Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Pension Provisions

Photo of Jack ChambersJack Chambers (Dublin West, Fianna Fail)
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1268. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the measures in place during Covid-19 to make it safer and easier for pensioners to receive payment; if she will consider the feedback from a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6582/20]

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.

People who would normally collect their social welfare payment in cash at a post office have the option to request to have their payment made directly into a bank account should they wish to do so. 

In addition, the period of time in which cash payments have to be collected at post offices has been considerably extended.  If any person has received an expired payments letter, they should contact my Department so that their social welfare payment can be reinstated. 

Finally, the rules around nominating agents to collect social welfare payments at post office have also been changed to allow for more frequent agent collections. 

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