The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) announced on 24th March, new rates of social welfare payments for those impacted by COVID-19.

These include:

  • a Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme of 70% of take home pay up to a maximum weekly tax free amount of €410 per week to help affected companies keep paying their employees. This is the equivalent of €500 per week before tax.  This scheme also applies to charities and NGOs.
  • workers who have lost their jobs due to the crisis will receive an enhanced emergency COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 per week (an increase from €203).  If you have already applied before the 24th of March or are already in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment you do not need to do anything. Your next payment will be paid at the increased rate;
  • the COVID-19 Illness Payment will also be increased to €350 per week;
  • the self-employed will be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment of €350 directly from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (rather than the Revenue scheme);
  • enhanced protections for people facing difficulties with their mortgages, rent or utility bills.

The Department’s COVID-19 Income Support Helpline is open 9am-5pm on 01-2481398/1890-800-024. Please DO NOT visit your local Intreo Office.

Read further details on the latest updates on COVID-19 from DEASP here.


Income Support




Monday – Friday


About the Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme

The Temporary COVID-19 Wage Subsidy is a scheme which allow employers to pay their employees during the current pandemic. Employers will be refunded up to 70 percent of an employee’s wages – up to a level of €410.

The employer is expected to make their best efforts to maintain as close to 100% of normal income as possible for the subsidised period.

This payment replaces the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s Employer Refund Scheme announced on 15th March, and any business that received refunds under the current scheme do not need to reapply.

Revenue will contact them directly to confirm that they meet the conditions for this new scheme.

About the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to all employees and the self-employed who have lost their job due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place for the duration of the crisis.

If you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, you may qualify for Short Time Work Support.

About the Illness Benefit for COVID-19 Absences

When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week.

To be eligible for this payment a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.

Phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone.