COVID-19 – Financial Support & Government Incentive

Many people are experiencing additional financial hardship due to COVID-19. The following are a list of options for financial support.

Grants: DEBRA Ireland are currently offering a hardship grant of €500 per family. To check eligibility and discuss other grants available please get in touch with the Family Support team on deirdre@debraireland.org (0861838864) or eodonnell@debraireland.org (0872903084).

Social welfare

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has announced a new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

This new payment is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost employment due to a downturn in economic activity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The payment has a simple one–page application form and will be paid for a period of 6 weeks at a flat rate payment of €350 per week. Read the following document on the ‘Citizens Information’ Website new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

If your employer reduces your hours to 3 days or less per week from your normal full-time hours, you can apply for a payment called Short Time Work Support which is a form of Jobseeker’s Benefit.

On 19 March 2020, DEASP announced that social welfare payments will paid on a double (two-week) basis. This means that instead of being paid weekly, you will be paid your social welfare payment every 2 weeks. This reduces the need for people to leave home during the COVID-19 pandemic to collect social welfare payments in post offices and support social distancing. The new measure applies both to people who collect their payments at post offices and people who are paid into a bank account.

Find out more about your employment rights during the COVID-19 restrictions

People who are ill

There are changes to the Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance rules to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus. These changes require legislation.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are medically required to self-isolate, you can get enhanced Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance. When the legislation is completed, workers will be entitled to any arrears due from 9 March when the new payment rates begin.

If you are on an employment programme such as Community Employment (CE) and Tús or a funded training and education programme, or if you are already getting a social welfare payment, you do not need to apply for Illness Benefit. Your existing payment will continue to be paid if you are affected by coronavirus.

If you have coronavirus symptoms or you have been medically required to self-isolate, you should not visit an Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office. You can get information about applying for social welfare payments through MyWelfare. You can also call 1890 800 024 or (01) 248 1398.

Find out more about coronavirus and social welfare payments.

Utilities

The Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU), along with the gas and electricity Suppliers recognise that some customers may be isolated at home over the coming days and weeks.

With effect from 8am on 17 March 2020, the following measures have been put in place to help you remain connected to your electricity and gas supplies during this period:

  • Domestic disconnections are suspended until 29 March
  • Emergency credit levels for prepaid (Pay As You Go) gas meters will increase from €10 to €100
  • Suppliers will offer online and over the phone top up services if you have a prepaid (Pay As You Go) electricity meter and cannot reach a shop

You can read the full announcement on the CRU’s website.

Housing

On Thursday 19th March the Government approved a series of emergency measures to protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. Moratoriums or freezes on evictions and rent increases are being introduced for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency, to ensure people can stay in their homes during this period. The notice period for tenancies of less than six months is also being increased from 28 to 90 days.

See the full announcement here.

UPDATES

COVID-19 INFORMATION BOOKLET

April 6th 2020

DEBRA International have produced an information booklet on COVID-19 for the EB Community…. Read More

COVID-19 PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT PAYMENT

March 23rd 2020

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has announced a new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment…. Read More

COVID-19 STATEMENT

March 11th 2020

Coronavirus is a respiratory disease which seems to start with a fever, followed by a dry cough… Read More

RESOURCES/USEFUL CONTACTS

There is a lot of information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), make sure you only follow advice from reliable sources and check regularly for updates:

Some useful contacts