Call for govt to ensure Covid Illness Benefit is processed quickly

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galway daily news claire kerrane at dáil

Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has called on the government to ensure that the COVID related Illness Benefit is processed in a timely manner, after new public health measures were announced.

Close contacts of positive cases within households, who are fully vaccinated and showing no symptoms, will now have to restrict their movements for five days.

The Galway TD said that because of this, supports such as the Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit will receive higher demand from those who cannot go to work as a result of these updated guidelines.

Speaking yesterday, Deputy Kerrane said that these changes will affect people’s ability to go to work.

“Requiring close household contacts of someone with Covid-19 to isolate for at least 5 days will have a serious knock on effect to people’s weekly incomes and so, it is essential that people can easily apply for and receive the Covid related Illness Benefit payment.

“Minister Humphreys must ensure that the staff and resources are in place to deal with an expected increase in claims for this income support.”

The Sinn Féin TD has requested figures from the Department on the current average timeframes for processing of Covid-19 Enhanced Illness Benefit applications.

She said that considering entire households are affected, this could see numbers for this payment in the tens of thousands and more.

“It is also crucial that the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) is made available for those working in sectors impacted by new and evolving public health advice.”