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Personal Public Service Numbers

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Ceisteanna (91)

Niall Collins


91. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason there are such lengthy delays in issuing PPS numbers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33994/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The SAFE registration process, which my Department uses to authenticate a person's identity when they apply for a PPSN is a face-to-face process, carried out in PPSN Centres across the country.

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

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.

My Department has received, and continues to receive, significant volumes of email and post in relation to PPSN applications from people living in and outside the State. Data on the processing times of these applications are not currently available.

The Level 5 restrictions currently in place mean a full resumption of the PPSN allocation service in local offices is not possible at this time.

The Deputy will appreciate that my Department has had to re-allocate significant resources to dealing, in particular, with the huge volume of claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Payment over the past months and that this priority work will have had an effect on other areas of work. Nonetheless, additional resources are also being assigned to deal with the PPSN applications on hands and I expect this will result in an improved service for PPSN applicants.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.