COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

People who have had reduced hours or unemployment as a result of Government implemented restrictions.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has introduced the ‘COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment’ to support those whose income is affected as a result of the numerous restrictions brought in by Government.  This payment is available to all employees and the self-employed. The payment, which is a flat rate of €350 per week can be paid for up to 6 weeks by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP)


You can apply for this payment if you:

  • are aged between 18-66 years AND
  • have lost employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This payment is available to all employees including those who are part-time or casual work.

Students who have lost employment and those in receipt of Working Family Payment can also apply.

Applicants are required to apply for the ordinary Job Seekers payments during the 6 week period in which they are in receipt of this payment. 

How to apply:

A one page application form must be completed and returned to the DEASP.

You can download and print the form here

Forms are available at your local Intreo Centre and Post Office.

Forms can be posted to you by emailing your request for a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment application form and your name and address to

You can also phone the DEASP on 1890 800 024 to request a form.

Information on how to complete this form can be found here


The quickest and easiest way to apply for the emergency Covid-19 payment is by applying online at You will need to set up a MyGovID account which will then allow you to apply online.

Please note that applications received before March 24th and those already in receipt of payment will automatically receive the new rate of €350 per week, following the announcement that it would be raised from €203.


Completed forms should be returned to:

Department of Employment and Social Protection,


PO Box 12896,

Dublin 1

People who are sick and cannot work


Enhanced Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance

If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19 or a suspected case requiring medically-directed self-isolation you can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance. The rules in relation to these payments have changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to help prevent transmission.

The changes are as follows:

  • The requirement to wait 6 days before you can apply for Illness Benefit has been removed meaning this payment can cover the first week of a confirmed case of COVID-19 (or medically required self-isolation) and any subsequent weeks.
  • The rate of Illness Benefit cover has increased from €203 to €305 per week for up to 2 weeks self-isolation or the duration of a medical certificate in the case of a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • The normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be waived or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed, if you are medically required to self-isolate or diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • To be eligible for this payment a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.

Enhanced Illness Benefit


To receive the enhanced payment, you must be:

  • self-isolating on the instruction of a doctor or diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • be absent from work and not getting paid by your employer

How to apply:

If you have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 or a doctor advises that you self-isolate, the doctor will then complete a medical certificate on your behalf and send this to the department.

To receive a payment, you will need to provide your doctor with your:

  • name
  • PPS Number
  • date of birth

You will then need to complete an application form for Illness Benefit (Form IB 1).

There are three ways that you can make an application:

  • you can call 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday to get an application form by post
  • organise someone to pick up a form at your doctor’s surgery or at your local Intreo Centre
  • an online application process will be available by the end of March

Completed forms should be returned via freepost to:

Social Welfare Services,

PO Box 1650,

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,

Dublin 1.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Those with no income may be entitled to basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA). If your weekly income is below the Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate for your family size, a payment may be made to bring your income up to the appropriate Supplementary Welfare Allowance rate.


The criteria for this payment has changed and the usual means test has been removed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

You will normally qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you satisfy the following conditions:

  • You are living in the State.
  • You have applied for any other benefit or allowance you may be entitled to.
  • You have registered for work with your local Intreo Centre if you are of working age.
  • You satisfy a habitual residence condition
  • EU/EEA and Swiss migrant workers who have been working in Ireland can access basic SWA and supplements without having habitual residence assessed, provided they have the right to reside in Ireland. However, people from the EU/EEA or Switzerland who move to Ireland in search of employment are subject to the habitual residence test in the normal way while looking for work.

You will not normally qualify for basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance if you are:

  • In full-time work, that is, working for 30 hours or more per week*.
  • In full-time education.
  • Involved in a trade dispute. However, you may claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance for your dependants.

How to apply:

  • Complete the Supplementary Welfare Allowance form – 

Completed forms:

Completed forms should be submitted to local Intero centres, details of which can be found here -

People who cannot work because they need to take care of children or other family members

There are no specific payments for people who cannot work because they have to look after children. The Government has asked employers to be as flexible as possible with staff who need to take time off in order to look after their children or other members of their families. This could include:

If you have no income while you are caring at home you may be able to claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance which is outlined above.

People who are currently receiving a payment from the DEASP

If you are self-isolating or diagnosed with COVID-19

Those whose sole income is a social welfare payment who are are medically required to self-isolate or are diagnosed with COVID-19, will continue with their social welfare payment. You do not need to apply for Illness Benefit. This also applies to people on Community Employment (CE)Tús, the Rural Social Scheme or a funded training and education programme.

Those with mixture of earnings from employment and a social welfare payment (for example, Working Family Payment) and are medically-required to self-isolate or are diagnosed with COVID-19, can apply for the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit payment if your employer can not pay you.

If you lose your job or your hours at work are reduced and have a mixed income

Those with a  mixed income of earnings from both employment and a social welfare payment who lose their job or hours at work are reduced because of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment unless they are in receipt of a Working Family Payment.

Social welfare payments which have been reduced because of earnings,  can be reassessed and any increases due will be paid. Please notify the DEASP if there is a reduction in your earnings from work.

If you are getting a Working Family Payment and have lost employment due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment outlined above.

If you have coronavirus symptoms or you have been medically required to self-isolate and have a mixed income

If you have symptoms of coronavirus or you have been medically required to self-isolate, you should not visit an Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office. Information is available here -

Civil and Public sector

Those who work in the civil and public sector do not need to apply for enhanced Illness Benefit as separate leave arrangements are in place.


If you are unable to collect your payment from the post offices due to illness or self-isolation

You can;


Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Income Support Helpline for COVID-19

This helpline provides information on available income supports for people impacted by COVID-19 and can advise on the most suitable income supports for your circumstances. They can also provide information on how to make an application.

Phone 012481398  or  1890800024