What are your Welfare options right now? – March 2020

If you’ve recently lost your job, or are now working on reduced hours, you need to know what welfare you’re entitled to, and how to claim it.

****updates to Covid-19 welfare provision – 25 March 2020****

On March 24th, the Government announced, among other measures, that the COVID-19 Pandemic Payment will be raised from €203 to €350. We will update any other changes, and how to apply. If you are an employer, you can process this payment through your own payroll, and the Government will refund you via the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy. Read more about the scheme here

Don’t Visit The Intreo Office! 

Covid-19 pandemic unemployment payment

  • If you have lost your job, the Government has created an emergency welfare payment for those who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • This payment is a flat rate of €350, and will be paid for the duration of the crisis. Both PAYE employees and the Self-Employed are eligible. 
  • Apply by post, using the downloadable forms here, through gov.ie
  • If you have dependants, or qualified adults to support, you should apply for Jobseekers Benefit instead, which may give you additional benefits, either by post, or via MyAccount, on Revenue.ie


  • The Government has created an Enhanced Illness Benefit, to respond to COVID-19.

What’s the difference?

  • The Benefit has been increased from €203 to €350, to last for two weeks, or as long as their COVID-19 diagnosis persists.
  • The Benefit is available for the Self-Employed, as well as PAYE Employees.
  • You will not have to wait 6 days to apply for this welfare Benefit.


  • People who have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • People who have been medically required to self-isolate for 2 weeks.


  • If you have symptoms, or have been medically required to self-isolate, please DO NOT GO TO YOUR LOCAL INTREO CENTRE.
  • Call: 1890 800 024 or 01 248 1398 – a form will be posted out to you.
  • Illness Benefit Claims Forms are available from your GP’s office, and your local Intreo Centre. Please arrange for someone to pick one up on your behalf. As of 18/03/2020, ringing up for a form seems to be the safest solution, to maintain Social Isolation.
  • This process may be available online at the end of March 2020. We will update when we know more. 

short-time work support

  • If you were working full-time, and your hours have been reduced to 3 days or less, you may be entitled to this welfare benefit. It’s a type of Jobseekers Benefit. 
  • You can apply online using MyAccount, on Revenue.ie.
  • Your rate of pay will be based on your average weekly earnings, to a maximum of the Jobseekers Benefit rate of €203.
  • For example, if your earnings for 3 days, instead of your usual 5 days, are higher than €203, you may not be eligible.
Managing on Less Money:

This is a stressful time, particularly if your income has dropped while claiming welfare. We recommend working out your budget, and re-assessing where your stress-points are. There may equally be other areas in which your expenditure has decreased, particularly if you are working from home, and self-isolating.

Please do not panic, and engage with your lenders if you have an issue regarding your mortgage repayments. We have a breakdown of how the lenders are addressing COVID-19 challenges here.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your situation, please let us know. Greenway Financial Advisors are available by phone, email, and can arrange video calls.

About Debbie Cheevers

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018. She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.

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