Dáil Éireann - Volume 508 - 06 October, 1999
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Information Officers.
Mr. Deasy Mr. Deasy
72. Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will appoint a social welfare information officer at strategic points in each county, such as Dungarvan, County Waterford, to facilitate the public regarding their entitlements. [19042/99]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
 Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): Information officers are already in place in each of the 57 social welfare local offices throughout the country. These officers are trained to deal with inquiries regarding all social welfare entitlements. In addition, social welfare inspectors in over 50 locations provide a call-in service at least one day per week for members of the public who wish to make inquiries regarding their entitlements.
Agreement was reached recently with the 70 social welfare branch offices to enhance the information service currently provided by them to include all social welfare schemes. The enhanced service will be put in place as soon as certain preparatory work, including training of branch office staff, has been completed.
The position regarding Dungarvan is that it is served by a branch office at Church Street and by an inspector who is located in the new civic offices in the town.
Information queries on unemployment and disability payments are normally dealt with at the branch office, but a wide range of other queries are dealt with by the inspector on his office morning.
Following the recent agreement with the branch offices it is planned to develop a fully integrated information service at the branch office. This will provide a focal point in the town for those seeking information on my Department's services.
Information on the full range of social services is also available nationwide through a network of citizens information centres. The Dungarvan centre is one of 85 centres throughout the country supported by the national social service board.
Dáil Éireann 508 Written Answers. Social Welfare Information Officers.