More people receiving Covid-19 payment than dole
AROUND 15,000 applications for the €350 per week payment to those who have lost their jobs as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic have been rejected.
The Department of the Taoiseach confirmed on Monday that thousands of applications for the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payments have been rejected for a variety of reasons.
Senior official Liz Cavanan said applications were deemed ineligible because individuals were not fully employed, they were aged under 18 or they were not previously employed. She was speaking at a daily briefing on the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic at Government Buildings on Monday.
Ms Canavan said that another 15,000 customers incorrectly completed their applications by providing an incorrect PPS number or an IBAN number. These customers are being contacted over the coming days to resolve these matters.
Over 283,000 Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payments are being made this week after around 90pc of the applications received as of last Thursday were processed in recent days.
The Department of Employment has said that in total since launching the emergency payment on March 16, it has received and processed 389,000 applications. This is equivalent to a 19 month claim-load in two weeks. Over 66,000 duplicate applications were received.
Some 20,500 businesses have registered for the temporary wage subsidy scheme, which enables employers to keep employees on the payroll during the crisis by refunding 70pc of their take home pay up to €410 per week, Ms Canavan said.
The first tranche of payments, totalling €5.1m, were processed last Friday and should be in the accounts of most employers’ today. A further €8.6m in refunds were generated under the scheme on Monday and will hit employers’ accounts on Tuesday.
In a wide-ranging briefing Ms Canavan also said that Passport Offices are now closed. While people can continue to apply online the usual turnaround times cannot be guaranteed as some officials are now being redeployed to assist in public service delivery and to provide consular support to Irish people stuck abroad.
On cocooning, Ms Canavan said that vulnerable people are being asked to stay at home at all times and avoid face-to-face contact.
Those considered at risk and who should cocoon are people aged 70 or over, everyone living a residential home or long-term care, and people who have serious medical difficulties that make them vulnerable.
A local authority community response forum will coordinate to ensure those affected by cocooning have appropriate supports including food and medicine and other needs, like transport to medical appointments, during this time.
Ms Canavan said that any essential workers over 70 should work remotely where possible. She said older farmers should ring family members if they need help and if that's not possible - and their job is essential - they should ring their local community support line or contact their local garda station.
Meanwhile, there are now more people on emergency coronavirus unemployment payments than the standard dole.
A total of 283,000 people have been approved for the new €350 a week emergency pandemic payment that was announced earlier this month following mass layoffs due to the coronavirus.
This compares with 201,000 people in receipt of standard jobseeker payments as of Friday last, according to figures released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection this morning.
The figures give some indication of the numbers out of work after the government ordered non-essential businesses to close to stem the spread of the virus.
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