Welfare: Big change in days to see income slashed for thousands of people receiving one payment

People receiving Pandemic Unemployment Benefit are expected to see their income drop again within days.

The phasing out of the PUP continues with the end of the social benefit in April.

Thousands of people continue to receive the payment introduced in March 2020 in response to Covid-19.

However, these members of the public are expected to see their income decline once again.

From March 8, anyone still benefiting from the PUP will switch to a weekly rate of €208.

This will apply to people who earned €400 or more before the pandemic.

The PUP is expected to be cut again on March 8.

This announcement was made by the Department of Social Protection on January 21 in light of the easing of Covid restrictions.

Following the changes in less than a week, a final plan for the PUP will go into effect on April 5.

From that date, PUP recipients will begin transitioning to standard Job Seeker terms and, if eligible, transition to a Job Seeker Payment.

The most recent figures show around 67,000 people are still claiming payment.

As of February 8, more than 9.1 billion euros paid in PUPs to date.

Heather Humphrey

Commenting last month, Social Welfare Minister Heather Humphreys said: “Without a doubt, the PUP has acted as life support since the start of this pandemic, having dampened the incomes of hundreds of thousands of workers.

“In fact, over €9.1 billion has been paid out in PUP payments since the support was introduced.

“With the economy fully reopening, it is welcome to see the number of people receiving the PUP dropping over the past seven days, with further drops expected in the coming weeks.

“In the meantime, we will continue to roll out the suite of supports under the government’s Pathways to Work strategy, which will be essential as we begin our recovery from Covid-19.”