The Government's decision to provide a special 'Covid payment' for those who lost their jobs due to the pandemic has offered a lifeline for thousands of Irish people.
However, given the requirements in order to qualify for this payment, some people have 'fallen through the cracks'. One of those people is Horeswood student Shauna Long.
When Covid-19 arrived on our shores Shauna was working full-time in a créche, in an unpaid position - a work placement as part of her Social Care degree at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT).
In order to complete this placement, Shauna had to temporarily quit her job at a local holiday village; a seasonal role which supplemented her student grant. That job provided part-time hours during off-peak months and full-time, stable employment during the summer.
'I'd started my 12 weeks work-placement on March 6; it was full-time unpaid employment and meant I had to finish up with my employer at the holiday village,' Shauna said.
'When the Covid struck, I couldn't continue my placement but I wasn't eligible for any unemployment payment either. I contacted the Social Welfare and asked them could I receive anything, go on Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), but they said I wasn't eligible.
'Usually, I would work throughout the summer full-time but because I wasn't on the books at the time, I can't get the Covid payment. The way it's happened, I just fall through all the cracks with this.'
A victim of circumstance, Shauna (23) now has no form of income and is relying on her mother and grandmother for money in a house which isn't flush with cash.
'I'm living at home with my mam and my grandmother in Horeswood. My mother is a full-time carer for my nanny, who's on a widow's pension. I'm relying for them for handouts at the moment.
'It's not ideal. You feel like you've failed in a sense. Being financially insecure is the scariest thing I've ever had to face. Just because you're living at home doesn't mean you don't have to contribute. Usually when I'm working, my wages will help pay for food or the electricity bill,' she says.
Although the holiday village where she works has intimated that it may reopen on July 20 as part of the Government's roadmap to recovery, there is no guarantee that Shauna will be among those called to work from the off.
'I'm facing up to four months without any income whatsoever,' she said. 'I'm not asking for much, I don't even need the full JSA amount, €50 a week to keep me going would do.
'The stress of the pandemic is bad enough, but this on top of it is driving me mad. I'm in receipt of the SUSI grant, that gives me €262 per month to live on during the college year. I rely on the money I earn from my job to help me out but, even then, things are tight. Even if they extended the SUSI grant for the summer it would help.'
And because of the financial constraints she is currently living under, Shauna said she has considered something which would previously have been unthinkable.
'I don't want to consider dropping out but the more I look at it, I can get a basic job with the qualifications I have so far. It wouldn't be the same as what I would get if I had my degree though, your degree gets you everywere nowadays.'
Should the worst happen, and Shauna does have to drop out of college, then it will certainly be the social care sector's loss. The class rep for her year, she has already fulfilled a work placement at a women's refuge and is passionate about a career which she hopes will lead to her passing her knowledge onto others.
'My first placement was in a women's refuge, and I loved that and wanted to work in somewhere like that when I qualified. Then I thought about residential care or nursing homes, but what I really want to do is become a lecturer in social care.
'I absolutely love this profession, I'd taken level 5 and 6 courses even before I enrolled in this degree. I'm in this for the long haul, I adore it, people have said to me when I've talked about dropping out, "please don't, we can't lose you".'
But without intervention from the Government - aid for not just herself, but the hundreds of others in a similar position - Shauna fears the worst.
'The stress is horrible, it's quite unhealthy, there's a lot of anxiety, I have knots in my stomach, it's wrecking my head - this is my future at the end of the day,' she said.
'The Government needs to realise the students are the future of this country. Ultimately, I'm going to give back to the country when I'm qualified. I emailed Mary Lou McDonald about it and got a response from her office saying there was nothing they could do.
'How can you say that to someone who could be caring for you or a relative of yours in years to come?'