Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (543)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

543. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection if the Covid-19 emergency measures will be amended to make persons over 66 years of age that would still be working if not for Covid-19 eligible for the pandemic unemployment payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26436/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The pandemic unemployment payment is payable to people between the ages of 18 up to 66 which is consistent with other social protection schemes payable to people of working age who have lost their employment. People aged 66 years and over are provided for through the contributory State pension or the non-contributory State means tested pension.

A person in receipt of the State contributory pension can retain their entire State pension and employment income.  If a person does not have the required number of contributions to receive the maximum rate of State Pension Contributory they may qualify for an increased rate of State non-contributory pension, depending on their circumstances.  People receiving the non-contributory State pension who also have employment income may have their pension payment increased if they lose their employment income due to the pandemic or if it is reduced.

People aged 66 and over may also be entitled to ancillary supports which are significantly more valuable than those generally available to people of working age.  These include free travel, fuel allowance, household benefits package for gas or electricity costs and living alone allowance.

A person of any age who is experiencing financial hardship may access assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme including Exceptional and Urgent Needs Payments. Information on the supports available under this scheme is available at www.gov.ie.

I hope that this clarifies the position for you.

Questions Nos. 544 and 545 answered with Question No. 531.