There were 1,066 Kilkenny people availing of the Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) in Kilkenny this week compared to 884 on December 21, 2021.
This represents a 20.58% increase in PUP recipients in the county since the last official count from the Department of Social Protection.
The sector with the highest number of people receiving PUP this week is Accommodation and Food Service Activities, followed by Wholesale and Retail Trade and Administrative and Support Service activities.
Since Tuesday, December 7, PUP has re-opened for workers who have been impacted by the latest restrictions and measures to slow down the spread of the Covid virus.
There are five weekly rates of PUP payable for these workers who lose their job as a result of the latest restrictions from December 7.
The rate of payment is determined by the person’s weekly earnings, namely €350, €300, €250, €208 and €150.
The Department of Social Protection is using Revenue data to verify employment status and earnings for all applications.
The number of Kilkenny people availing of the Enhanced Illness Benefit has also risen from 4,956 to 5,624 in the last count - an increase of over 13%.
Minister Humphreys last week announced that the Department has expanded the range of documentation customers can use to apply for the Enhanced Illness Benefit.
To avail of Enhanced Illness Benefit, depending on your circumstances, the Department of Social Protection will accept:
1. Text message from the HSE that you are a close contact.
2. Text message from the HSE that you have a positive PCR.
3. Certification from your GP that you have symptoms of Covid-19 and/or are a probable source of infection.
4. Confirmation from the HSE that you have ordered an antigen test.
Commenting on the figures, Minister Humphreys said: "As the Omicron variant continues to pose significant challenges, it is vitally important that we take every necessary step to protect ourselves and our families from infection.
"My clear message to anyone who receives a positive test or is displaying symptoms is to follow public health advice and self-isolate immediately."
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