Minister Kehoe contacts Social Protection over illness benefit issues

Minister Paul Kehoe has expressed concern over issues that have arisen in relation to the payment of illness benefit.

The Enniscorthy-based representative has been contacted by a number of constituents who have experienced difficulties with the payment system in recent days.

Speaking today, he called on any Wexford people affected to contact his office for further assistance.

In response to Minister Kehoe, the Department said a new system has been recently introduced which aims to speed up initial payments on new claims and provide a more efficient service to customers.

According to the Department, the transition from the old to the new model has involved moving from a system of payment one week in arrears to payment during the current week for claims and certificates received during that week.

Arising from this change a payment timing issue has arisen for a number of customers leading to higher than expected payments in some weeks followed by lower than expected payments being made in other weeks.

The Department emphasise that – where issues have arisen – these are issues of timing and that everybody will be paid the correct amount up to end of their certified illness.

In order to minimise any disruption to their payments customers are asked to make sure, in the case of a continuing illness, that they are certified not just for the past period of illness but for a future period of illness of at least one week or to their expected date of their return to work if sooner.

In addition to ensure prompt payment,  customers should ensure their claim/cert is submitted on the new IB1/IB2 forms to the Department directly to the  following address  Freepost : Social Welfare Services, P.O. Box 1650, Dublin 1.

Finally any customers who have  financial concerns arising from the move to the new system can apply to the Department’s Community Welfare Services to receive an interim payment.

If customers have any further queries with regard to their own payments, they are advised to call 1890 928 400 or email illnessbenefit@welfare.ie

Minister Kehoe concluded: “I immediately contacted the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection when I learned of the difficulties that some customers have encountered.

“I am confident these issues will be rectified as soon as possible and urge anyone impacted to follow the department’s advice.”

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