Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Ceisteanna (849, 850)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

849. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her Department sought legal advice in advance of her decision to withhold access to the pandemic unemployment payment to asylum seekers in direct provision who have lost their employment due to the pandemic. [12447/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

850. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will reconsider her decision to withhold access to the pandemic unemployment payment to asylum seekers in direct provision who have lost their employment due to the pandemic. [12448/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 849 and 850 together.

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 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. The matter of legal advice is privileged.

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

I trust that this clarifies the position for the Deputy.