Government intervention through the introduction of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) and other targeted supports has provided key financial assistance to employees and businesses who have been impacted by Covid-19. Since last March over 820,000 people have benefited from the PUP and the total expenditure is approximately €5.7 billion. These figures reflect the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on our economy and society and demonstrate also the Government's commitment to continue to provide effective targeted supports.
The supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme is the safety net within the overall social welfare system in that it provides assistance to eligible people in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependants. Supports provided under the SWA scheme can consist of a basic weekly payment, a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of certain expenses, as well as single exceptional needs payments (ENPs) and urgent needs payments (UNPs).
Statistics are maintained on the number of applications awarded under the SWA scheme, however they are not maintained on the number of applications received or the outcome of those applications.
The Department matched the details of the 481,300 current PUP recipients against claims awarded under the SWA scheme during the period from March to December 2020. The results show that 12,874 of those currently receiving a PUP payments received a payment under the SWA scheme during that time. There were:
- 3,206 basic SWA claims,
- 10,428 rent supplement claims, and
- 166 SWA supplements awarded.
In addition, 6,676 exceptional needs payments issued during the same period to people currently receiving PUP.
Please note that a person may have received more than one payment under the different SWA schemes. Also, it may be the case that a person may have claimed a SWA payment during a period when they were not in receipt of PUP. It should also be noted that the PUP was paid under urgent needs payments legislation until August 2020. These payments have not been included in this reply.
I trust that this clarifies the position.