Thursday, 13 May 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Public Services Card
344. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason notification of the expiry of public services cards is not being sent to card holders; if notification will be sent in advance of expiry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25177/21]
At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, my Department temporarily postponed the SAFE registration process. This included the suspension of renewal notifications to customers whose Public Services Cards (PSCs) were due to expire. This decision was taken to comply with HSE and WHO guidelines in respect of social distancing and to ensure the health and safety of the Department's customers and staff.
Customers can continue to use expired PSCs to receive their payment in An Post. The National Transport Authority has confirmed that all transport operators allow customers with an expired free travel PSC to continue to avail of free travel. This is an interim measure during the COVID-19 crisis.
To facilitate those who need to renew their PSCs urgently, a service has been introduced to allow customers contact my Department by telephone (1800-837000 or 071-9672674) and be issued with a new card. These cards are valid for a further 3 years and carry the same photograph and other information as their current card. Customers must establish their identity by answering security questions.
The Department has also introduced a PSC Online Renewal Service to allow customers with verified MyGovID accounts renew their PSCs without having to attend an appointment at an office of the Department.
The SAFE registration service will resume in most Intreo Centres and Branch Offices from 17th May, in accordance with all relevant guidelines to ensure the health and safety of the Department's customers and staff. Any person who wishes to make an appointment to renew their PSC should contact their local Intreo Centre.
The decision as to the resumption of the issuing of expiry notifications will be taken within the context of the Department’s available resources and the ongoing requirements to comply with HSE and WHO social distancing guidelines.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.