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'I can't pay my full rent - and we're due to have a wedding party in June'

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Worry: Meadhbh Daly is stressed about paying her rent after losing her job.

Worry: Meadhbh Daly is stressed about paying her rent after losing her job.

Worry: Meadhbh Daly is stressed about paying her rent after losing her job.

Meadhbh Daly has been out of work for the past fortnight after the restaurant where she works as a supervisor, Juanitos on Dublin's Drury Street, was forced to close due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

She is anxious and stressed about paying her rent, which is due in just over a week, and her wedding party this summer.

Despite having a public services card, Ms Daly said she was unable to apply for the Government's Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) of €305 per week online. "It wouldn't work. It kept rejecting my details and saying my public services card details were wrong," the 30-year-old added.

As she doesn't have a printer at home, she went into her old work to print out the PUP application form, filled it out and posted it over a week ago. But, while her husband-to-be was among the thousands who received a payment into their bank account on Tuesday, Ms Daly did not.

"I've had to tell my landlord that I can't pay my full rent which I never had to do," she said. "We're also supposed to have a wedding party in June."

Ms Daly said she had spoken to others who have had problems with postal applications where they were told by the Department of Employment that there is no record of their application. She said she was unable to get through to the department and will now apply again online. "I hope I get it next week and if I don't I am f**ked. I won't be able to pay rent or utility bills," she added.

Her case has been handled by Rise's Paul Murphy, who, like many TDs, has been fielding multiple queries about accessing the pandemic payments.

Labour TD Ged Nash said: "I am getting some enquiries from over-66s who have lost employment who won't get the PUP and from some under-18s out of education and who have been working full-time who won't get it either."

Queries have also come into TDs' offices from workers who lost their jobs days before the March 13 cut-off point for accessing supports.

A recruiter in the construction industry, who asked not to be named, said he was laid off on March 6 because of the pandemic. "I got a letter which says due to recent economic conditions we've had to make cutbacks. I sent that to the social welfare, they were having none of it," he said.

Irish Independent