The number of people in Donegal receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) has dropped again.
This week a total of 16,178 claimed the payment compared to almost 200 more at 16,178 recipients in the county last week.
At the height of the payment scheme last May, a total of 22,700 were getting the PUP in Donegal.
This week, the Department of Social Protection has issued weekly payments valued at €141.88 million to 473,413 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP).
The number of people receiving a PUP payment this week has decreased by 4,252 countrywide compared to last week.
These figures are in addition to the 188,543 people who were on the Live Register at the end of January.
All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their post office tomorrow, Tuesday, 23rd February.
Tomorrow will also see PUP arrears, totalling €12.49 million, being paid to approximately 38,600 people.
This brings the total amount being paid out this week to €154.37 million and the overall amount since the introduction of the PUP last March to over €6 billion.
Construction is the sector that has seen the largest decrease in the number of people receiving PUP this week, with 1,120 fewer people receiving the payment compared to last week.
The Wholesale and Retail sector has seen the number of PUP recipients decrease from 75,927 last week to 75,196 this week. This is followed by the Manufacturing sector, which has seen the number of PUP recipients decrease from 27,212 last week to 26,618 this week.
Some 50% of those receiving PUP are receiving the maximum rate of €350 this week.
People returning to work
The past seven days saw people from every county close their PUP claims as they were returning to work.
Overall, some 10,941 people closed their PUP claims, with 9,862 of these stating that they were doing so because they are returning to work.
Dublin had the greatest number of people closing their claims to return to work (2,378), followed by Cork (1,060) and Wexford (619).
The top three sectors with the largest number of employees closing their Pandemic Unemployment Payment to return to work are Construction (2,369), Wholesale and Retail Trade (1,461), and Manufacturing (1,388).
The Department continues to remind workers who are returning to work that they must close their claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) on the actual date that they start back at work, in order to ensure that their claim is processed correctly and to avoid incurring an overpayment that the Department will take steps to recover.
The easiest way to close a claim for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is online via www.MyWelfare.ie. Any worker returning to work with an enquiry about closing their claim, can contact the Department’s dedicated Income Support Helpline at 1890 800 024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.
Speaking today on the latest PUP figures, Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys said:
“For the second time in two weeks, we have seen the number of people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment decrease. We have also seen decreases in the number of PUP recipients across every county which is to be welcomed.
“We have now paid over €6 billion through the PUP since the introduction of this emergency support last March.
“To put this into context, during the space of 11 months, the Department has paid almost three times more in PUP than it did in Jobseeker’s payments for all of last year.
“This demonstrates the Government’s commitment to supporting workers and indeed businesses during this difficult time for our country.
“As we move forward, the Government will not be found wanting in supporting our citizens as we continue to do all we can to suppress this virus.
Minister Humphreys also reminded people that financial assistance continues to be made available from her Department for people who need it.
“I would like to remind people that there are financial supports, which are means assessed, available to people should they need to access them.
“For example, assistance with heating costs is available in situations where an individual or a family has a particular financial need.
“I have also extended the protocol between Tusla and my Department until the end of the year for Rent Supplement to be made available to victims of domestic violence. My Department’s officials will put these arrangements in place for any individual or family on referral from Tusla or a Tusla funded service provider.”
The details of these supports are available under the Department’s Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme and can be viewed on the Department’s website www.gov.ie/dsp or by contacting its Income Support Helpline at 1890 800 024 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.