Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Glitch delays welfare payments

Many benefit claimants will have to wait an extra day for their payments

Tens of thousands of welfare claimants will have their payments delayed this week after a glitch.

The Department of Social Protection said a "once-off" processing issue will stall the transfer of cash, which was due into back accounts on Tuesday, until Wednesday.

Around 32,700 people are affected, including recipients on Illness Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance, Jobseeker's Benefit and Jobseeker's Allowance.

Other welfare payments delayed are Occupational Injuries Benefit, Partial Capacity Benefit, Farm Assist, Back to Work Allowance, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, Family Income Supplement, Back to Education Allowance, One Parent Family Payment, JobBridge, Pre-Retirement Allowance and Maternity Benefit.

The Department of Social Protection said it very much regretted the delay and apologised for any inconvenience caused to customers.

It said late payments will be in customers' bank accounts by 8am on Wednesday.

"The Department is satisfied that no other payments are affected," a spokesman added.

Sean Reilly, from the Department of Social Protection, said the number of people affected was a small proportion of the 1.6 million welfare payments made every week. He said: "The vast, vast majority of payments to our customers are not affected."

Mr Reilly said the delay was not caused by a technical problem but a processing fault between the department and the banks.

"On this one occasion there was a confusion between ourselves and the bank," he said. "It was certainly nothing to do with systems and no technical issue."

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