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As part of the measures announced to limit and slow down the spread of COVID-19, to keep the number of affected people to a minimum and to reduce peak pressure on the health service, the Government is: 

  • Waiving the requirement for 6 waiting days for Illness Benefit in respect of medically certified cases of COVID-19 or medically required self-isolation in accordance with public health guidelines,
  • Increasing the personal rate of Illness Benefit from €203 per week to €305 per week for a maximum period of 2 weeks of medically certified self-isolation, or for the duration of a person's medically-certified absence from work due to COVID-19 diagnosis,
  • Removing the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance in respect of medically certified cases of self-isolation, and
  • Allowing self-employed people to receive either Illness Benefit or non-means tested Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has released a detailed guide for employers and employees and includes information on: 

  • Who the enhanced arrangements are intended to support
  • Workers who are diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Workers who are not diagnosed with COVID-19 but are required to self-isolate
  • Workers whose employers do not supplement/top-up the state Illness Benefit payment
  • Availability of the enhanced payment
  • Workers who are requested to stay at home by their employer
  • Workers who are laid off temporarily or put on to short time working
  • Workers who need to take-time off work to care for a person affected by COVID-19
  • People already in receipt of Social Welfare Payments
  • How to apply for Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences

Further information