Applying for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

If you lost your job on or after December 7 2021 as a result of new COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to receive the PUP
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The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is for those who have become unemployed or lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The payment scheme closed to new applications in July 2021. It has temporarily reopened for individuals, including the self-employed, who lost their employment on or after 7 December 2021 following the introduction of COVID-19 related public health restrictions.

What is the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

The payment is designed to quickly deliver a social welfare payment to unemployed people and provide income security during the pandemic. 

Am I eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

If you lost your job or were temporarily laid off on or after December 7 2021 as a result of the latest COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for the PUP payment. If you are self-employed and your trading income ceased or reduced on or after December 7, you may also qualify for the payment. To meet the requirements, you will also need to be:

  • Aged between 18 and 66 years old 
  • Currently living in the Republic of Ireland
  • Not in receipt of any income from an employer
  • Genuinely seeking work

You will not qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you voluntarily left your employment or self-employment.

Can I receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment if I have COVID-19 or am isolating?

If you are looking for income support due to self-isolation or illness from COVID-19 then you must apply for the Enhanced Illness Benefit for COVID-19.

Can I receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment if I am a student?

Students who lost their job on or after December 7 2021 as a result of the new restrictions can apply for the PUP. If you do not meet this requirement but are seeking financial assistance, see our article about financial supports for college students in Ireland.

How much is the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

The amount of money that you receive will depend on when you lost work and how much income you received in your most recent employment.

Rates of payment for those who lost work on or after December 7 2021

If you lost employment on or after December 7 2021 and are eligible to receive PUP, the following weekly rates apply:

  • If your previous weekly earnings were €400 or more, you will receive €350 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were between €300 and €399, you will receive €300 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were between €200 and €299, you will receive €250 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were between €151.50 and €200, you will receive €203 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were less than €151.50, you will receive €150 per week

Rates of payment for those who lost their jobs before July 7 2021

The PUP rates for those who lost work before July 7 2021 is gradually being reduced. The weekly rate of PUP for these people was reduced by €50 on the following dates:

  • September 7th 2021
  • November 16th 2021

If you lost work before July 7 2021 and have been receiving the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, the following rates apply:

  • If your previous weekly earnings were €400 or more, you will receive €250 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were between €300 and €399.99, you will receive €203 per week
  • If your previous weekly earnings were between €200 and €299.99 and you were on the €203 rate of payment until November 9 2021, you will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.
  • If your previous weekly earnings were less than €200 per week and you were on the €203 rate of payment until September 7 2021, the process of moving to standard jobseeker’s terms began on October 26

From February 8 2022, these rates will be reduced again. If your previously weekly earnings were €400 or more, you will receive €203. All remaining COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment recipients will start moving to standard jobseeker’s terms.

How can I apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

New PUP applications are only being accepted for those who lost employment on or after December 7 2021.

To apply online or find out more about the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, visit mywelfare.ie. You will be asked to provide personal details, information about your most recent employment and payment details.

What happens when I go back to work?

If you return to work, you will have to stop your payment. To stop your payment, visit MyWelfare.ie under the COVID-19 payment section.

Here are a list of situations where you will be required to stop your payment:

  • Your employer is paying you
  • You have returned to your job or have found another job
  • You did not lose your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • You are not genuinely seeking work
  • You are leaving Ireland

If you are returning to work and your hours have been reduced, you might be eligible to receive another social welfare payment. Find out more about what social welfare schemes you can enter if you return to employment.

Support with the Pandemic Unemployment Payment

If you have questions about the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, there is support available.

Income Support Helpline

If you need more information or assistance with your social welfare payment, you can contact the DEASP Income Support Helpline for COVID-19 at 0818 800024, or your local Intreo office.

Need more information?

Would you like more information? Maybe you would like to talk through your own situation? Get in touch through our online chat system for 16 to 25 year olds – Monday to Friday 4pm to 8pm.

Feeling overwhelmed and want to talk to someone?

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