Two-thirds of appeals lodged by members of the public relating to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP) have been successful in overturning a decision by the Department of Social Protection.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office has received 716 appeals of decisions made by the Department since the emergency payment was introduced in March 2020.
The majority of appeals finalised by the appeals officers relate to the PUP rate of payment. Other appeal reasons include whether the loss of employment was due to Covid-19 restrictions and whether the employment ceased fully.
Since March of last year, more than 865,000 people have received at least one payment under the PUP scheme which supports workers who lost their jobs as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
Following a request from the Irish Examiner, the Department of Social Protection confirmed that 449 PUP appeals have been finalised, 288 of which were allowed by the appeals officer or saw the decision being revised in favour of the applicant. Twenty of the appeals were withdrawn while 141 appeals were disallowed by the Appeals Office.
Of the 267 remaining PUP appeals on hand at the end of May, 230 are currently with the Department for review and the remainder are being considered by the Appeals Office.
Figures released this week show another substantial weekly fall in the number of PUP claims down to 285,000. It highlights the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions on non-essential retail and customer-facing services is translating into jobs growth.
However, fears remain over the possibility of long-term unemployment and the impact it will have on the economy. There is widespread expectation that it will take a number of years for employment levels to return to pre-Covid levels.