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Fare Enough Jobseeker's social welfare payments will no longer be paid into bank accounts

Jobseeker’s recipients will have to return to their local post office to claim their payments from next month

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(stock image)

(stock image)

(stock image)

Jobseeker’s recipients will have to attend their local post office to claim their social welfare payments from next month.

The requirement to physically visit a post office, instead of receiving the payment straight into a bank account, will only apply to new applicants at first before being extended to other jobseekers in the coming months.

Recipients previously had the option to receive their social welfare payments into their bank accounts to combat the spread of Covid-19.

The new phased approach is being implemented in an effort to reduce fraud and increase footfall in post offices.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said that she believes the move will help tackle social welfare fraud.

“There are those who try to commit fraud in the system, that's wrong,” she said.

“We have a special investigations unit and we continue to follow up on reports that we get from the public and reports we get from employers.

“And also, we work very closely with the Gardaí - and there have been quite a number of people caught that shouldn't be claiming the benefits.

"We have heard media reports, and we know of instances where people were collecting their payment and they weren't actually in the country.

“So that means you must present in your post office to get your payment. And what I want to see is the right payment to the right person at the right time.”

The Fine Gael politician added that post offices will benefit from the new approach.

“I'm acutely conscious of the challenges that are facing the post office network,” Minister Humphreys said.

“That's why I'm delighted to announce the return of jobseeker payments to post offices, reflecting the arrangements that were in place pre-pandemic.

“This is a measure that I know the Irish Postmasters Union and An Post have been calling for.”

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Continuing, she said: “Our post offices provide essential services in communities the length and breadth of the country.

“Even throughout the pandemic our postmasters, postmistresses and postal staff pulled out all the stops to meet the needs of their customers.

Minister Humphreys said that she will work with those who are immuno-compromised and don’t wish to return to post offices.

“For somebody that has a particular difficulty, I would say to them contact the Office of the Social Protection and we'll try and work with them in every way we can.”

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