Wednesday 28 September 2016

The 60-second guide to... getting your Public Services Card

Published 28/08/2016 | 02:30

The new Public Services Card
The new Public Services Card

Many people are getting letters in the post, inviting them to register for their Public Services Card. Should you have received such a letter, don't ignore it. You could run into difficulties claiming social welfare or getting your passport (if you have never applied for one before) should you do so.

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The Public Services Card is a new card which you can use to claim social welfare payments.

It will replace the Social Services Card and the Free Travel Pass. One of the main reasons the card is being introduced is to combat fraud.

The card is initially being rolled out to people getting certain social welfare payments (such as child benefit or pensions) and to those who are applying for other social welfare payments for the first time.

It is the Department of Social Protection which is sending out the letters. The card is mainly being issued by invitation but if you haven't received a letter, you can contact your local social welfare office or Intreo centre to arrange an appointment.

You must usually register for the card in person. This appointment, which will be in your local social welfare office or Intreo centre, should take about 15 minutes.

You will have your photograph taken and signature recorded during the appointment. You must bring proof of ID along with you - a passport, driving licence or learner permit is typically required.

You must also bring along evidence of your address, such as an electricity or phone bill. You should also take along the letter you received from the Department of Social Protection inviting you to register.

You will usually get your Public Services Card in the post within a week of this appointment. There is no charge for the card.

You may be able to register for the card by post.

Should this be the case, the Department of Social Protection will usually write to you to make arrangements.

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