Today is the last day that people can apply to receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment, with the scheme shut to new entrants from tomorrow onwards.
It was due to close to new registrations last week, but following the decision by the Government to delay the resumption of indoor hospitality, it was extended for a further seven days.
After today, it will no longer be possible to apply for the scheme, which was introduced last year to support those who had suddenly lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the peak of the crisis in May of last year, 598,000 people were in receipt of the payment, but this week the Department of Social Protection said 221,000 will receive it.
That is down 6,900 on last week, despite the decision to delay the further reopening of hospitality until at least 19 July.
Because of the huge cost of the scheme, the Government is keen to wind it down as the economy reopens and laid out a strategy for doing so in the National Economic Recovery Plan.
It will continue at current rates until 7 September.
On that date it will reduce by €50 and it will then be cut by a further €50 on both 16 November and on 8 February next year.
Separately, the Department of Social Protection has begun a process of contacting PUP recipients to ask them to confirm their ongoing entitlement to it through the MyWelfare portal by 20 July.