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Public Services

Authority to Appoint an Agent

Individuals who are unable to collect social welfare payments or manage their financial affairs can nominate another person to act as their agent. The agent can collect payments on a temporary or long-term basis.

Becoming an Agent:

An agent must be over 18 years and could be a spouse, parent, legal guardian, child, sibling, in-law, niece or nephew, grandchild, grandparent, aunt or uncle, a person appointed as a care representative of the customer, or someone deemed by the Department to have a good and sufficient interest in the customer's welfare.

Representatives of a care centre can act as agents for residents who have been in the centre for four continuous weeks or more, given no other suitable person is available and willing to be appointed.

An individual cannot serve as an agent if they've been adjudicated as a bankrupt (unless the bankruptcy has been discharged or the adjudication annulled), convicted of an offence involving fraud or dishonesty, or convicted of an offence against the person or property of the claimant or beneficiary concerned.

Obligations of an Agent:

An agent has several responsibilities, including ensuring the payment is used for the customer's benefit, not spent on items or services to which the customer is entitled and are available, lodged to an interest-bearing account for the customer's benefit, and any changes in the customer's circumstances are reported to the department. The agent must also keep a record of all transactions made concerning the benefit payment and produce the records if requested.

The department can cancel an agency arrangement if it believes the arrangement is not satisfactory or the payment is not being used for the customer's benefit. If this happens, the agent must return the payments on request.

Appointing a Temporary Agent:

A temporary agent can be appointed for various schemes if the individual is unable to collect their payment at a post office. The form TA1 must be filled out, and is only available at the post office.

The nominated agent should take this form along with the social services card to the post office.

Nominating an Agent on a Long-Term Basis:

If an individual is unable to collect their payment at a post office due to an illness or loss of mobility, they can nominate a person to collect their payment on a long-term basis. A specific form needs to be filled out and sent to the address of the benefit the individual is claiming.

Person Unable to Manage Their Own Financial Affairs:

If a customer is unable to manage their own financial affairs, an agent may be appointed on their behalf. A doctor must certify the customer's inability to manage their finances.

Appointment of an Agent in Other Cases:

In situations where the individual is a ward of court or a person appointed under an enduring power of attorney, payments will be made directly to the Committee of the Ward or to the Attorney, to a nominated bank account.

If a customer has been a resident in a care centre under the Health Service Executive (HSE) for four continuous weeks or more, a representative of the care centre can be appointed to act as their agent.

Authority to Appoint an Agent