The exceptional measures required to encourage social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) has an immediate impact on many employers. Although these measures are temporary they have led, and will lead, to temporary business closures.

Employers have an important role to play in helping the country to respond.

Important information for employers:

  • Following discussions with some industry groups, the Government is asking employers, if at all possible, to continue to pay workers during this period.
  • Where employers who have to cease trading because of the impact of social distancing continue to pay workers, they will be able to claim refunds from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). A temporary refund scheme is being established for this purpose.
  • This refund will be for €350 per worker per week. This means that workers retain their link with employers and there is no need for them personally to submit a job seekers claim.
  • The refund scheme will take some time to set up but, in the meantime, the Banks have been requested to provide working capital finance in the form of overdrafts or short term loans to cover costs.

Important information for people whose employer cannot continue to pay them:

  • For those people whose employer can’t continue to pay them and are laid off without pay, the DEASP is introducing a new support payment specifically designed to enable large numbers of people to receive a payment as quickly as possible.
  • The payment will have a simple, one page application form, which is available here.
  • The DEASP is assigning additional staff including staff from other departments to ensure all of these claims are processed as quickly as possible.

There is no need to visit an Intreo Centre

  • As social distancing measures are being advised, there is no need to visit an Intreo Centre to make an application. Intreo Centres have to apply social distancing recommendations so queues will be long and people who call may have to wait a long time.
  • Application forms can be downloaded online and submitted by post.
  • People with a registered MyGovID account can make the claim entirely online.
  • Possession or otherwise of a Public Service Card (PSC) will not delay payment – anybody without a PSC will be required to provide proof of identity but, in these exceptional circumstances, payment will be processed even if identity has not yet been verified.

Applying for income support

  • The quickest and best way to make an application for income support from the DEASP is through the online portal
  • An application form for the new Covid-19 Pandemic Support Payment can be downloaded from the Department’s website. This form can be posted to the Department or dropped in to any of our offices.
  • Phone the Department on 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 and they will send you the relevant application form.

All payments will be backdated to date of entitlement

All claims will be processed as quickly as possible and all payments backdated to the date of entitlement (last day of work) so nobody will lose out.

Note from the DEASP Regarding the New Temporary Covid-19 Support Payment

Given the very high claim volumes and in order to speed up processing, the temporary payment is being paid at a flat rate of €203 per person per week and is not subject to any means test or social insurance contribution requirements.

People who have dependent children and adults can, in addition to claiming the Covid-19 payment, claim the standard Jobseeker payment. This payment will be processed over the coming weeks and all arrears for dependents will be paid back to the date the person concerned last worked.

Any person who faces particular financial difficulty while awaiting dependent payments during this temporary period can claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance by calling our helpline number 1890 800 024.