asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to have all social welfare benefits posted to recipients in Tullamore, County Offaly on Thursdays so that delivery will be certain on Fridays as in many cases delivery of cheques takes place on Saturday afternoons causing inconvenience and hardship to housewives and others who have difficulty in making weekend purchases.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Offaly Social Welfare Recipients.
Cheques in payment of disability benefit under the Social Welfare Acts, to which I presume the Deputy refers, are posted from headquarters of my Department to all recipients in the Tullamore area. About half the recipients are suffering from long-term illnesses and it is, therefore, possible to issue benefit cheques to them regularly in midweek in ample time for delivery before the weekend. In the case of recipients who are suffering from a short-term illness benefit cheques are issued daily as the medical certificates on which these payments are based are received. However, the last despatch of disability benefit cheques in my Department's working week is made at 5 p.m. each Friday and, it is understood, these should normally be delivered by first post on Saturday morning.
It would not be possible to ensure earlier delivery in every case without departing from the general principle that medical certificates must first be received to establish title to benefit and this I am not prepared to do.