The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has said that nearly all unemployment benefit claims received since 19 March and up to close of business today will be processed for payment tomorrow and will hit customers' bank accounts on Tuesday.

In a payment update for Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment and Jobseeker claims issued by the Department this evening, it says it has experienced "unprecedented" demand for income supports since 13 March - with staff processing the equivalent of 10 months of unemployment claims in the last 10 working days.

It wants to assure customers that staff are working long hours over weekends and the bank holiday to ensure that claims are paid out as quickly as possible.

According to the Department, the first Covid-19 related payments for approximately 90% of claims received between 13-19 March were issued last Friday, 20 March, and were in customers' bank accounts the following  Tuesday.

However, the Department also notes that some payments did not proceed for various reasons, including that some claims may not have met eligibility criteria, or may have been held back due to an error with an IBAN number or an inconsistency between PPS numbers.

This is normal, according to the Department, which added that it is working very hard to resolve these issues, and that it is contacting affected customers directly.

The Department states: "Again this week nearly all claims received since 19 March and up to close of business today (Thursday, 26 March) will be processed for payment tomorrow, Friday and will be in customers' bank accounts on Tuesday 31 March."

It is processing payments into Irish bank accounts and via the Post Office network only - and wants to reassure people that where they are entitled to a payment, they will receive it as soon as possible.