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Welfare changes in-store for PUP recipients at the end of payment – what this means for you

Pandemic unemployment benefit has now ended, more than two years after it was introduced.

The PUP was originally introduced in March 2020 as a six-week measure to support people who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic and associated restrictions.

It was initially a flat rate of €350 per week, until it was restructured to be based on the beneficiary’s pre-Covid income.

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As the pandemic spread, so did the PUP – but its weekly value was reduced over time, ending at €208.

It was closed to new applicants in January and the final round of payments was sent last week to just 44,747 people.

From today, those who have received the PUP will be transferred to the payment of Jobseeker’s Allowance, if found eligible.

To qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance, you must be aged 18 or over and under 66 and either fully unemployed or working three days a week or less.

You must pass a means test and be capable and fully available for work, and genuinely seeking employment.

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You will continue to receive your PUP allowance until your jobseeker’s allowance claim has been processed by the Department of Social Affairs.

If you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 or have been told by your doctor or the HSE to self-isolate, you should apply for COVID-19 Enhanced Sickness Benefit. Both employees and the self-employed can benefit from this benefit.

More than €9.1 billion has been paid out in PUP payments since the support was introduced.

The employee wage subsidy scheme, which was also introduced by the government at the start of the pandemic, has also been cut in recent weeks.

The rate paid per worker has been reduced to €100 until April 30, after which the scheme will end.

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