pup cuts | 

PUP rates to be slashed again on February 8 - despite Omicron surge

There have already been a number of changes to the PUP rates since the emergency social welfare payment was introduced in March 2020
Neil Fetherstonhaugh

Changes to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) will see rates slashed once again on February 8.

For people who earned €400 or more before losing their job, the new rate of payment will be €208 per week.

The Department of Social Protection said that all remaining PUP recipients will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms from that date.

There have already been a number of changes to the PUP rates since the emergency social welfare payment was introduced in March 2020.

The most recent of these was last November. If recipients earned between €200 and €299.99 per week and were on the €203 rate of payment up to November 9, they then began moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.

For those who earned between €300 and €399.99 per week - the rate of payment is now €203 per week.

And if claimants earned €400 or more, the rate of payment dropped to €250 per week.

This week the Department of Social Protection issued weekly payments valued at €16.66 million to 66,905 people in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

This represents an increase of 9,302 on the number of people in receipt of the payment on December 21 last.

These figures are in addition to the 164,626 people who were on the Live Register at the end of November.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payments was paid into recipients’ bank accounts or at their post office on Tuesday, January 4.

The sector with the highest number of people receiving PUP this week is Accommodation and Food Service Activities (12,717) and is followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade (10,832) and Administrative and Support Service activities (7,520).

Separately, there were 14,439 people in receipt of the Enhanced Illness Benefit.

Minister Heather Humphreys last week announced that the Department has expanded the range of documentation customers can use to apply for the Enhanced Illness Benefit.

“As the Omicron variant continues to pose significant challenges, it is vitally important that we take every necessary step to protect ourselves and our families from infection,” the minister said.

“My clear message to anyone who receives a positive test or is displaying symptoms is to follow public health advice and self-isolate immediately.

“As a result of changes I introduced last week, the Enhanced Illness Benefit is being provided on a more flexible basis.

“For example, people under the age of 40 who apply for an antigen test from the HSE can use this proof of application to apply for Enhanced Illness Benefit for the days they are out of work.

“My Department is currently receiving a large volume of applications and it is making every effort to process these as quickly as possible. The quickest and easiest way to apply is online through www.MyWelfare.ie.”

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