Numbers Claiming Unemployment Payments Closing In On 800,000


The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has today issued payments to 584,000 people in respect of their application for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. Around 50,000 are receiving a payment for the first time.

These payments are in addition to the 212,000 people on the Live Register and over 46,000 employers have now registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy scheme.

All Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment payments issued will be in recipients’ bank accounts or at their local post office tomorrow, Tuesday 21st April.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty today said:

“Between our Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, those on the Live Register and workers who are benefitting from the wage subsidy scheme, over a million people are receiving some sort of state income support – a situation unparalleled in our nation’s history. This is a temporary health emergency and many sectors of the economy will be able to switch back on relatively quickly once the danger has passed.

“However, some sectors will be slower than others to recover and we will also have a challenge with youth employment as many young people who could have expected to have entered a buoyant jobs market will now face a much more complex environment. Understanding this, my Department is already planning for the post-pandemic environment and considering the best measures to help every worker to get back into the labour force as quickly as possible.”

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

In total (since launch on the 16th March, 2020), and excluding duplicate claims, the Department processed applications from 672,000 people for the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment or a jobseeker’s payment.

To date, over 51,000 people have contacted the Department to close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. The majority of these requests are because employers are taking people back onto their payroll under the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme.

However, approximately 52,000 payments have been withheld for a variety of reasons. These include the people concerned who were still in employment, who had not been in employment prior to claiming the Covid-19 payment, a Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy was being paid in their name, who were not resident in the State or because they submitted incorrect details including invalid PPSNs and IBANs.

The Department is continuing to resolve any issues, such as invalid IBANS or PPSNs, with legitimate applications and is contacting the people concerned directly over the next few days. We wish to remind people to take care when submitting applications, to ensure that critical information such as dates of birth, PPSN and IBANs are entered correctly. An IBAN has 22 characters and people should take care that it is entered correctly. Any errors by individuals in submitting their incorrect IBAN or PPSN will cause their application to be rejected by the Department.

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme

There are now over 46,000 employers who have registered with the Revenue Commissioners for the Temporary Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS). Workers whose employers have registered them on the scheme are not eligible to receive a pandemic unemployment payment. In addition workers who were in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment but who have now been registered by their employers on the TWSS are no longer eligible to receive a payment pandemic unemployment payment

The Department is aware that some workers may be incorrectly registered as part of the TWSS or may face difficulty in transitioning back from the pandemic unemployment payment to the employer payroll. Such a situation may arise, for example, because a worker has been registered in error by their employer, or because an employer having registered for the TWSS has since ceased operating their payroll, or, due to differences in the weekly payment pattern of the pandemic unemployment payment as compared with a monthly or fortnightly payroll from the employer. Any worker affected by these issues can contact the Department and arrangements will be made to restore their payment or provide them with interim income support as appropriate.

Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

There are now 32,000 people medically certified for receipt of the Covid-19 enhanced Illness Benefit. This predominantly relates to applications in respect of people who have been advised by their GP to self-isolate together with a smaller number in respect of people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

Please apply online at

The Department wishes to thank its customers for submitting the majority of applications through our online portal This is the quickest and easiest way to submit an application and enables the Department to allocate resources to contacting those who submitted invalid applications.

Individuals can close their Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment online at

In the interests of the public health advice and the restrictions on movements please if at all possible do not attend your local Intreo Centre as opening hours have now been restricted. Instead please apply through

County Breakdown

County Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 21st April 2020 Number of people in receipt of Pandemic Unemployment Payments on 14th April 2020


Carlow 7,700 7,200  
Cavan 9,500 8,600  
Clare 14,300 13,000  
Cork 60,400 55,600  
Donegal 22,000 20,000  
Dublin 169,100 152,700  
Galway 31,600 29,100  
Kerry 21,500 19,600  
Kildare 25,500 23,400  
Kilkenny 10,400 9,600  
Laois 8,400 7,700  
Leitrim 4,000 3,700  
Limerick 22,100 20,000  
Longford 4,400 4,000  
Louth 16,900 15,400  
Mayo 16,100 14,900  
Meath 24,500 22,400  
Monaghan 7,900 7,200  
Offaly 8,700 8,000  
Roscommon 7,000 6,300  
Sligo 7,600 7,000  
Tipperary 18,400 16,900  
Waterford 13,900 12,900  
Westmeath 11,600 10,600  
Wexford 20,100 18,400  
Wicklow 18,200 16,600  
County not included 2,200 2,200  

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Pandemic Payments – April 20 – 2020