Friday 19 January 2018

Almost 32,000 social welfare customers to have payments delayed by 24 hours due to a mix up

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor

Around 32,000 people will have their social welfare payments delayed by 24 hours due to a mix up.

The payments of dole, lone parents allowance and other social welfare benefits directly to bank accounts was due to take place today but will now take place tomorrow.

The Department of Social Protection said the day-long delay in making 15 different social welfare payments was due to a “once off processing issue”. It has insisted it was not a technical hitch and that the problem stemmed more from a “confused message” about when the payments should be made.

It upgraded its payment system last month – so that social welfare payments could be processed within two days instead of three days.

However, due to a mix up in the department, the system was programmed to process the latest batch of payments within three days instead of two days. This means that customers are getting paid on Wednesday instead of today.

“The Department of Social Protection very much regrets this delay and apologises for any inconvenience caused to customers,” it said in a statement.

It is the first time for many years that there has been an interruption in social welfare payments. The department has to handle payments to 1.5 million per week – and a total of 87m payments per year.

The payments involved are jobseekers benefit and jobseeker’s allowance, illness benefit, domiciliary care allowance, occupational injuries benefit, partial capacity benefit, farm assist, back to work allowance, supplementary welfare allowance, back to school clothing and footwear allowance, family income supplement, back to education allowance, one parent family payment, JobBridge, pre-retirement allowance and maternity benefit. The Department said that other payments are not affected.

 

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