ADVICE AND ENTITLEMENTS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST EMPLOYMENT FROM COVID-19 AND RELATED ISSUES
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 €203 per week – 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.
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), 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.
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.
On Thursday 19th March the Government approved a series of emergency measures to protect tenants who have been impacted by COVID-19. Moratoriums 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.
From the evening of 12 March 2020, all schools, colleges and childcare facilities in Ireland closed. While children are at home, they should practice social distancing such as minimising social contact, avoiding meeting up and keeping physical space between them and other people.
Parents and guardians are urged to support their children to maintain this approach. The Department of Education and Skills has information about Talking to children and young people about COVID-19.
The European Consumer Centre has information about holiday cancellations and other related issues.
The Irish Travel Agents Association advise that you speak to your travel agent if you have any concerns.
If you are traveling to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you should ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card.
Note: DEBRA recommends the website of Citizen’s Information, which is accurate, accessible and regularly updated.
Further Advice from DEBRA Ireland
DEBRA recommends that if you have EB or if you are concerned that employment redeployment may put you in higher risk of catching COVID-19 and transmitting it to someone in your family with EB, you should contact your employer/HR unit as soon as possible.