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Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Ceisteanna (95)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

95. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason the eligibility criteria for the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment has changed to only include those that have paid PRSI contributions; her views on whether this has negatively affected self-employed persons and small businesses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34132/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) was introduced as a statutory social welfare benefit scheme on 5 August 2020 to continue to mitigate the adverse economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To facilitate customers, streamline processes and improve payment integrity the Department has, since PUP was first introduced in an emergency manner last March, implemented system checks to validate a person’s prior employment and earnings using PAYE and self-employment returns made to the Revenue Commissioners. The Department checks Revenue records to validate prior employment and to assess earnings for the purpose of establishing the correct earnings-related PUP payment rate. The vast majority of claims can be assessed quickly, and payment issued promptly, using this process.

In cases where there are no earnings data available, which represent a small percentage of the overall claims, the Department contacts the people concerned and asks them to submit any evidence that they may have attesting to their employment and earnings. In cases where supplementary information is provided the issue is generally resolved with payment issuing within a week of the information being received. Financial support is available via the Community Welfare Service under the means tested supplementary welfare allowance to any person facing an urgent income need during this period.

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

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