FP Logue received confirmation recently that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has agreed to pay social welfare benefits to a client who refused to register for the Public Services Card (PSC).
Our client had presented a passport and proof of address with an application for benefits and received a formal decision from the Deciding Officer that the payments would be available for collection in the local post office in due course.
Some days later our client was informed by a member of staff that the approval had been a mistake and that the payments would be suspended until such time as an application for the PSC was processed. Our client refused to make the application and asked for written reasons to be provided. The position was subsequently confirmed in writing that payments were suspended until a PSC application was processed.
We wrote to the relevant official on our client’s behalf pointing out that there was no requirement under social welfare law for an applicant to register for the PSC and that the payment had been unlawfully suspended and that our client had been grossly misinformed as to their rights by officials.
We have now received confirmation that payments have been released confirming our assertion that a PSC registration is neither mandatory nor compulsory for the purposes of accessing social welfare benefits.