The number of people claiming the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) nationally this week has fallen to 232,400 - a drop of 61% from the peak of 598,000 recorded on May 5, according to the latest figures from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
The PUP payments issued today to the 232,400 are valued at €72.2m, with the top three sectors in which employees are returning to work this week are Accommodation and Food Services; Wholesale and Retail Trade, Repair of Motor Vehicles and motorcycles; and Construction.
In Laois, the number of people in receipt of the PUP payment continues to fall.
This week, 3,300 people in the county are receiving the PUP payment this week down from 3,600 last week, August 18, representing a considerable decline on the 8,600 recorded on May 5.
However, the national fall is partly due to the fact that the 28,000 claimants who failed to confirm their continued eligibility for the payment by noon last Friday will have the payment stopped from today.
At the beginning of last week, there were approximately 29,000 individuals who had not confirmed their continued eligibility despite having received personal notifications on four separate occasions, the final one being in the week ending 9th August.
Just over 1,000 of these did confirm their continued eligibility by the deadline on Friday, 14th August and they will continue to receive their payment.
Anybody who is eligible but did not confirm their eligibility by the deadline can have their payment restored by re-applying online at MyWelfare.ie. As applications for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment were submitted online, PUP recipients will be familiar with MyWelfare.ie however if any person is unsure or needs advice, they can contact the Department at 1890 800 024 for assistance.
“The Pandemic Unemployment Payment continues to be a vital source of income for thousands of individuals and families across the country," commented Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys.
“That’s why I took the decision to extend the payment until April 2021 as the Government continues to roll-out measures aimed at getting people back to work.
“Our resources are not unlimited and we need to ensure that this money goes to the people and families who genuinely need it.
“My Department has made every effort to contact every person receiving the payment in recent weeks in order to confirm their continued eligibility. The vast, vast majority of people responded and will continue to receive their payment as normal.
"I want to stress if there were extenuating circumstances which prevented any person from responding to confirm their eligibility, all they need to do is re-apply online to have their payment restored. They can also contact the Department's PUP Helpline at 1890 800 024 or their own local Intreo Centre if they need assistance."