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Computer glitch hits welfare payouts

THE Department of Social Protection has told welfare recipients that a computer processing error, which caused the late payment of almost €9m in benefits, won't be repeated.

Around 32,700 people, who were due to receive an electronic payment into their account yesterday, did not receive it until this morning.

The department has blamed issues connected with an upgrade to its payment processing system in mid-June.

As part of the upgrade, the processing of electronic fund transfers to bank accounts changed from a three-day processing cycle to a two-day processing cycle.

However last Friday the computer processed the payments on a three-day cycle in error, meaning accounts due to be credited yesterday were credited this morning.

Error

"This is a once-off processing issue which will not cause further problems for our customers or for the department," it said.

The error affected 15 types of social welfare payments from illness benefit and back-to-education allowance, to jobseekers benefit and the family income supplement.

However the majority of those who were affected, just over 17,000, were in receipt of the domiciliary care allowance.

It also hit just over 11,000 people expecting their illness benefit payments yesterday.

The department said it "very much" regretted the delay and apologised for the inconvenience that it caused.

hnews@herald.ie


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