Arrangements have been put in place to process new applications made by people for the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) over the Christmas period, the Minister for Social Protection has said.
Heather Humphreys told Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting that measures had been put in place to ensure those who require income support will receive it as quickly as possible in the coming days.
It comes as the Cabinet agreed to renew Level 5 restrictions nationwide from Christmas Eve to manage the spread of Covid-19 — a move set to shutter restaurants, pubs and other businesses.
The Government has advised those applying for the PUP to do so online at www.MyWelfare.ie, saying those who apply anytime up to and including Christmas Eve will receive that payment within a week of their application.
“I want to assure all workers that the pandemic unemployment payment remains open for applications and will be available to assist people who lose their job in the coming days,” Minister Humhreys said.
“I have put arrangements in place for people who will be losing their jobs at this very difficult time and officials in my Department will be working throughout the Christmas period so that applications will be processed without delay.
“These are not easy decisions but people’s health is the key priority and the measures being taken by Government are essential to protect lives and keep people safe,” the Minister said of new restrictions.
Those who make a new application for the PUP by close of business on December 23rd will receive payment by December 30th, and those who apply on December 24th will receive payment by December 31st.
Those who apply on any date from December 25th to close of business on December 31st will be paid on the normal PUP payment date of January 5th.
The Department said those already in receipt of the PUP will not receive a payment next week, as they received a double week payment on Tuesday.
The Government has also decided to widen and extend a variety of Covid-19 supports for businesses in light of pending Level 5 restrictions.
This includines a double payment of the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payment, paid to businesses forced to shut, for the next two weeks, with weekly payments resuming after that.
Hotels will also be included in the payment, even if they remain open for a small number of guests.
To date, payments totalling €114 million have been made to 15,600 business premises under the CRSS.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme will also be continued to help maintain people in jobs, and there will be a commercial rates holiday in the first quarter of 2021.
Also in place are extensive tax warehousing arrangements, reduced VAT rates, the spend and stay scheme, and a range of reduced cost loans, grants and voucher schemes.