Guide to the Functions & Records of the Department - Part 5


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CONTENTS

Part 5. Functions and Records - Social Welfare Services
5.1 Director-General's Office
5.2 Management Services Unit
5.3 Civil Registration Service (GRO)
5.4 Medical Review and Assessment Section
5.5 Unemployment Schemes
5.6 Employment Support Services (ESS)
5.7 Labour Market Unit
5.8 Money Advice and Budgeting Service
5.9 Habitual Residence Condition (HRC) Section
5.10 Control Division
5.11 Longford Social Welfare Services Office
5.12 Short-Term Illness Schemes
5.13 Service Delivery Model (SDM)
5.14 Client Identity Services and REACH
5.15 Insurability and PRSI Refunds
5.16 Client Eligibility, Self Employment and International Services
5.17 Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit
5.18 Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office
5.19 Pension Services Office (PSO)
5.20 Decisions Advisory Office and FOI Unit
5.21 Regional Offices
5.22 Regional Director's Office
5.23 Information Systems Division (ISD)
5.24 Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Section
5.25 Information Services
5.26 Customer Services
5.27 Payment Delivery Services
5.28 Respite Care Grant

Return to Index

PART 5. FUNCTIONS AND RECORDS - SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES

5.1 Director-General's Office

5.1.1 This Office provides secretarial support for the Director-General in overseeing the running of the Social Welfare Services.

5.1.2 Information Available

Information is available from Information Services on 1890 66 22 44.

5.1.3 Classes of Records Held

Records held in this Office include copies of papers, held for reference purposes, from files which are held in other areas of the Department, including:

  • Business Plans;
  • Customer Service Action;
  • Partnership;
  • TMT meetings;
  • SWS Reports;
  • Live Register;
  • Staffing Numbers;
  • Management Committee;
  • DSFA Strategic Programme;
  • Estimates; and
  • Administrative Budget Reports.
5.2 Management Services Unit (MSU)

5.2.1 Management Services Unit provides support to Social Welfare Services (SWS) management by measuring and monitoring performance. It facilitates organisational development with particular emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources.

The functions of the unit include:

  • provision of performance statistics on SWS schemes and services;
  • identifying opportunities for the redistribution and re-organisation of work within SWS;
  • assessment of staffing levels;
  • management of the INPUT staff suggestion scheme;
  • co-ordinating the implementation of the Management Information Framework; and
  • overseeing the implementation of the Government decision on Decentralisation in the Department.

5.2.2 Information Available

Information is available from Management Services Unit, Goldsmith House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. Tel (01) 6732729.

5.2.3 Classes of records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 above, the Management Services Unit holds records of submissions under the INPUT scheme.

5.3 Civil Registration Service (GRO)

5.3.1 The function of this Unit was to develop and implement a programme to modernise the Civil Registration Service by exploiting the opportunities offered by new technologies to the benefit of providers and users of the Service. This was a joint programme between the Department of Social Protection and the Department of Health and Children with the Department of Social Protection involvement finishing on 31 March 2005. The Department of Health and Children is now solely responsible for implementing the remaining features of the mdernisation programme.

5.3.2 Information Available

Information is available from 1890 66 22 44.

5.3.3 Classes of Records

The Department holds records relating to the modernisation programme up to 31 March 2005.

5.4 Medical Review and Assessment Section

5.4.1 The Medical Assessment Section is made up of the Chief Medical Adviser, the Deputy Chief Medical Adviser and a team of Medical Assessors, all of whom are employed on a full-time basis by the Department. The function of the Medical Assessors is to provide a second opinion to Deciding Officers on whether a claimant satisfies the medical criteria which apply in the case of a number of the Department's illness-related schemes.

5.4.2 Information Available

Information is available on the Department's website plus also from the Medical Review and Assessment Section at (01) 6732482.

5.4.3 Classes of Records

Customers may request copies of their Medical reports and Assessment papers held by contacting the Medical Review and Assessment Section

5.5 Unemployment Schemes

5.5.1 This unit is responsible for providing guidance and advice to local office and investigation staff on the implementation of legislative provisions relating to the following schemes:

  • Unemployment Benefit;
  • Unemployment Assistance;
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance;
  • Farm Assist;
  • Continued Child Payment;
  • Part-Time Job Incentive.

5.5.2 Classes of Records held

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7, this Branch holds records relating to:

  • administrative policy; and
  • instructions and guidelines.
5.6 Employment Support Services (ESS)

5.6.1 This branch of the Department was set up in 1993 as a pragmatic response to problems caused by unemployment and long-term unemployment in particular. ESS has taken a proactive and work-supportive approach to the unemployed customers encouraging them to take part in the various types of supports available. This supportive approach facilitates the transition to work by putting unemployed people in contact with an enhanced range of education, training, development and work opportunities through various schemes.

ESS has responsibility for the facilitation programme which is implemented through 10 regional co-ordinators and 33 job facilitators based in Social Welfare Local Offices. ESS also has responsibility for the following schemes:

  • Back to Work Allowance (Enterprise);
  • Back to Work Allowance (Employees);
  • Employers' PRSI Exemption Scheme;
  • Back to Education Allowance.

ESS is also responsible for the Family Services Project (FSP). This project consists of the processing and administration of a grant scheme for the provision of a high quality enhanced information service on the range of supports available locally to disadvantaged families with a particular emphasis on customers with complex needs. Grants of up to €5,000 to approved service providers are processed by the relevant Facilitator in the Social Welfare Local Office. Grants in excess of that amount are processed and administered by ESS at the address below.

5.6.2 Information Available

Information is available from Employment Support Services, Gandon House, Amiens St., Dublin 1. Tel: (01) 7043000 and from the Department's network of Local Information Centres (see Appendix 2) and from Information Services, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo. Tel: LoCall 1890 66 22 44. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.6.3 Classes of records held

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7, the Employment Support Service holds records of the Department's relationship with other agencies providing employment supports and with employer and unemployed people's organisations.

5.7 Labour Market Unit

5.7.1 The role of the Labour Market Unit is to:

  • monitor, evaluate and report on trends in Live Register and other labour market aggregates;
  • interpret trends in unemployment with regard to broader social, economic and demographic trends; and report on these to Government as appropriate;
  • report on Live Register outturns to senior management and Government;
  • aggregate and analyse various Live Register cohorts to establish baseline data and trends;
  • participate in National Employment Service Advisory Committee;
  • co-ordinate Departmental inputs to the Employment Action Plan (EAP) and monitor, evaluate and report on impacts of this plan and matters arising; and
  • liaise with CSO on matters of concern.

5.7.2 Information Available

The Head Office of Control Division of the Department is situated in Shannon Lodge, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim. Telephone 071 9672597.

5.7.3 Classes of Records held

Labour Market Unit holds records on information as outlined above.

5.8 Money Advice and Budgeting Service

5.8.1 The Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) Unit is based in Cork and has responsibility for management of the programme, including monitoring of the service and financial administration.

5.8.2 Information Available

While MABS Unit is sunject to FOI, the MABS companies are not and therefore all information requests for MABS companies are subject to the approval of each company.

5.8.3 Class of records held

The MABS Unit holds records on all budget submissions, requests for salary and non salary requirements from each of the 52 MABS companies.

5.9 Habitual Residence Condition (HRC) Section

5.9.1 Habitual Residence is a condition which applicants must satisfy in order to qualify for certain social welfare assistance payments and Child Benefit. This condition took effect from 1 May 2004 and affects all applicants regardless of nationality. Its purpose is to restrict access to social assistance and Child Benefit in the case of persons newly arrived in Ireland.

A central section based in Dublin was set up to monitor policy in relation to the implementation of the habitual residence condition and to provide advice and support to scheme areas and Social Welfare Local Offices (SWLOs). While decisions to the effect that applicants satisfy HRC can be made in the majority of cases at claim acceptance stage on the basis of a short form HRC1(a), decisions on complex cases are being made in the unit pending the devolution of decision making to scheme areas and SWLOs.

5.9.2 Information Available

Information is available from HRC Section, Floor 2, Townsend Street, Dublin 2 Tel: 6732041 and from the Department's network of Local Information Centres (see Appendix 2).

5.9.3 Classes of records held

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7. HRC Section holds records of the Department's relationship with other agencies dealing with migrant workers and refugees and with migrant workers and refugee support groups.

5.10 Control Division

5.10.1 The Control Division comprises two sections - Central Control Section and Central Prosecutions Service. It develops control policies and strategies aimed at keeping fraud and error payments to a minimum, for all schemes. It supports and advises scheme managers on all matters relating to control. It oversees the implementation of the Prosecution Policy and Risk Assessment Process. It provides a service to all sections of the Department with regard to the taking of prosecutions.

5.10.2 Information Available

The Head Office of Control Division of the Department is situated at 157 - 164 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, Tel: (01) 7043000.

5.10.3 Classes of Records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7, the Control Division holds records relating to:

  • Individual files and data in relation to the prosecution of offenders.
5.11 Longford Social Welfare Services Office

5.11.1 This branch of the Department has responsibility for administering the following schemes:

  • Bereavement Grant (claims for a Bereavement Grant in respect of persons who were receiving a payment from the Pension Services Office are being dealt with by that office);
  • Carer's Allowance;
  • Carer's Benefit;
  • Death Benefits - under the Occupational Injury Benefits scheme including:
    - Widow's or Widower's Pension - Decisions
    - Orphan's Pension
    - Dependent Parent's Pension
    - Funeral Grant
  • Disability Allowance;
  • Disablement Benefit;
  • Family Income Supplement;
  • Invalidity Pension;
  • National Fuel Scheme - for customers of the Longford Social Welfare Services;
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance; (records only of claims terminated before 1/10/2000 - all subsequent claims are dealt with by Regional Offices)
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance - for customers of the Longford Social Welfare Services;
  • Rent Allowance; and
  • Unemployability Supplement.

Services of the Longford Social Welfare Services are delivered directly to the public. Payments are made by Personalised Payable Orders and Electronic Information Transfer (EIT) using An Post's network of offices, by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) directly into Bank and Building Society Accounts and by means of cheques.

5.11.2 Information Available

Information is available from the Social Welfare Services, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford. Tel: (043)3340000 or (01) 7043000. It is also available from the Department's network of Local Information Offices (see Appendix 2) and from Information Services, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.11.3 Classes of records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 above, the Longford Social Welfare Services hold records relating to:

  • the Consultative Forum comprising Organisations representing People with Disabilities and Service Providers;
  • the Customer Panel for people with Disabilities and their Carers; and
  • Longford Social Welfare Services relationship with other agencies.
5.12 Short-Term Illness Schemes

5.12.1 This area of the Department has responsibility for administering the following schemes:

  • Disability Benefit;
  • Injury Benefit/Medical Care.

The Disability Benefit, Injury Benefit and Medical Care Schemes are run from the Department's office at Aras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin 1.

Applications for Disability Benefit and Occupational Injury Benefit should initially be made through doctors who are medical certifiers for the scheme.

Applications for Medical Care should be made on an application form available from Injury Benefit Section or any local office of the Department.

Payments are made using An Post's network of offices by means of cheques and by means of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) directly into Bank and Building Society Accounts.

5.12.2 Information Available

Information on Disability Benefit as it affects individual customers is available from the Disability Benefit Telephone Enquiries at (01) 6797777.

Information on individual Injury Benefit claims is available at (01) 7043018/7043020. Information on Medical Care claims is available at (01) 7043627.

Information can also be obtained through e-mail by contacting benefits@welfare.ie

General information is available from the Department's Network of information offices (see Appendix 2). It is also available from Information Services, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.12.3 Classes of Records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 above, this Branch holds records of:

  • Medical certificates; and
  • Concurrent Working and Claiming (CWC) files.
5.13 Service Delivery Modernisation (SDM)

5.13.1 The central aim of the Service Delivery Modernisation (SDM) is the reorganisation and integration of services around the customer by changing processes, organisational structures and support systems. The role of the SDM Business area is to define business requirements and provide support for the devlopment of the Business Object Model/Naked Object Framework (NOF), develop and lead a parallel programme of organisational change and provide for integration of services with developments on other modernisation projects.

5.13.2 Information Available

Information is available from the Department at (01) 6143767 and Pension Services Office, College Road , Sligo at (071) 9157100.

5.13.3 Classes of records

This Unit holds records relating to business aspects of the SDM Project. Records relating to IT aspects are held within the Information Systems area - see 5.23.2 below.

5.14 Client Identity Services and REACH - Integrated Services

5.14.1 Client Identity Services has responsibility for policy and management of the Personal Public Service Number (PPS No - formerly RSI No) and Social Services Cards.

Client Identity Services is comprised of:

  • Client Identity Services;
  • Index - pre 1979 Insurance Numbers;
  • Data Access and Protection.

REACH is an initiative established by the Government to foster and develop citizen-centred and integrated public services.

The specific objectives of REACH are to:

  • improve services to customers of public services by developing integrated accessible customer-centred services across the public sector;
  • develop the public service broker and associated framework as the means for implementing integrated public service delivery;
  • improve the efficiency of public service administration;
  • improve the effectiveness of social and other Government policies;
  • facilitate better control of fraud and abuse of publicly-funded services.

Client Identity Services has overall responsibility for maintenance of client identity and contact details for the Department and, under the REACH programme, it has responsibility for these in the wider public service.

5.14.2 Information Available

Information on Client Identity Services is available from Shannon Lodge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim, Tel: 1890 927 999.

Information on REACH is available from the Reach Website at http://www.reach.ie/ or from the Director, Reach Agency, Floor 2, Shelbourne House, Dublin 4.

5.14.3 Classes of Records

The classes of records held by Client Identity Services are as outlined at section 3.7 above.

The classes of records held by REACH are as follows:

  • Technical specifications;
  • Business and Technical Architectures to do with development of the Public Services Broker;
  • Associated legislative proposals;
  • Policy in relation to Personal Public Service Number, Public Services Card and liaison/participation in the SAFE programme;
  • Procurement documents related to development of the Reach programme;
  • General correspondence with public sector agencies and Departments in regard to Reach and the development of the Public Sector Broker.
5.15 Insurability and PRSI Refunds

5.15.1 Scope section is responsible for:

  • Determinations on the insurability of employment;

PRSI Refunds Section is responsible for:

  • Processing claims for refunds in cases where PRSI has been paid incorrectly.

5.15.2 Information Available

Information is available as follows:

  • on Insurability of Employment from Scope Section, Oisin House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Tel (01)-6732585 or Fax (01)-6732460
  • On PRSI Refunds from PRSI Refunds Section, Oisin House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2 Tel. (01)-6732586 or Fax (01)-6732460

5.15.3 Classes of Records

In addition to records outlined at section 3.7 above, records are held relating to insurability of employment and PRSI refunds.

5.16 Client Eligibility, Self Employment and International Services

5.16.1

  • Client Eligibility Services Unit:
    - acquires, maintains, updates and makes available PRSI contribution records and social insurance credit records (including disregards under the Home Makers Scheme).
  • Self Employment Section is responsible for:
    - PRSI for the Self-Employed;
    - PRSI Special Collection.
  • International Services exchanges information with EEA States relating to clients' claims and insurance records under EC Regulations. It also deals with clients who are covered under Bilateral Agreements on social security between Ireland and: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Quebec and the United States.

5.16.2 Information Available

Information is available as follows:

  • on Client Eligibility Services,
    Deparment of Social Protection,
    McCarter's Road,
    Ardarvan,
    Buncrana,
    Co. Donegal.
    LoCall: 1890 690 690(from the Republic of Ireland only).
    Telephone:+353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)
  • on PRSI for the Self-Employed and PRSI Special Collection from Government Buildings, Cork Road, Waterford. Tel (051)-356000. Fax (051)-877838 and Internet: self-employment@eircom.net
  • on International Records Section,
    Social Welfare Services,
    Deparment of Social Protection,
    Inner Relief Road,
    Ardarvan,
    Buncrana,
    Co. Donegal.
    LoCall: 1890 690 690(from the Republic of Ireland only).
    Telephone:+353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

5.16.3 Classes of Records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 above, the Branch holds records relating to the former 'Social Welfare Services Ireland' unit which provided consultancy services through funded programmes to countries developing their social security systems and institutions.

5.17 Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit

5.17.1 Central Overpayments and Debt Managemant Unit is responsible for recording and reporting details of overpayments which arise on Social Welfare Schemes as well as details of moneys recovered.

5.17.2 Information Available

Information is available from Central Overpayments and Debt Management Unit, Dept. of Social Protection, Oisin House, Pearse St, Dublin 2. Telephone (01)-6732444

5.17.3 Classes of records held

The Unit holds records relating to overpayments and overpayment recoveries.

5.18 Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office

5.18.1 This branch of the Department has responsibility for administering the following schemes:

  • Adoptive Benefit;
  • Child Benefit;
  • Dental Benefit;
  • Health and Safety Benefit;
  • Maternity Benefit;
  • Medical Appliances; and
  • Optical Benefit;

Services of the Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office are delivered directly to the public. Payments are made using An Post's network of offices, by means of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) directly in to Bank, Building Society and An Post Accounts and to the professionals directly involved in the operation of the Treatment Benefits schemes.

5.18.2 Information Available

Information is available from the Child, Treatment Benefits and Maternity Schemes Office, St. Oliver Plunkett Road, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Tel: (074) 25566 or (01) 7043000. It is also available from the Department's network of Local Information Offices (see Appendix 2) and from Information Services, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.18.3 Classes of records

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 the Child, Treatment Benefit and Maternity Schemes Office holds records of Negotiations with Professional Bodies and Agencies.

5.19 Pensions Services Office (PSO)

5.19.1 This Office has responsibility for administering the following schemes:

  • Bereavement Grant *
  • Blind Pension
  • Deserted Wife's Allowance **
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit **
  • Free Travel
  • Household Benefits:
    - Bottled Gas Refill Allowance
    - Electricity Allowance
    - Electricity (Group Account) Allowance
    - Natural Gas Allowance
    - Free Television Licence
  • Lone Parent Allowance **
  • National Fuel Scheme - for customers of the PSO
  • Occupational Injuries Death (Widow's and Widower's) Benefit - Payments
  • Old Age (Contributory) Pension
  • Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Orphan's (Contributory) Allowance
  • Orphan's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Prescribed Relative's Allowance ***
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance **
  • Retirement Pension
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance - for customers of the PSO
  • Widow's & Widower's (Contributory) Pension
  • Widow's & Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Widowed Parent Grant

with additional allowances where appropriate for qualified adult and child dependants, for those living alone, for those living on prescribed islands abd for those 80 years of age or over.

* where the deceased was previously in receipt of Old Age (Contributory) Pension, Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension, Retirement Pension, One-Parent Family Payment, Widow(er)'s Contributory Pension, Widow(er)'s (Non-contributory) Pension, Lone Parent's Allowance, Deserted Wife's Allowance or Deserted Wife's Benefit or for whom an additional allowance as a qualified adult or dependent child was payable on any of the said schemes, and qualifying PRSI conditions as set out in Bereavement Grant guidelines are satisfied.

** for existing clients only - schemes superseded by One-Parent Family Payment.

*** for existing clients only - scheme superseded by Carer's Allowance.

5.19.2 How services are delivered

Services of the Pensions Services Office are delivered directly to the public, normally by means of claims submitted by clients through the post to the Office. Those applying for One-Parent Family Payment for the first time should apply through their Social Welfare Local Office. Prior to decision, Non-Contributory claims are normally investigated by local Social Welfare Inspectors, who also carry out claim review and other control work on behalf of the PSO. Payments are made by personalised payable order using An Post's network of offices and by means of Electronic Fund Transfer directly in to Bank, Building Society and Post Office Accounts. Weekly payments by card-based Electronic Information Transfer (EIT) are available through Post Offices to One-Parent Family Payment clients (including Lone Parent and Deserted Wife's payments and Widow(er)s payments) who wish to avail of the Household Budgeting Service. Arrears of pension due, and pensions payable to pensioners who reside outside the State and who have not opted for payment via EFT, are paid by cheque.

All clients have the right of appeal to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office in the event that they are dissatisfied with a claim decision of the PSO in their case.

5.19.3 Information Available

Information is available from the Pension Services Office, College Road, Sligo, Tel: LoCall 1890 500 000 from the Republic of Ireland or 00 353 719157100 from Northern Ireland or overseas. It is also available from the Department's network of Local Information Offices (see Appendix 2) and from Information Services, LoCall 1890 66 22 44. Application forms are available from your local Social Welfare Office, Post Office, Citizens Information Centre or use the SMS (Text) Messaging Service. Application forms may also be downloaded from our website at forms. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.19.4 Classes of records

The classes of records held by the Pension Services Office are as outlined at section 3.7 above.

In addition, the following specific classes of files are held:
* Administrative files relating to service providers under the various Free Schemes.

5.20 Decisions Advisory Office and Freedom of Information Unit

5.20.1 This Unit has responsibility for ensuring that decisions made on social welfare claims are consistent and of good quality and that customers are notified of decisions in a form which is clear and understandable. It also co-ordinates action on the implementation throughout the Department of the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 and 2003.

The Unit achieves this by:

  • Giving advice to Deciding Officers regarding the application of social welfare legislation, including advice published in the in-house periodical 'DAO Bulletin';
  • Holding training seminars for Deciding Officers;
  • Consulting with scheme managers on new and amended guidelines for Deciding Officers;
  • Interfacing with the Social Welfare Appeals Officers on appeals procedures and issues;
  • Liaising with the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to complaints relating to social welfare cases;
  • Co-ordinating Freedom of Information (FOI) arrangements and supporting and advising FOI Officers.

5.20.2 Information Available

The Decisions Advisory Office is located on Lower Ground Floor, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford, (043) 43744.

The Freedom of Information Unit is located on Lower Ground Floor, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford Tel: (043) 34741 or (043) 34742
Email foi@welfare.ie

5.20.3 Classes of records held

In addition to the records outlined at section 3.7 above, this Office holds records relating to:

  • Guidance to Deciding Officers on application of social welfare legislation
  • Freedom of Information arrangements
  • Liaison arrangements with the Office of the Ombudsman and the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
5.21 Regional Offices

5.21.1 Apart from Schemes administered centrally by devolved offices located in Sligo, Longford, Letterkenny, Cork, Waterford and Dublin, the Department also administers the following schemes via a network of local offices dispersed across ten regions nationally (three in Dublin and seven for the rest of the Country):

  • Back to Education Allowance;
  • Back to Work Allowance;
  • Disability Benefit (i.e. registration of medical certificates and claims);
  • National Fuel Allowance for customers of the Regions;
  • Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme;
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance for customers of the Regions;
  • Unemployment Assistance;
  • Unemployment Benefit;
  • Farm Assist;
  • Fish Assist;
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance and credits;
  • One-Parent Family Payment

Payments to customers serviced by the Social Welfare Local Offices and Branch Offices are made by cheque, by electronic information transfer (EIT) through An Post's network of post offices, or by postdraft in non-computerised post offices, or by means of Electronic Fund Transfer directly into Bank and Building Society Accounts.

5.21.2 Information Available

Information is available from the Department's Network of local and branch offices (see Appendix 2). It is also available from Information Services, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44. Appendix 3 contains a list of all information leaflets available in the Department.

5.21.3 Classes of records

The types of records held by the Regions are outlined at section 3.7 above.

5.22 Regional Director's Office

5.22.1 The Regional Offices are under the overall control of the Regional Director whose office has the following functions:

  • Local Office Services
  • Field Services
  • Support Services & Control Programme
  • Financial Services
  • Compliance Issues
  • Performance and Audit Standards.

5.22.2 Information Available

Information is available from the Regional Director's Office on (01) 7043000.

5.22.3 Classes of records

The types of records held by the Regions are outlined at section 3.7 above.

5.23 Information Systems Division (ISD)

5.23.1 The extensive use of Information Technology (IT) has facilitated major improvements in customer service and streamlined the development of schemes and services. The computer systems have enabled the Department to provide better customer services while achieving greater control of fraud and abuse. The Information Systems Division has responsibility for the provision and support of all computer applications, telecommunications and information systems within the Department.

The IS Division is made up of a number of IT-related Units as follows:

5.23.2 Service Delivery Model

- IT aspects of Project

5.23.3 Service Delivery Support

-eGovernment

5.23.4 Modernisation Programme

  • Change Management Programme
  • Electronic Services Development
  • Payments Delivery

5.23.5

  • Identity Services
  • Public Services Card
  • Data Security

5.23.6

  • IT facilities
  • Shared Services
  • Internal Customer Support
  • Computer Operations
  • Network and Security

5.23.7 IS Development Central Support

  • Database Administration
  • Organisation Development
  • IS Planning
  • IS Training and Development Financial and HR

5.23.8 Application Development and Maintenance

  • Internal Business Systems
  • Long-term schemes
  • Short-term schemes
  • Eligibility Systems
  • Identity Systems

5.23.9 Information Available

The Information Systems Division is located at Goldsmith House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2; Oisin House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2; Landen House, Townsend Street, Dublin 2; Gandon House, Amiens Street, Dublin 1 and Con Colbert House, Kilmainham, Dublin 8. The telephone number for the division is (01) 7043000.

5.23.10 Classes of Records held

The Information Systems Division holds records as outlined at section 3.7 above.

5.24 Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) Section

5.24.1 The functions of this section are to:

  • Advise the Minister on SWA policy issues and related matters;
  • Provide "the general direction and control" under which the Health Service Executive exercises its operational responsibility for the SWA scheme on behalf of the Minister for Social and Family Affairs;
  • Manage Home Heating Programme, comprising
    - The National Fuel Scheme and
    - The Smokeless Fuel Scheme
  • Manage Child Education Programme, comprising
    - The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Scheme
    - The School Meals (Local Projects) Scheme and
    - The Urban and Gaeltacht School Meals Schemes.

5.24.2 Information Available

SWA Section is located c/o Pensions Services Office, College Road, Sligo and information can be obtained at (01) 7043000.

5.25 Information Services Unit

5.25.1 Information Services has responsibility for the provision of information in a clear and accessible manner to the public on all services administered by the Department.

5.25.2 Information Available

The Information Services Unit is located in SWS, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44.

5.25.3 Classes of Records held:

  • Information guides and leaflets.
  • Applications for information grants
5.26 Customer Service

5.26.1 Quality Customer Service (QCS) Unit is responsible for the development and improvement of customer service across the Department through the promotion, continual implementation and monitoring of the twelve Quality Customer Service Principles.

The functions of the QCS Unit are:

  • to promote and develop a strong customer service culture throughout the Department;
  • to further develop the consultative process, so that customers can provide opinions, give feedback and become involved in the process of establishing challenging service standards;
  • to support and review the operation of the comments and complaints system;
  • to identify, through the development and monitoring of customer service quality standards, those areas requiring improvement;
  • to evaluate, monitor and report on the Customer Service Charter commitments.

5.26.2 Information Available

Information is available from Customer Services, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo, Tel: 1890 66 22 44.

5.26.3 Classes of Records

QCS Unit holds records of customer service initiatives, customer surveys and customer consultation.

5.27 Payment Delivery Section

5.27.1 Payment Delivery Section is responsible for developing, managing and enhancing the Department's payment delivery services. The section also manages the Department's relationship with our payment service providers and monitors and delivers efficiencies in the Department's postage costs.

5.27.2 Information Available

Information is available from Payment Delivery Section, Administration Section, Accounts Branch, Government Buildings, St Alphonsus Rd, Dundalk, Co. Louth Tel: 042 9392600.

5.27.3 Classes of Records

Payment Delivery Section holds records of payment delivery services and postage budgets.

5.28 Respite Care Grant Section

5.28.1 This section was set up following the extension of entitlement to the Respite Care Grant in Budget 2005. Prior to this the Grant was payable only to people who were in receipt of Carers Benefit or Carers Allowance and it was paid automatically to them by the sections administering the above payments.

In Budget 2005 entitlement to the Grant was extended to all full-time carers, regardless of means but subject to cetain conditions, mainly relating to employment and medical considerations. As these new customers were not getting the Grant automatically, and in order to establish their credentials as people providing full-time care to people in need of such care, an application system was introduced to cater for them. The Respite Care Grant Section was set up to administer this.

5.28.2 Information Available

The Respite Care Grant Section is situated at 157 - 164 Townsend Street, Dublin 2, Tel. (01) 7043000.

5.28.3 Classes of Records

The classes of records held by the Respite Care Grant Section are as outlined at Section 3.7 above.


Last modified:01/10/2013
 

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