How social welfare payments are paid

Introduction

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.

COVID-19 and collecting your social welfare payment

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, you can use your expired Public Services Card for ID to collect your social welfare payment.

If you are unable to collect your payment from the post office due to illness or self-isolation, 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.
  • 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.

Social welfare payments paid every 2 weeks

In March 2020, many social welfare payments changed from being paid every week to every 2 weeks. In August 2020, most working age income supports such as jobseeker’s payments and the One-Parent Family Payment returned to being paid weekly.

From 2 November 2020, social welfare payments that are being paid every 2 weeks, for example, State pensions and payments to carers will return to weekly payments. This applies both to payments collected at post offices and those paid into a bank account.

If your payment is paid every 2 weeks, it will not affect the amount you get but it will reduce the need for you to leave home to collect your payment.

You can find out more about when social welfare payments are paid.

Page edited: 12 October 2020