Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Social Protection Minister, Heather Humphreys TD, has today secured Government approval to extend the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Enhanced Illness Benefit until June 30th, 2021.

The two schemes, introduced as a direct response to the Pandemic, were due to expire on March 31st.

Minister Humphreys also confirmed that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment will remain open to new entrants.

It will continue to be paid at four rates (€350, €300, €250 and €203) which are linked to a person’s prior income.

Meanwhile, the Enhanced Illness Benefit will continue to be paid at the rate of €350 up until June 30th, 2021.

The Enhanced Illness Benefit is available to people who are diagnosed by their medical doctor with the Covid-19 virus or who are required by their medical doctor to self-isolate.  The rate of payment is €350 per week.

Unlike the Department’s general Illness Benefit, there are no waiting days attached to this payment, so it is paid from day one of illness or self-isolation.

Minister Humphreys also secured Government approval to extend the waiver on waiting days for Jobseeker’s payments until the end of June 2021.  Essentially, this means that when a person applies for either Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance, their payment is paid from day one.

Ordinarily, when a person applies for either of these two payments, they are not paid for the first 3 days – they are called ‘waiting days’.

Previously, the ‘waiting days’ requirement was waived at the onset of Covid-19, to facilitate people who got temporary work.

This measure was due to expire at the end of March but will now be extended in line with the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Enhanced Illness Benefit.

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

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