Q&A: How to claim the Covid-19 unemployment support benefits

(Tackles the main questions about applying for Covid-19 unemployment payment)

How do I know if I am eligible for the Covid-19 unemployment payment?

You must satisfy the following conditions:

  • You were in employment or self-employment immediately before Friday 13 March
  • You have been temporarily laid-off from work or asked to stay at home from work
  • Your employer is not in a position to retain you on their payroll
  • You are not in receipt of any employment income
  • You are resident in Ireland
  • You are aged between 18-66

What is the best way to apply for a Covid-19 unemployment or illness payment?

The best and easiest way to apply is online via MyWelfare.ie

I am a worker who has been asked by my employer to stay at home, but she/he is still paying me some or all of my wages. What should I do?

If you are still being paid by your employer then, in most cases, you don’t have to do anything. The State is paying employers an after-tax subsidy of up to 70% of normal salary to keep workers on their payroll, even in situations where they have to cease trading.

  • The subsidy will increase from 70% to 85% for employees with a previous average take home pay below €412 per week.
  • The subsidy will be €350 per week for employees with a previous average take home pay between €412 and €500 per week
  • The subsidy remains the same for employees with a previous average take-home pay of between €500 and €586 per week
  • A tiered system has been introduced for employees with a previous average take home pay of over €586 per week
  • Employees who were taking home more than €960 per week will be able to avail of the scheme (this change applies from 16 April

I am a worker who has been asked by my employer to stay at home but she/he cannot pay me anything. What can I claim?

You should claim the emergency COVID-19 payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection at mywelfare.ie

I am a self-employed worker whose trade has ceased or fallen away. What supports are available?

If you pay yourself as a PAYE worker through your payroll then you can apply for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme from the Revenue Commissioners.

If you don’t pay yourself as a PAYE worker then, subject to your trade ceasing temporarily and you are now fully unemployed, you should claim the emergency COVID-19 payment at MyWelfare.ie

I claimed a COVID-19 jobseeker payment but now my employer is paying me what should I do?

The Department is reconciling its payment files with those of the Revenue Commissioners. Claims from people who are also being paid by their employer will be stopped automatically. In order to avoid any confusion, you should close your claim immediately.

I am a worker who was also in receipt of a social welfare payment while at work. What is my position?

Some social welfare customers can work as well as receive a social welfare payment — for example, carers, people with disabilities, lone parents and people in receipt of the Working Family Payment. If you fall into this category and you were working but have been laid-off temporarily without pay since 13 March, you should claim the emergency COVID- 19 payment.

I am in employment and am concerned I might catch the virus from colleagues. Can I leave work and claim the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

No. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is only available to employees who have become fully unemployed due to the downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and where they are not being paid by their employer.

Part-time/casual jobseekers who lose their employment — do they qualify for the €350 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

The new emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is payable to people who fulfil the criteria. There is no restriction on the number of hours the person has to have been working.

How will employees’ PRSI contributions be affected if employer avails of the temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme or a worker claims the COVID-19 emergency payment?

It is intended that all people claiming a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or in respect of whom a temporary wage subsidy is being claimed will be allocated social insurance contributions appropriate to their normal employment status. No person will lose out on entitlements due to a temporary loss of employment due to COVID-19.

I am a worker who needs to self-isolate or who is ill with COVID-19. What should I do?

If your employer continues to pay you, you don’t need to do anything. If your employer does not pay you should claim the Covid-19 Illness Benefit payment. This requires a certificate from your GP. You will also need to submit a claim form.

I am not an employee or self-employed worker but I do receive a social welfare payment. What should I do?

There is no need to do anything. You should not claim any COVID-19 payment. All existing social welfare payments continue and will be paid via your bank account or through the post office.

What happens when I finish my period of self-isolation or when my illness clears up?

There is no need to do anything. If you are ill with COVID-19 the period of payment will last for so long as your GP certifies that you need to stay away from work and will cease automatically at the end of that period.

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