Can the Widowed Apply for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

Widowed COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment form

The simple answer is yes, the widowed can apply for the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

If you are widowed and were working up until March 13th, you can claim the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and it will be paid in addition to your widowed pension.

How do I apply

To apply for the new COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment you can apply online at If you require a form posted out, it can be requested both online or by calling the emergency phone number 1890800024

For more information go to

What you will need when applying online

You will need your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN), your bank account IBAN number, your name of course, address and date of birth. If you have dependant children, you’ll be asked for your children’s date of birth and if in education, date when their course will finish. You will be able to part complete the form, save and come back to it later if you don’t have all the information to hand.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment form is straightforward to complete. I contacted the helpline and was informed that we only need to complete the one form. You don’t need to apply for Jobseekers benefit despite some people getting the following message today;

Message regarding your Emergency Payments application
Thank you for your recent Emergency Payments application. Your application has been submitted and is awaiting review from an officer.
If you are applying for COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment, you will also need to apply for Jobseekers. Start your application now.Please note applications are processed in order of received date and we aim to process your application within 7 days. Payments will issue to your bank account once processed.

If you received the above message requesting you to also apply for Jobseekers, please note, this message is not relevant now. You only need to complete the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment form. I contacted the telephone helpline today and was told changes are happening so quickly that there’s a lag in updating all messaging simultaneously.

When is the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid?

The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is paid on Tuesdays and your widowed pension is paid on Fridays. As of last Friday 27th March, the widowed pension is now paid every two weeks to reduce the amount of time people attend post offices and banks.

What is the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment?

“The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is a payment of €350 per week. It is available to employees and the self-employed who have lost their job on (or after) March 13 due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. The COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be in place for the duration of the crisis. If you have been temporarily placed on a shorter working week, you may qualify for Short Time Work Support.

Please note

I’ve done my best to provide accurate information. If anything changes I’ll update this article as soon as possible. Please feel free to leave a comment in the comment section and above all, keep safe – 18:45pm 30/03/2020


  1. Hi, I’m in a bit of a no mans land at the moment. I am now working half days, cut from full days, and as I am in work 5 days I am not entitled to the Short-time Work support. I think this is totally unfair.

  2. Thanks Colette for this information, couldnt find any info regarding payments, when I phoned the intreo office last week they told me that im only liable for 1 payment and that was my widowers pension so I felt a bit cheated as I have a young teenage family and got laid off a FT job on the 13th March. Will it be backdated?

    • Not sure yet if it’ll be backdated, when I spoke with the lady on the support line she just said we can get it in conjunction with our pension. Its a possibility but can’t say for certain. Everything is changing so fast its difficult to keep up with the updates.

  3. Hi Colette. Up until the schools closed I was on call as a substitute tutor at the local PLC. My contract was due to end on May 30th. I’ve been employed there since 2018. My work is defined as ‘casual’ by Revenue as I get called when needed so I don’t have regular hours. I pay all my taxes and pension levy when I work. I was told I couldn’t get the COVID19 payment as I get Widows Pension. Any idea how someone like me stands in relation to this?

    • Hi Rosina, there seems to have been mixed messaging at the beginning about who qualifies but I know widows CAN get the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment. I’m no expert but seeing as you were working right up to recently and would normally be working if nothing happened, I’d fill out the online form anyway. The worst that could happen is they’d say no. Best of luck and keep safe.

      • Thanks Colette. Widows/widowers under state pension age (especially those with kids who have flown the nest) are pretty much invisible.

  4. Hi Collette , my Covid 19 unemployment payment form was returned to me about ten days ago saying I didn’t qualify for the payment because I was in receipt of a widowers pension payment. It asked me to re – submit the application and mark it duplicate. Are you aware of a change in the original policy not to pay when someone is in receipt of a widow/widowers pension. Look forward to hearing from you. Many Thanks. Terry.

    • Hi Terry,
      As I understand it, there was an update at the end of March which allowed us and others to receive the COVID-19 payment in conjunction with a second Social Welfare payment. You should contact the helpline 1890800024 and discuss if you need to reapply.
      I am aware of people who are now in receipt of both a widowed payment and the COVID-19 emergency payment.

  5. Hi Colette,

    Well I submitted my application last week and have just received a rejection email. It stated that I wasn’t in employment as of March 6, which I don’t understand as when I filled in the form I explained that my work was casual and my current contract runs until May 30 but didn’t know how many hours I would be called on to cover. I would even have had hours of exam supervision outside of those contracted hours. I was upfront about my circumstances but I really feel it’s down to being in receipt of my widows pension. I’ve heard of quite a few people in receipt of widows pension who are still being refused. I’m sorry I applied. A bit humiliating but should be used to that by now. Hopefully Credit Union will help and I’m applying for lots of jobs, so far unsuccessfully.

  6. Hi Colette,

    You’re so kind to reply! I looked at that link and as you say, the information has changed yet again, but from my reading of it I do fall into the eligible category. I was widowed 20 years ago at 36, when our son was 14 and I’ve always found it hard to ask for help. My husband died by suicide, which still carries a certain stigma for those left behind, especially in rural Ireland, and makes me reluctant to apply for things. With my job as a substitute tutor I thought I was at last on the way to building some security for whatever time I have left, but this awful virus has set me back a bit and brought me back to darker days. I miss my husband so much even after all this time. My son grew into a wonderful man and has made his own life but isn’t in a position to help me right now and lives a distance away.

    Apologies for this lengthy rambling comment. I’m not in the habit of posting personal things anywhere, but your site feels safe. I’m sure I’ll get over this latest knock.

    Best wishes,

    • Rosina, you’re not alone in feelings and you’re not rambling at all. I’ve heard from so many people who are widowed several years saying the same. Up until recently they were doing well but recent events have brought all those feelings of grief and loss back to the surface again.

      Promise me you’ll contact your local TD’s to look into this and get them to appeal the decision. It costs nothing to ask and that’s what they’re there for. You’ve paid tax on the widowed pension, tax and PRSI on your wages so just ask them to represent you. You’ve worked hard all your life and deserve to get a solid answer.

      You might like to join our online group here, you’d be more than welcome.

      Take care and mind yourself

  7. Thanks for those kind words Colette. I’ll call my TD’s office tomorrow and will let you know how I get on. And I’ll have a think about joining your online group.

    Take care and thanks again.

  8. Hi Colette , just a note to let you know I got the €350 Covid payment today. It wasn’t back dated . I applied from the 13th March. In effect I wasn’t paid for the first two weeks .

    • Glad to hear you got the payment this morning. Did you have to contact Welfare yesterday to reapply or did the payment come in automatically from your earlier application?

      I don’t know what the situation is regarding the payment being backdated. I’ve was trying to find an answer this morning but didn’t come across anything.

  9. Hi Colette , I didn’t call them , I waited till today to see if the money was in my account . When they returned my original form about two weeks ago they ask me to reapply then and mark it duplicate.

  10. Hi collette is there any clarity on the backdating of the covid-19 payment my wife didn’t get paid for the first 2 weeks doesn’t seem to be any talk about it anywhere.

    • Hi John,

      I wasn’t able to find any definitive answer either regarding backdating of the COVID-19 payment. Has your wife got any payment at all yet?
      The best I could find was on Citizens Information (link below) and states the following;
      “Before 24 March 2020, the rate of payment was €203. If you became eligible for a COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment at the rate of €203, your payment is paid at the increased rate from 24 March 2020. This higher rate will not backdated to before 24 March 2020.”
      Is the above relevant to your wife’s situation?

      It might be worth phoning the support line and see what they say. Support phone number: 1890800024

      Wishing you both well and keep safe,
      Take care,

  11. Hi Colette,

    Just to let you know I won’t be getting the COVID payment. My TD did their very best to explain to Welfare that I am still under contract with ETB as a sub tutor, which falls under the ‘casual’ criteria, but to no avail. Apparently a lot of people in various jobs received exactly the same refusal as I did. Welfare suggested I apply to the Community Welfare officer if I needed to, which I won’t be doing. I’m going to see if my Credit Union will allow me to top up one of my loans. I’m sad to think that my good work as a tutor doesn’t count as ‘real’ employment and as it’s seemingly of no value I won’t be re-applying for the panel in August. Hopefully I’ll find something else.

    Thanks for your help. Take care and well done on this great resource for those of us left behind.

    Very best wishes,

    • Rosian,

      I’m so sorry to hear that but fair play to you for pushing forward and getting your TD involved. Unfortunate and very unfair the rules don’t allow you qualify for the COVID-19 payment. But don’t dismiss the Community Welfare officer should the need arise, we’ve all been paying into the scheme and it’s there for us for times like this.

      I wish there was more I could do.

      Thank you for getting back and letting me know because I had been wondering how you were getting on. Sorry it wasn’t better news for you.

      Wishing you all the best and please take care in this unusual time,


  12. Thanks Colette. I’m sure I’ll manage – I always do. Nice to know someone cares. ❤️

  13. Hello, I am writing in regards to a query I have been presented with, and I am sorry if it is not appropriate to write this here.

    A widow (aged 62) who is currently working in a (private) nursing home in Cork wants to know if she would be entitled to a pandemic payment, or sick payment, if she took a sick leave of absence during the corona crisis due to fear of contracting the virus.
    She currently receives a widows pension as well as her working wage.
    If she was to take a sick leave of absence, she would still receive her widows pension, but could she receive a payment in lieu of her working wage?

    Her local GP has told her she would be able to receive a letter to confirm she shouldn’t be working due to an array of health conditions she has.

    Would anyone have some advice on this? Can’t find much clarity on the issue online..

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for getting in contact. I’ve spent the morning trying to find an answer to your question but can’t find anything specific either. Might be worth contacting Citizens Information or phone the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on 1890 800 024
      Hope you can find an answer and please let us know if you do. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
      Take care,

    • Hi Colette I am a widow for 10 years now have been working for 7 months for the past few years my last pay slip was15/2/2020 my employment starts September got paid up till 5/11/20 re applied heard nothing since.

      • Hi Jacinta,
        Sorry for the delay in replying to your message. Have you been able to get a resolution to you query? If you haven’t, its possible to appeal any decision made by the department. If you haven’t heard back, you should contact your local social welfare office directly by phone and they should be able to advise you correctly.
        Wishing you the best.

  14. Good evening. Could you tell me please, do I have the right to apply for a jabsiker? The situation is this, I’m a widow, I have an 8 year old daughter, worked for 12 years at the hotel, they closed the hotel because of covid 19, today I received a message that the hotel is planning to open only on July 20 and that’s not exactly if the business goes, they will call us to work, and if not, I can be left without work, and I’m also at risk of the group. I don’t know what to do …

    • Hi Natalija,

      Thank you for your question and sorry for the delay in getting back to you as I have only just seen your message today.

      I wouldn’t be qualified to answer your query but I would advise contacting your local Citizens Information office who should be able to inform you better than I could. Here’s a link for you to find your local centre.

      Sorry I can’t be of better help and can I take this opportunity to wish you the best. I hope everything works out well for you and your daughter.

      Take care,

    • Hi Deirdre,
      I haven’t looked into this for a while but I imagine you are unless things have changed. It would be wise to contact the Department to confirm though.

  15. Only found this site today
    Great information from the other questions . Thank you for all the help you are doing for others.

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