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COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment

Who is it available to?

  • Employees who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19
  • Individuals who are self-employed and their trading income has ceased or reduced due to Covid-19 to an extent that they are available to take up full-time employment and are not in receipt of employment income and are genuinely seeking work.

Following the announcement by the Government on Monday 19 October 2020 that the entire country will move to Level 5 of the Government’s “Living with Covid” programme, the Pandemic Unemployment Payment structure will be revised as follows; 

Prior Weekly Gross Earning

PUP Payment (17 September – 16 October)

PUP Payment (effective from 16 October* until 31 January 2021)

Less than €200



From €200  to €300



From €300 to €400



More than €400



*The new rates are effective for all new applications received since 16 October 2020 and payments made from 27 October will include the new rates.

The government announced that there will be further changes to rates on 1 February 2021 and 1 April 2021.

If an individual is already in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, he/she does not need to do anything. The next payment will be paid at the increased rate. However, individuals seeking to claim the PUP for the first time or who had returned to work but now lost their employment due to the pandemic,should apply to the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The payment also applies to;

  • non EU/EEA workers who have lost employment due to Covid-19
  • students (and non-EU/EEA students) who have lost employment due to Covid-19
  • part-time workers

Useful links

COVID-19: Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme – FAQs for Employers 

Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme Employer Eligibility and Supporting Proofs

COVID-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme  

COVID 19: Enhanced Illness Benefit Payment

Revenue Measures to Support SMEs

Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme