Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Payments Administration

Paul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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1218. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will examine the issue of welfare payments being made every two weeks (details supplied). [5906/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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My Department introduced a series of measures to maintain social welfare payments while assisting with social distancing measures designed to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.

Fortnightly payments were introduced to minimise the need for people to attend and queue in banks or post offices to collect payments, so helping people restrict their movements to essential activities only. These were introduced on a ‘payment in advance’ basis so people did not have to wait two weeks for a payment.

It is not possible to introduce differentiated payment cycles for each individual or for different cohorts of individuals and on balance the Department believes that it is better at this time to retain the two-weekly payment cycle, particularly for schemes that are not exclusively paid by EFT.

I would emphasise that where a person encounters financial difficulty they can contact their local community welfare officer for assistance or can seek advice and support from MABS.

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