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Unemployed are getting PUP, but the suffering they experience due to pandemic is not small

DUBLIN: Although government benefits, including the PUP, are available to help people affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the study found that the social impact it has on the lives of the unemployed is not small.

There are thousands of people in Ireland who are struggling to make ends meet with the nominal amount of money they receive in the name of PUP. It remains to be seen whether they even have a future. Their pains, problems and difficulties go unnoticed. Because the challenges posed by COVID-19 silence it all.

Many who receive a Pandemic Unemployment Payment have been out of work for 12 months. Being unemployed for so long is a serious psychological problem. They are more concerned about the social interaction they received through work than the lost wages. Even people who have never been unemployed in their lives are now struggling to stay mentally healthy.

Listen to the life of DJ Aidan Kavanagh: He has not worked since Pandemic started. He usually had three gigs a week. He usually had three gigs a week, but everything changed when Pandemic came along. When he lost his job, he went back with his mother. “I had to get root canal treatment a few months ago, so if a cost like that comes in unexpectedly, obviously it’s going to be a challenge to manage,” he said. His life now proceeds on the €350 PUP he currently receives. “The thing I miss is just meeting people, and seeing people … having that physical contact with people,” Said Aiden, a native of Dundrum in Dublin.

The situation of Natasha Rogers, a hairdresser in Kilmainham, who has been unemployed since last March, is no different. “It’s so hard financially because you’re living week to week. You’re taking a hit in your wages. You’re not being able to save for your future and work towards getting your own house. It’s just living and renting for now,” she said. Ms. Rogers said the current situation is disheartening and frustrating.

The story of Chef Dave Aulsberry of Waterford is also similar. Both he and his wife are chefs and both are on the PUP.

The isolation faced by students, including those from abroad, is also alarming. Many students, including those who came to study from India in January 2020, are still taking classes online. Not only did they not get the opportunity to attend any social gatherings but they did not get any of the benefits of studying abroad.

The unemployment rate in December was 20.4%, according to the Central Statistics Office. Almost 480,000 people will receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment this week. The Department of Social Protection is spending €144 million on the project.

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