Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Social Welfare torments woman with letters all stating the same incorrect information

THE Department of Social Protection sent a Waterford City woman 46 letters in one day, and four the next day, each saying the exact same thing. The woman, who has asked to remain anonymous, received the letters after she commenced an investigation with the Social Welfare after money from her husband’s CE Scheme was stopped.

“They took €90 out of his money every week and told me that it was down to the illness benefit that I was receiving,” the woman told the Waterford News & Star. “That didn’t make any sense to me so I went down to the Social Welfare to find out exactly what was happening.”

After a few phone calls, the woman was told the exact reason why her husband’s money was stopped, and she nearly fell off her chair.

“They told me that I had received €105K in payments over the course of the last nine months,” she said incredulously. “That couldn’t be further from the €160 that I was actually getting.”

To follow up on this claim, the Social Welfare then sent 50 letters, outlining incorrect statements from January 2018 – December 2019 and each letter was the exact same.

“I don’t know what’s going on down there or how they could have made a mistake like this, but my postman wasn’t very happy when he knocked on the door and handed me all the letters,” she said. “How much has the tax payer paid for each of those letters to be sent I wonder?”

The Waterford News & Star has contacted the Department of Social Protection for a response, but none was received at the time of going to press. However, following the publication of the newspaper on Tuesday, the following statement was received:

“The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is aware that, due to a technical issue with the system functionality that produces payment statements, a number of customers received multiple duplicate statements in the past two weeks. The technical issue has now been resolved. The Department apologises to these customers for the inconvenience caused.”

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