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Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (448)

Alan Kelly


448. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason access to the pandemic unemployment payment has been refused for a musician (details supplied); if she will address this matter given the significant loss of future income due to Covid-19 restrictions; the eligibility criteria for a musician to get the payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [61661/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was introduced as an emergency measure to provide an income support to those who had lost their employment as a result of Covid. The scheme closed to new applications on 8 July 2021.

Following the announcement of the introduction of a range of public health measures with effect from Tuesday 7 December 2021 to help to reduce the spread of Covid-19, the Government has decided to reopen for a limited period the PUP to support people who lose employment arising from the new restrictions.

These measures will have a particular impact on sectors such as hospitality, the night-time economy, and the arts and entertainment sectors.

A self-employed person whose income from self-employment ceased or reduced since 7 December 2021 due to the introduction of the public health restrictions announced on that date is eligible to receive the PUP. This includes musicians.

The person concerned was in receipt of the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme for the Self-Employed (PTSE). The scheme is available to self-employed people who were in receipt of the PUP or a Jobseeker’s payment in the week immediately prior to their application and are returning to or increasing their self-employment for up to a maximum of 24 hours per week. The person concerned re-applied for the PUP following the introduction of public health measures from 7 December 2021 and the resulting impact on their self-employment. Their application has been processed and awarded. However, as the person had failed to take steps to close their existing claim for PTSE, this stopped their PUP claim and a communication issued to the customer advising them of that. The matter has now been addressed and I am pleased to inform the Deputy that payment of the PUP has issued to the person.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.