People signing on the Live Register will now have to collect their weekly benefit payment at a post office instead of having it paid into their bank account.

The Government says this is to reduce the likelihood of people claiming benefits while they are not resident in Ireland.

People who are already on the Live Register can still receive their payments through their bank accounts. But department officials will be intensifying checks on those who are already claiming the payment.

Since last September, officials from the Department of Social and Family Affairs have been monitoring new people signing onto the Live Register.

Of more than 2,000 cases they found that 10% were not resident in the country at the time they were claiming benefits or were claiming a level of benefits to which they were not entitled.

By stopping these claims, the department saved over €1.5m in that period.

To prevent any more such abuses, anyone signing on from now will have to collect their weekly payment at a post office and will not have the option of it being paid automatically into their bank account.

Now if the payment is not collected within the week from the post office it will be cancelled and the claimant will have to go to their local social welfare office to have it re-instated.