How social welfare payments are paid

How is my social welfare paid?

If you live in Ireland and are getting a social welfare payment, you may be able to choose the method by which you are paid.

You should check with the Department of Social Protection (DSP) the payment methods that are available to you. The final decision on how you are paid rests with the Department.

There are different methods of payment:

  • Financial institution: your social welfare payment may be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) directly into your personal account at a bank, building society or at certain credit unions. You can use form DIR PMT1 to apply for an EFT payment. The DSP will decide if you can be paid by EFT.
  • Post Office: your social welfare payment may be paid to your local post office where it must be collected in person. You can collect your payment in cash from your Post Office. You will need a Public Services Card (PSC) or Social Services Card (SSC) for identification (ID) to collect your payment. If using an SSC, you will also require photo ID.
  • By cheque: your social welfare payment cheque can be cashed in your local post office or lodged to an account in a financial institution.

Social welfare payments are no longer paid using a book of payable orders that you can cash at your local post office.

Time limit for collecting a social welfare payment at the Post Office

If you are unable to collect your payment from the post office (for example, you are ill or self-isolating), you can:

  • Leave your social welfare payment at the post office until you can collect it yourself. Your payment will be in the post office for at least 20 days after you were first due to collect it. Some payments such as the State pension and payments to carers will be available in the post office for 90 days. The Department has published a list of social welfare payments and the number of days you have to collect your payment from the Post Office (pdf).
  • Nominate a temporary Agent to collect your payment. You can get a form for appointing a temporary Agent at your local post office. You can also get a form for appointing a temporary Agent on the An Post website (pdf).
  • Apply to transfer your payment to your financial institution using form DIR PMT1. Your social welfare payment can be paid directly into your personal account at a bank, building society or at certain credit unions. The DSP will decide if you can be paid by into a financial institution.
Page edited: 4 April 2022