Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Cheques
627. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the social welfare schemes by which payment can be made to a person by cheque; the way in which a person can arrange for their payment to issue by cheque within the State; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9623/19]
My Department provides two main options for payment methods for its customers: payments in cash at post offices or payments direct to customer accounts in financial institutions. While payment to an individual can be made by cheque for all Social Welfare schemes, it is only used as a payment method in exceptional circumstances or to pay arrears.
Cheques impose a significant production and administrative costs. These include cost of cheque printing machinery, secure storage, transport, postage and stationery, cheque reconciliation, cheque fraud detection and staff time to perform all of these functions.
A person in receipt of a cheque must either lodge it into an account or cash it at a post office to get value for the payment. Both of these can be realised much more cost effectively through payment by EFT directly into the person’s account in a post office, credit union or bank or by receiving a cash payment at the post office.
In addition, payment by cash at post offices or by EFT directly into an account is also quicker for Social Welfare recipients than waiting for a cheque to be delivered via the postal system.
If an individual in receipt of Social Welfare feels that payment by cheque is the only possible option for them, then they can contact my Department to seek payment by cheque.