The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on or after 13 March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications will now be accepted until the end of 2020.
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place until April 2021.
How to qualify
You can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you:
- are aged between 18 and 66 years old and
- are currently living in the Republic of Ireland and
- have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- were self-employed and your trading income has ceased or reduced due to COVID-19 to the extent that you would be available to take up full-time employment and
- are not in receipt of any income from an employer and
- are genuinely seeking work
The payment also applies if you:
- worked in the Republic of Ireland or were a cross border frontier worker or
- are a non-EU/EEA worker who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- are a student (or a non-EU/EEA student) who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- are living in Direct Provision and have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- are a part-time worker
You cannot qualify for this payment if you:
- voluntarily left your employment or self-employment
- do not meet the above criteria
You must also inform the department if your circumstances change.
The department can confirm that there are no plans in place to share any data we receive as part of an immigrant’s application for a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment with GNIB or the Department of Justice and Equality.
Rate of payment
From 2 October 2020 until 31 January 2021 the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be paid at 4 rates.
- if you earned €400 or more – you will receive €350
- if you earned between €300 and €399.99 per week – the rate of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is €300 per week
- if you earned between €200 and €299.99 per week – the rate of the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be €250 per week
- if you earned less than €200 per week – you will receive €203 per week, which is the same as the primary rate of Jobseeker’s Benefit
How your rate is calculated for the new October 2020 rate payment
There will be further changes to rates on 1 February 2021 and 1 April 2021
The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid in arrears, with the payment week running from Friday to Thursday.
Payment is made by electronic transfer (for example, into your bank or credit union account) and only into accounts held in Irish financial institutions. You can also choose to collect your payment at a post office.
You can nominate your local post office when applying online and you will need to bring a form of ID with you when collecting your payment at the post office. Payments will be made into a bank or credit union account or to a nominated post office every Tuesday once an application is processed.
If you were working and were also in receipt of any social welfare payment such as a Carer’s Payment, Working Family Payment (WFP) or One-Parent Family Payment, you can, provided you have lost your job due to COVID-19, also claim the COVID-19 emergency payment, in addition to retaining your existing welfare payment.
The COVID-19 Payment Unemployment Payment will replace your employment income and will be regarded by the department as equivalent to employment income.
New applications for this payment will be accepted until the end of 2020. The quickest and easiest way to apply for this payment is online at mywelfare.ie.