Clarity still needed on Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment – Smith

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan/Monaghan Brendan Smith says there are anomalies regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment which include clarity needed for former employees who worked in the South but reside in Northern Ireland and their eligibility for the payment and extending the payment for over 66s.

Deputy Smith explained, “I have been contacted by a number of cross border employees who are concerned about their eligibility for the pandemic unemployment payment.  Some are in the process of applying and some are fearful if they lose their jobs what supports are there for them.

”In these cases, there are employees who have worked for many years in the South, paying taxes to Revenue, but because they reside in the North it seems they will not be able to receive the payment.

”The Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection should clarify this immediately, and if necessary, engage with her counterparts in Northern Ireland to deal with this problem.

”I am also concerned that the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is only applicable to people aged between 18 and 66. I have been contacted by numerous people over the age of 66 who are working but have lost their jobs as a result of this pandemic. The fact that these workers have been excluded from receiving this payment is deeply unfair and has left many older people in a financially perilous situation.

”I hope Minister Doherty will urgently review the eligibility criteria for this income support and ensure that older workers and cross border workers are protected during this crisis”, concluded Deputy Smith.

3 April 2020