COVID-19 in focus: Access to essential services for all

The Minister for Health, Mr. Simon Harris, confirmed today that undocumented persons residing in the State are entitled to access key services during the COVID-19 crisis, on a private and confidential basis. Minister Harris stated that everyone seeking access to these services will be treated with dignity and “absolute privacy and patient confidentiality” by the “health service” and the “social work system”.

This is a welcome statement which confirms that people can access these services without fear of any repercussions with regard to their status in the State.

It is disappointing however that certain nuances remain to be clarified. Access to the “social work system” does not appear to mean access to social welfare payments such as the Pandemic Unemployment Payment in all cases.

The Department of Employment, Affairs and Social Protection has confirmed that people living in Direct Provision who have become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are not eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (€206 per week for up to six weeks), as they are already in receipt of the Direct Provision daily expenses allowance (currently set at €38.80 per week per adult and €29.80 per week per child).

Contact Aileen

Aileen Gittens, Solicitor, can assist you in all areas of Irish Immigration – e.g. applications for visas, regularising status in the State, naturalisation applications, employment permits applications, long term residency, immigrant investor programme etc.

If you have a query, contact her at:

Phone: +353 (0) 1 873 5012