April 23, 2020
Closure of Covid-19 Hardship Fund shows need for increased supports for older people – John Brady

Speaking following the announcement that Age Action and the Red Cross have been forced to close the application process for the Covid-19 Hardship Fund due to the volume of applications, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Social Protection John Brady TD has said that the government must step up and provide increased supports for older people affected by Covid-19.

Teachta Brady said:

“The Age Action and Red Cross Covid-19 Hardship Fund received over 10,000 applications on behalf of older people in just a few short weeks.

“Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications and the lack of funding available, these bodies have had to take the difficult decision to close the fund to new applicants from next week onwards.

“The original deadline was the end of August and it is clear that even Age Action and the Red Cross did not anticipate the level of hardship currently being experienced by older people in this crisis.

“Earlier this month, Sinn Féin criticised the exclusion of over 66s from the financial supports available to other workers as the government refused to allow over 66s access the Covid-19 Unemployment Payment.

“While I commend Age Action and the Red Cross for their very worthwhile initiative and efforts in securing funding, it is clear that it is now time for the government to step up to the plate and provide additional financial supports to vulnerable older people that are struggling through this crisis.”

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