Know your rights: COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

I’ve just lost my job because my employer had to shut their business during the COVID-19 pandemic. I got a redundancy payment but I’m not sure what social welfare payments I can get. What are my options?

As a newly-unemployed person due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP). PUP is a social welfare payment for people who have lost all their employment due to the COVID-19 emergency. You must be aged between 18 and 66 and you must live in the Republic of Ireland. You must also be genuinely looking for work

If you get a redundancy payment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you are eligible to apply for PUP. This applies to both voluntary and compulsory redundancy. If you were temporarily laid off due to COVID-19 and later get a redundancy payment, you are eligible for PUP as long as you continue to meet all the other eligibility criteria. Your redundancy payment does not impact your eligibility for PUP.  

However, PUP may not be the right payment for you if you have a family as PUP does not pay anything extra for dependants. If you have children or a partner or spouse, you may get a higher payment if you apply for Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB) or Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA) instead of PUP.

Your PUP rate of payment is linked to your previous earnings.  If you earned over €300 a week you get €300 a week on PUP. This is reduced if you earned less than €300 weekly. You can get more information on how your payment is linked to your previous average weekly earnings on citizensinformation.ie.

You can apply online for PUP on MyWelfare.ie.  You need:

  • A basic MyGovId account (all you need is an e-mail address and password)
  • Your personal details
  • Your bank details (payment can only be made to an Irish bank account)

PUP payment rates will be reduced in February 2021. PUP will close to new applicants at the end of 2020 and will end on 1 April 2021.

You can read more about who qualifies, other benefits and how to apply on the citizensinformation.ie website.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer

A limited number of appointments are being made in Citizens Information Centres offices where social distancing can be facilitated. You can continue to contact your local centre by email or phone using the details in the Find a Centre page on citizensinformation.ie.