The Government has introduced a number of measures to assist the self-employed and PAYE workers, which can help both full-time and part-time farmers if they fall ill or need to self-isolate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Types of payment

  • Illness Benefit - €305 per week for a maximum of two week (then drops to €203 per week).
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance - €201 per week.
  • COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment - €203 per week.
  • Farmers already on Farm Assist or the Rural Social Scheme will continue to receive payments if affected by virus.
  • Sick pay

    Illness Benefit

    The Department of Social Protection has stated that if you have coronavirus symptoms, tested positive or are medically required to self-isolate you can apply for Illness Benefit.

    This will be available at a higher rate of €305 per week for a maximum of two weeks before dropping to €203 per week.

    The payment can be made in addition to any sick pay you may be receiving from an employer.

    If people are displaying symptoms or have tested positive for the virus, they’ve been asked not to attend their local social welfare office but access the application form online or call 1890 800 024 or (01) 248 1398.

    Self-employed people, such as farmers are now eligible for the payment.

    Supplementary Welfare Allowance

    The Government has removed the means test on the Supplementary Welfare Allowance for medically certified cases of self-isolation.

    The payment provides the recipient with €201 per week.

    You can find a form to apply for the payment here.

    The allowance may also be accessed by people who cannot go to work because they have to care for children who are currently off school.

    COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

    If a self-employed person or an employee loses their job as a consequence of the pandemic they can apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

    It will be paid at a rate of €203 for six weeks, during which time people are also required to apply for normal jobseekers payments.

    The point of this is that the new COVID-19 payment will be paid at a much quicker rate but individuals must still apply for jobseekers. In some cases individuals will be entitled to higher backdated payments once jobseekers kicks in.

    For example, an individual over 25 with an adult dependent will be entitled to an additional €134.70 per week on top of the standard €203 per week they would receive through Jobseekers.

    In the first instance, if someone has been made unemployed they should not visit their local Intreo or social welfare office but apply online using the new one-page application form and then post the completed form by Freepost to, PO BOX 12896, Dublin 1.

    You can find a link to the form here.

    You can find out how to apply for Jobseekers Allowance by clicking here.

    If you are self-employed, as most farmers are, you will need to apply to Jobseekers Benefit, which is similar to Jobseekers Allowance.

    Other social welfare payments

    Farmers already on social welfare payments such as Farm Assist or the Rural Social Scheme have been reassured that their payments will continue to be paid if they are affected by the coronavirus.

    People are advised to visit Citizens Information for more details on social welfare payments.

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