Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP)
Introduction of earnings threshold of €480/month for self-employed to allow occasional work opportunities without losing PUP entitlement.
Covid-19 Enterprise Support Grant
The payments to small and micro enterprises has been extended until the end of March 2021.
The allocation for Farm Assist is increased from €59.9 by €0.8 million to €61.7 million. There is no change on the rates of payment except in the case of dependents. The rate for children under 12 will be increased from €36 by €2 to €38. For children over 12 it will be increased from €40 by €5 to €45. The fuel allowance will be increased from €24.50 by €3.50 to €28/week and will apply for 28 weeks.
The Rural Social Scheme
The Rural Social Scheme is decreased by €1.8 million to €52.2 million. The number of places under the scheme is maintained at 3,500.
Carer’s Support Grant
Increased to €1,850/year which represents a €150 increase from €1,700.
Living Alone Allowance
Increased to €19/week which represents a €5 increase.
In Budget 2021, this benefit for parents on leave from work was extended the benefit by 3 weeks.
The State Pension age will remain at 66 years, and will not increase to 67.
Prescription charges for all medical card holders will reduce, for the over 70’s it will reduce from by €0.50 to €1/item and for the under 70’s it will reduce by €0.50 to €1.50.
Drugs Payment Scheme
From November 2020, the Drug Payment Scheme threshold will reduce by €10 to €114 per month.
Home Support Service will provide an additional 5 million hours in 2021, with specific provision that up to 5% of the new hours are allocated for home care related to dementia.
National Treatment Purchase Fund
€130 million has been allocated to the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) for 2021, an increase of €30 million.
The income limits for medical card eligibility for persons over 70 will increase by €50 to €550/week for a single person and by €150 to €1,050 for a couple.