The Department of Social Protection confirmed that in order to be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment you must have been in insurable employment and paid tax with your last employer, immediately prior to being laid off from your last job. If you did not pay tax with your last employer and you have been laid off, you are no longer entitled to apply and receive the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.
However, if you did make PRSI contributions immediately prior to being laid off, you can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment if you also satisfy the following:
- are aged between 18 and 66 years old and
- are currently living in the Republic of Ireland and
- have lost your job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic or
- were self-employed and your trading income has ceased or reduced due to COVID-19 to the extent that you would be available to take up full-time employment and
- are not in receipt of any income from an employer and
- are genuinely seeking work
However, if you did not pay tax with your last job and you are:
- undocumented and
- you have been laid off and
- you are affected by Covid-19 and
- you are in financial hardship and
- you have a PPS number
You can try to apply for an Exceptional Needs Payment or Urgent Needs Payment.
See how to apply below.
An Exceptional Needs Payment (ENP) is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
For example, the payment can be for bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time, visiting relatives in hospital or prison, funeral costs or for clothing in exceptional circumstances.
An Urgent Needs Payment (UNP) is a once-off payment made to persons, including those who may not normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance, but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or an alternative is not available at that time.
Examples of this would be to meet immediate needs, such as food, clothing or shelter.
Both payments are administered by the Community Welfare Service (CWS) of the Department and are discretionary. Each case will be reviewed individually, and there is no automatic right to the payment.
How to apply:
You can apply for any of these payments:
Fill in the form and send it by post to your local Community Welfare Office.
- By physically attending your local Community Welfare Office
Tip: In “PART 10: OTHER INFORMATION” state what type of assistance you are looking for Exceptional Needs Payment or Urgent Needs Payment and explain your current financial and family situation.
To help process your claim, you should include the following if available:
- Personal Public Service (PPS) numbers for yourself, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and your children
- Proof of address (any bill, tenancy agreement, bank statement, tax documents or any official document in your name)
- Proof of identity, for example, a Public Services Card (if you have one), a passport, driving licence, National ID, birth certificate etc.
- Documents to show your income and financial situation, such as bank statements