'People were collecting who weren't in the country' - Jobseeker payments no longer to be paid to bank accounts

The changes will apply initially to new claims, beginning next month
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.17 26 Jan 2022

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'People were collecting who we...

'People were collecting who weren't in the country' - Jobseeker payments no longer to be paid to bank accounts

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

15.17 26 Jan 2022

Share this article

Recipients of jobseeker payments will have to return to their local post office to claim it.

The option of receiving the benefit directly into a bank account is being wound down in an effort to tackle fraud and increase footfall in post offices.

The phased approach will see jobseeker claims processed in post offices from next month.


The Department of Social Protection says this is in line with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

The changes will apply initially to all new jobseeker applicants, before being extended to other jobseekers over the coming months.

The department adds that the option of receiving social welfare into a bank account was "an exceptional measure to help reduce the spread of the virus".

But it says following consultation with An Post and the Irish Postmaster’s Union (IPU), payments will now return to the post office.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys says the move will bring additional footfall - as well as helping to combat fraud.

"There are those who try to commit fraud in the system, that's wrong.

"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."

She adds: "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".

'Essential services'

And she believes this will benefit the post office network.

Minister Humphreys says: "I'm acutely conscious of the challenges that are facing the post office network.

"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.

"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."

For those who are immuno-compromised, and do not wish to return to post office queues, Minister Humphreys says she will work with them.

"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".

The requirement to physically visit your local post office in order collect a jobseeker payment will apply initially to new claims, beginning next month.

Additional reporting: Mairéad Cleary

Main image: Composite image shows Minister Heather Humphreys at a Budget 2022 press conference, and an An Post sign in Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal. Picture by: Leah Farrell/ Hunter/Alamy Stock Photo

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An Post Bank Accounts COVID-19 Restrictions Department Of Social Protection Irish Postmasters Union Jobseeker Payments Post Office

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