the largest number of employees medically certified to receive Covid-19 Illness Benefit is the Human Health and Social Work sector (11,900), followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (10,900) and Manufacturing (6,800).  

Please apply online at www.MyWelfare.ie

The Department wishes to thank its customers for submitting the majority of applications through our online portal www.MyWelfare.ie. This is the quickest and easiest way to submit an application and enables the Department to allocate resources to contacting those who submitted invalid applications.

Individuals can close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment online at www.MyWelfare.ie.

In the interests of the public health advice and the restrictions on movements please if at all possible do not attend your local Intreo Centre as opening hours have now been restricted. Instead please apply through www.MyWelfare.ie.