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Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 July 2020

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Ceisteanna (766, 790, 791, 792, 793, 852, 867, 875)

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

766. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if clarity can be provided to self-employed persons particularly in the arts sector with regard to the pandemic unemployment payment (details supplied); and if it will be necessary for persons to turn down those one off offers of temporary work in order to continue to receive the pandemic unemployment payment. [20327/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Chris Andrews

Ceist:

790. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person’s 2018 tax returns will only be accepted when applying for the pandemic unemployment payment even when a person has submitted their 2019 returns. [19913/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Chris Andrews

Ceist:

791. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person that applied for the pandemic unemployment payment and submitted their 2019 tax returns was rejected on their 2018 tax returns; her views on the validity of this decision; the reason the most recent returns are not taken into account; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19914/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Chris Andrews

Ceist:

792. Deputy Chris Andrews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if there is a specific policy in place that explains the way in which one set of workers can earn €50 a week and qualify based on an additional support and yet another set is disqualified in the exact same circumstances (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19915/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Cian O'Callaghan

Ceist:

793. Deputy Cian O'Callaghan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the Revenue Commissioners know the date that a sole trader was incorporated and began earning, if those earnings be prorated to the period of incorporation for the purpose of establishing welfare benefits; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19948/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Cormac Devlin

Ceist:

852. Deputy Cormac Devlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the arrangements in place for self-employed persons that wish to access the pandemic unemployment payment with regard to taxi drivers that have suffered a significant reduction in their income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20215/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Steven Matthews

Ceist:

867. Deputy Steven Matthews asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if clarity can be provided to self-employed persons particularly in the arts sector with regard to the pandemic unemployment payment (details supplied); and if it will be necessary for persons to turn down those one off offers of temporary work in order to continue to receive the pandemic unemployment payment. [20326/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

875. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will consider changing the qualifying requirements for the pandemic unemployment payment for persons that are both self-employed and part-time workers in order that they can have their total income assessed rather than just the PAYE part; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20545/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 766, 790, 791, 792, 793, 852, 867 and 875 together.

I have announced today that any self-employed person in receipt of the lower rate of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) who has submitted their 2019 returns to the Revenue Commissioners and feels that it may make a difference to their rate, can request a review of their PUP payment from my Department.

The PUP has two rates of payment based on an individual’s previous earnings from employment. The higher rate of €350 per week is paid to people whose earnings from employment were €200 or more per week while the lower rate of €203 per week is for who earned less than €200 per week. When calculating an individual’s entitlement my Department assesses their income based on returns to the Revenue Commissioners. Where a person is an employee their gross average weekly income for either 2019 or the months of January and February 2020 is used, whichever is the more favourable. Where a person is self-employed their gross average weekly income for 2018 is used to calculate the rate of the pandemic unemployment payment which is the last tax year for which complete verifiable data on self-employed income is available.

If an individual has submitted their 2019 returns to Revenue and they consider that these are more beneficial, they can request a review of their PUP rate of payment from my Department. My Department will examine each case using the updated 2019 Revenue tax information and if the person has average earnings of €200 or more will increase their PUP payment to the higher rate of €350 per week.

Reviews can be submitted to PUPRerate@welfare.ie and should be accompanied by supporting documentation. My Department will process applications for review as quickly as possible.

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