Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 29th August 2017

McGlone Welcomes Clarification on Irish Passport Verification for Universal Credit

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has welcomed clarification from the Department for Communities that Irish passports are recognised and can be used as part of the verification process to access Universal Credit.

Mr McGlone said, “Following recent media reports about difficulties in using Irish passports as verification to access Universal Credit, a number of constituents had contacted my office expressing their concerns about applying for this benefit.

“As a result I contacted the Department for Communities seeking clarification on whether or not constituents can use an Irish passport to confirm their identity when applying for Universal Credit.

“The Department has now confirmed that Irish passports are recognised and can be used as part of the Verify process. They have stated that this has been successfully tested.

“They have, however, also accepted that the verification process can be difficult to navigate and acknowledged the concerns raised by those who have attempted to use the system.

“The Department has said that they will work to address those concerns and ensure help and support is available to users of the Verify process when making claims to the new Universal Credit.

“The SDLP will continue to monitor the situation as Universal Credit is rolled out in the north to ensure that the promised help and support is available and that all those entitled to this benefit are able to apply without difficulty.“