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In recent days, I have been receiving many calls and enquiries about the social welfare entitlements of employees and the self-employed.

Thus, I have set out below some useful information which you can use or share with your neighbours and friends.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) has published information on coronavirus for employers and employees.

It includes recommendations for employers to help support the response to the virus.

It also includes information about changes to the Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance rules, to help prevent transmission. These changes require legislation, which is expected to be passed by the Dáil on Thursday 19 March and Seanad on Friday 20 March. When the legislation is completed, workers will be entitled to any arrears due from 9 March, when the new payment rates begin.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, or are medically required to self-isolate, you can get income support such as Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance from the DEASP.

  • If you are part of an employment programme, such as Community Employment (CE) and Tús, a funded training and education programme or are already getting a social welfare payment, you do not need to apply for Illness Benefit. Your existing payment will continue to be paid if you are affected by coronavirus.
  • However, if you have coronavirus symptoms, or you have been medically required to self-isolate, you should not visit an Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office. You can get information about applying for social welfare payments through You can also call 1890 800 024 or (01) 248 1398.
  • If you work in the civil and public sector, you do not need to apply for coronavirus related Illness Benefit, as separate leave arrangements are in place.

 Employee and Self Employed Welfare entitlements #

You will also find links to some application forms .

✅If your employer asks you to stay at home as a precaution or puts you on a period of pay-off and does not continue to pay your wages, you can apply for income support in the form of Jobseeker’s Payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

✅Any person requested to stay at home by their employer as a precaution against the spread of Covid-19 will, in situations where the employer cannot continue to pay their wages, be considered to have been temporarily laid-off and can apply for an income support in the form of a Jobseekers Payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance

✅Laid off temporarily or reduced hours

Employees who are laid off temporarily, without pay, due to a reduction in business activity, can apply for a Jobseekers Payment. This application can be made online at

What is lay off?

A lay-off situation arises where your employer is unable to provide work for you, but believes this to be a temporary situation and gives you notification of the lay off before the work finishes.

✅Employees who are put on reduced working hours by their employer, due to a reduction in business activity related to Covid-19, may apply for a Short Time Work Support payment. You must complete a Jobseeker’s Payment Form (above)AND your employer must either confirm in writing that you won’t be paid or the employer can complete this form:

What is short-time working?

A short-time situation arises if:

•Due to a reduction in the amount of work to be done, your weekly pay is less than half your normal weekly pay; or,

•Your hours worked are reduced to less than half your normal weekly working hours.

This must be a temporary situation, and your employer must notify you before the reduction starts.

✅If you are self-employed and your business has reduced significantly or closed, you can apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (Self-Employed) or Jobseeker Allowance if you have insufficient PRSI contributions (means tested).

✅You can also apply online at:

✅When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €305 per week. To be eligible for this payment, a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.

An Post – collection of social welfare payment on behalf of another:


If you are planning a holiday abroad, you should follow the travel advice of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The European Consumer Centre has information about holiday cancellations and other related issues.

The Irish Travel Agent’s Association advises that you speak to your travel agent if you have any concerns.

If you are traveling to another country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you should ensure you have a valid European Health Insurance Card

  • Irish people  stranded abroad can call the advice centre for COVID-19 related travel queries. The telephone number is +353 0 16131733

Your local Intreo Centre can also be contacted by phone.

raymcadam View All

Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City

Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee

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