Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (588)

Róisín Shortall


588. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for a PPS number for a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9; the reason for the delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38773/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I can confirm that my Department has allocated a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) to the individual referred to by the Deputy. A letter issued to the individual on 19th November 2020 with details of the PPSN.

The SAFE registration process, which involves the authentication of a person's identity in a face-to-face interview, is the normal method of processing an application for a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN).

At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, my Department temporarily suspended the SAFE registration process. This decision was taken in order to comply with HSE and World Health Organisation guidelines in respect of social distancing.

My Department did not, however, suspend PPSN allocations. To help ensure that those who required a PPSN could get one, my Department introduced an email and postal service through which applications could be made.

It is inevitably the case that a temporary process such as this will not be as efficient as the face-to-face process it has temporarily replaced, neither for applicants nor for the staff dealing with those applications. Additional resources have been assigned to this work and I expect this will result in improved processing times and a reduction in the number of applications on hand.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Question No. 589 answered with Question No. 573.