Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Questions (1009)

Bríd Smith

Question:

1009. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for stopping the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment to residents in direct provision centres who lost their jobs as a result of the crisis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8123/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment was introduced as a time-limited, emergency income support measure to meet the dramatic surge in unemployment as a consequence of the pandemic.

Applicants for International Protection accommodated under the system of Direct Provision operated by the International Protection Accommodation Services of the Department of Justice and Equality are provided with full board accommodation and other facilities and services. People in direct provision receive a daily expenses allowance payment from my Department payable at the weekly rate of €38.80 for adults and €29.80 for children. In this situation, the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is not payable where the person’s needs are being met through the services provided by the accommodation centre and the daily expenses allowance payment.

Where applicants for International Protection live in the community outside the direct provision system, they are eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if they meet the conditions for the payment.

Applicants for international protection receive can continue to receive assistance under the Exceptional Needs Payment scheme to meet with any costs that cannot be met from their weekly allowance.

I trust that this clarifies the position for the Deputy.