The number of Donegal workers on Pandemic Unemployment Payment rose to 11,942 in the first week of January 2021.
More than 2,000 people in Donegal signed on for the payment this week following the closure of restaurants, non-essential retail and hair and beauty salons.
Meanwhile, 33 people closed their payment claim on return to work.
A further 3,018 people in Donegal are receiving Enhanced Illness Benefit after being medically certified for receipt of a Covid-19 related Illness Benefit payment.
At the height of the Covid-19 crisis in May 2020, Donegal had 22,700 people on the emergency payment.
This week, the Department of Social Protection has paid €99.06 million to 335,599 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). Nationally, there is an increase of 57,928 people receiving the support.
These figures are in addition to the 194,058 people who were reported on the Live Register as of the end of November.
In the period from 18th December to 24th December, the Department processed some 23,000 PUP applications for workers who were laid off between those dates. Those eligible received their first payment over the Christmas period.
Anyone who has been made unemployed between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve and who is eligible for PUP received their payment on Tuesday.
Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys said: “It has been a really difficult Christmas period for people who lost their employment due to the move to Level 5 restrictions.
“As anticipated we have seen a significant increase in the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment since 22nd December.
“Every county has seen the number of people applying for PUP increase over the past two weeks and, similarly, there has been an increase in every sector applying for the payment over this period.
“My Department officials worked right throughout the Christmas period in order to ensure people who applied for PUP were paid as soon as possible. Between 18th December and Christmas Eve, some 23,000 payments were processed and put into payment. People who lost their job between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve will receive their first payment today.
“PUP remains open to anyone who is eligible. The quickest and easiest way to apply is via www.mywelfare.ie.”