Thursday, 13 December 2018
Department of Education and Skills
81. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if it is deemed acceptable for SUSI by way of answer to a parliamentary question to refer to an email address rather than a direct reply in line with parliamentary procedure as has been the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52663/18]
As part of a comprehensive customer service and communications strategy provided by Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI), to ensure that all necessary avenues are open to applicants to receive the information they need, a dedicated email and phone line service is provided by SUSI for Oireachtas members. This was established to meet an identified need for applicants who choose to engage the assistance of their public representatives in making enquiries about their grant applications.
This service, which was set up at the behest of Oireachtas members, complements the established channels provided by SUSI which include online application tracking, a dedicated website, a telephone helpdesk, email and social media, including Facebook and Twitter. Enquiries may be emailed direct to SUSI at firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff in SUSI are responding to email queries within a matter of days.
With regard to the specific application, I have been advised by my officials that the student in question submitted an application to SUSI. The application was subsequently refused last August on the basis that the college attended is not an approved institution under the student grant scheme. There are statutory time limits for making an appeal. I’ve been advised that the applicant did not appeal this decision and is now outside of the statutory time limits for doing so.