Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2685)

Bríd Smith

Question:

2685. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address matters (details supplied) regarding the transfer of payments from post offices. [31843/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Claimants who are in receipt of a social welfare payment in a post office continue to be paid at their designated post office for the duration of their claim. Payments are not transferred to another post office on a random basis. However, in exceptional cases a claimant’s payment may be transferred to another local post office where it is considered to be a necessary measure in order to make contact with and engage with the claimant, particularly when a claimant has not been responding to correspondence from my Department. If a payment has been moved to another post office the claimant will be informed of where the payment is available when they make contact with their Intreo Centre. Their payment is immediately available for collection at the other post office location.

If a claimant does not engage with the Department their payment may be suspended until such time as they make contact and re-engage with staff in my Department. In such cases, the claimant’s payment would take three days to be made available at the post office. Transferring the payment to another post office makes it available more quickly once the claimant has made contact with the Department. This is particularly important where a claimant may have child or adult dependants.

I am advised that the information requested by the Deputy in respect of a list of the social welfare payments and the number of claimants affected by a move of post office location in the past two years is not available in my Department.