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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 13 December, 2019
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Welfare payments will NOT be linked to Household Charge, says department

The Department of Social Protection has assured the public that it won’t ask for proof of payment before issuing benefits.

Joan Burton's department says it will not demand proof of payment of the Household Charge before issuing payments.
Joan Burton's department says it will not demand proof of payment of the Household Charge before issuing payments.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE DEPARTMENT of Social Protection has moved to assure the public that it will not require social welfare recipients to offer proof of payment for the Household Charge before they receive any benefits.

The assurance comes after the Department had written to customers suggesting that they bring a receipt of their payment for the €100 charge as a proof of address when registering their Public Services Card.

The letter had prompted fears among some customers that the Department was to follow the lead set by some local councils earlier this week, when they had indicated plans to withhold the payment of third-level student grants until proof of payment had been offered.

In a statement this lunchtime the Department of Social Protection said this was not the intention, and that the household charge receipt had been given only as a suggestion for how someone could prove their address.

The letter issued to customers includes a “number of acceptable pieces of evidence of address including a utility bill in the person’s own name, property lease or tenancy agreement”, the Department said.

“The Department of Social Protection wishes to reassure it customers that payment of household charge is not a requirement for payment of a Social Welfare entitlement or registration for a Public Services Card.”

Read: Hogan supports councils linking college grants to Household Charge

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Gavan Reilly

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