Limerick TD asks for COVId-19 unemployment payment to be extended to over 66s

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WORKERS over the age of 66 are being penalised by the age limit on the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment according to a Limerick County elected representative who says people shouldn’t be “discriminated against because of their age”.

Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Niall Collins said his office has been receiving calls from workers over the Pandemic Unemployment Payment age threshold who are not entitled to the payment.

The allowance is currently only available to people between the ages of 18-66.

Deputy Collins said, “My office has been inundated with calls from workers over the age of 66 who are annoyed that despite being an active part of the workforce, they are not entitled to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment because they fall outside the age limitations.

The Fianna Fáil TD said people who have kept working and contribute to the economy “are now being penalised by a crude decision”.

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“They are suffering the same financial difficulties as other workers who have lost their job as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak and its public health ramifications,” he said, adding “However, they are not getting the same level of allowance.”

Deputy Collins said he recognises people can apply for the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme but doesn’t “see any reason why they should not be entitled to the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, if they had been working up until the restrictions were imposed”.

The Limerick County representative has called on the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection to consider extending the current age criteria for the payment.

“These people should not be discriminated against because of their age – they should be entitled to the same allowances as other workers affected by this public health emergency”, concluded Deputy Collins.