The number of people in Donegal claiming Pandemic Unemployment Benefit has risen by 500 in the past week from 22,000 to 22,500.
The figures were released today by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
It also shows that the number of people in Donegal claiming Enhanced Illness Benefit has risen from 800 to 900 within the past week.
Overall the Department issued payments valued at €207m to 591,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Around 21,000 are receiving a payment for the first time.
There are now over 49,000 employers who have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.
The payments are in addition to the approximate 205,000 people who were on the Live Register as of the end of March.
All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday 28th April.
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said the smaller increase in the numbers on the COVID-19 payment this week as compared with previous weeks would suggest that we have come through the worst of temporary job lay-offs.
She added “That said, with over a million people in the country now dependent on some level of state provided income support, the scale of the challenge that this health emergency has posed for our national economy and to so many households is now very clear.
“Our priority now is to continue to support all those who need assistance and to work to help all employers and workers to adjust to the emerging reality that Covid-19 may be with us for a long time to come. With that in mind, I convened the first meeting of a new Labour Market Advisory Council on Friday of last week.
“Comprised of distinguished economists and experienced worker and employer representatives, the Council will play a key role in advising on public policy responses to support labour market recovery.
“By anticipating which sectors will be most challenged, by identifying what future skills will be in greater demand and by providing the most effective job activation and employment supports, we will help as many people as possible back to work as quickly as possible.”
Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment
In total (since launch on the 16th March, 2020), and excluding duplicate claims, the Department processed applications from 691,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment.
As is the case, for all social welfare schemes, the Department conducts a series of pre and post payment checks. For example:
– Integrity checks are 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.
– Each week when the Department processes the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payments (PUP), a reconciliation takes place between the Department’s payment file and Revenue’s payment file for the Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme. This results in claims from those who are being paid by their employer being withheld and therefore not processed by the Department’s payment process. These people are then contacted by the Department to inform them of the position.
– A prior employment status check is made by comparing all claims for PUP against prior earnings and employment records from Revenue data. Where this check indicates that a person may not have been employed, as claimed, the person is contacted and asked to submit corroborating information. Failure to submit corroborating information leads to the claim being closed.
– 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 is also used to identify claims where a person may not satisfy other conditions – for example residence in Ireland – and Department inspection staff check these cases.
– The Department’s inspection staff also participates with Garda and Customs staff, in security checks on major transport routes and transport hubs.
– Confidential reporting facilities are available to the public (1890 927999 and at https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/secure/ReportFraud.aspx ) and to employers (email to: C19EmployerReports@welfare.ie ) to report cases of suspected mis-claiming.
Following the application of these checks and controls the Department has this week paid 591,000 people out of the 691,000 unique claims processed, the vast majority of these claims were paid within a week of receipt. This indicates the efficiency of using data analytics to both identify incorrect claims and ensure prompt processing of valid claims.
To date, over 64,000 people have contacted the Department to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Many of these requests are because employers are taking people back onto their payroll under the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.
The Department is continuing to resolve any issues, such as invalid IBANS or PPSNs, with legitimate applications and is contacting the people concerned directly over the next few days.
“We wish to remind people to take care when submitting applications, to ensure that critical information such as dates of birth, PPSN and IBANs are entered correctly. An IBAN has 22 characters and people should take care that it is entered correctly. Any errors by individuals in submitting their incorrect IBAN or PPSN will cause their application to be rejected by the Department.”
Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme
There are now over 49,000 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 payment pandemic unemployment payment
The Department is aware that some workers may be incorrectly registered as part of the TWSS or may face difficulty in transitioning back from the pandemic unemployment payment to the employer payroll. Such a situation may arise, for example, because a worker has been registered in error by their employer, or because an employer having registered for the TWSS has since ceased operating their payroll, or, due to differences in the weekly payment pattern of the pandemic unemployment payment as compared with a monthly or fortnightly payroll from the employer. Any worker affected by these issues can contact the Department and arrangements will be made to restore their payment or provide them with interim income support as appropriate.
Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment
There are now 36,100 people medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 enhanced Illness Benefit. This predominantly relates to applications in respect of people who have been advised by their GP to self-isolate together with a smaller number in respect of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.
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.Tags: