Covid-19 Update

There is a huge amount of concern about the impact on Covid-19 on people’s health and livelihoods.

The work of TDs is continuing, though like many people, with a change in work practices.

If you are in need of any assistance, please do drop me a line on 087 417 9777 or roderic.ogorman@oireachtas.ie

I wanted to give a quick list of available supports for those who need them, and volunteering/working opportunities for those who are looking for them.

My aim is to update these as the situation changes.

Health care

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on coronavirus, please see the HSE website: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

If you suspect you have may have coronavirus, please contact your GP. Do not visit your GP’s practice. Instead, call them and they will advise you. Alternatively, you can call HSE Live on 1850 24 1850.

Social welfare

My Green Party colleague Marc Ó Cathasaigh TD has written a helpful blog pulling together the various measures on social welfare the Government is taking. I’ve reproduced that below.

If you are due to collect social welfare payments and impacted by Covid-19, An Post will allow you to appoint a Temporary Welfare Agency. Details of that are here: anpost.com/tempagent.

Neighbourhood support

The Dublin Inquirer has a list of businesses and organisations across Dublin offering a variety of supports: https://dublininquirer.com/projects/neighbours/

LocalSupport.ie is a website offering to connect isolated people who need support with errands with those who are in a position to help. They also have a text line on 087-3658233.

Volunteering and other opportunities

The HSE is asking all healthcare professionals from all disciplines who are not already working in the public health service to make themselves available for helping respond to the pandemic. Details are at www.hse.ie/oncall.

Quality Matters are operating the Crisis Care Initiative, seeking staff to support homeless and other social support services through the crisis. You can sign-up here: https://www.crisiscover.ie/faq.

If you’re a scientist, or working in a related field, Irish Scientists on Call are listing research opportunities to help fight Covid-19: http://irishscientistsoncall.com/

Young people and mental health

With schools off and socialising severely curtailed, this is a hugely challenging time for young people and their mental health. There are a range of resources available online to help support people parents and young people:

Spun Out: https://spunout.ie/health/article/how-to-handle-coronavirus-anxiety

Headspace: https://headspace.org.au/young-people/how-to-cope-with-stress-related-to-covid-19/

Jigsaw: https://jigsawonline.ie/young-people/coping-with-the-impact-of-coronavirus/

Anna Freud on Self-Care for Young People: https://www.annafreud.org/what-we-do/anna-freud-learning-network/coronavirus/

Again, if you have any specific queries, please do get in touch with me.

Roderic

Social Welfare Provision for Covid-19
The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection have a range of new measures in place to help workers and businesses affected by #CoronaVirus #Covid-19. As the Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection, I strongly welcome these measures and am actively reviewing them to see where the gaps in provision might be. To make things a bit easier on people, I’ve brought this information together in one place, and will continue to update as more information becomes available.

Firstly, they’ve simplified the form you need to fill in. However, don’t go to your local Intreo Office (or the Dole Office, in old money) – they’re asking people to do this online if at all possible. You’ll find the simplified form here:

https://assets.gov.ie/71472/a026043e90cc4d03bdfb1f3a58f3d7af.pdf

If you have lost your job due to the Corona crisis, there is a specific Pandemic Unemployment Benefit you can apply for. The details are here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/

If you are an employer who has had to shorten your employees’ week or has had to close for a number of weeks, there are supports available for you to continue paying your staff if you can afford to do so. You’ll find those details here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/news/965011-covid-19-introduction-of-simplified-unemployment-payments-for-employ/

If you have had your working week shortened as your employer reacts to the current situation, you may be able to claim for the days you are not working. You find those details here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/cb3726-jobseekers-payments/

Self-employed people, who normally have to wait for a number of months before they become eligible for social welfare, also have new rules in place. You’ll find those here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/a030c1-jobseekers-benefit-self-employed/

And, God help us, if you are actually on sick leave due to the Corona Virus, there is an enhanced Illness Benefit payment available to cover your period of self-isolation. You’ll find those details here:

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/df55ae-how-to-apply-for-illness-benefit-for-covid-19-absences/