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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 727-741
 Header Item Jobseeker's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Jobseeker's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Supplementary Welfare Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Illness Benefit Appeals
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Payments
 Header Item Pension Provisions
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Illness Benefit Payments

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 727-741

Jobseeker's Allowance Applications

 727. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an entitlement to jobseekers's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38045/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned has been asked to produce further documentation in relation to his claim for jobseeker’s allowance and on receipt of the requested documentation his claim will be processed.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 728. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [38054/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27th August 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When received, the appeal in question will be referred in to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Jobseeker's Allowance Applications

 729. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if and when jobseeker's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38070/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned has been asked to produce further documentation in relation to her claim for jobseeker’s allowance and on receipt of the requested documentation her claim will be processed.

Disability Allowance Applications

 730. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if and when payment of disability allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38076/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I confirm that an application for disability allowance has been received from the person concerned. A decision on her application can be expected very shortly and the person concerned will be notified in writing.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 731. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will ensure the immediate approval of an application for an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38084/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 14th November 2011. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on the 11th May 2012 and the case has been assigned to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Appeals

 732. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will examine the refusal of an appeal for supplementary welfare in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38093/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all the evidence, disallowed the appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision. The reasons for the disallowance were notified to the person, with the decision, on 18th July 2012.

  Under Social Welfare legislation, the decision of the Appeals Officer is final and conclusive and may only be reviewed by the Appeals Officer in the light of new evidence or new facts.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

  Question No. 733 answered with Question No. 691.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

 734. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if and when an appeal for carer's allowance will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38096/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 02nd July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When received, the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Illness Benefit Appeals

 735. Deputy Pat Breen Information on Pat Breen Zoom on Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a decision will be made on an application for illness benefit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38102/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 12th January 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 16th July 2012 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 736. Deputy Michael Creed Information on Michael Creed Zoom on Michael Creed asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive a decision on their carer's allowance application; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38108/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examination by a deciding officer for a means assessment and a full decision. The application will be processed as quickly as possible and when a decision is made the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

 737. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will support a matter (details supplied). [38115/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The rent being paid by the person concerned is higher than the appropriate maximum amount of rent in respect of which a supplement is payable, as set out in the statutory regulations. Given her particular circumstances, she has been given an additional four month period to either seek alternative accommodation or negotiate a voluntary reduction in the rent with her landlady. Meanwhile, the full amount of rent being paid to the landlady has been taken into account for the purposes of the assessment of her entitlement to rent supplement.

Pension Provisions

 738. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton further to Parliamentary Question No. 342 of 17 July 2012, if she will indicate the number of contributions paid by a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38129/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The application for State pension (contributory) has been reviewed and the position set out in my reply on the 17th July remains unchanged. The person concerned, according to the records of the Department, has a yearly average of 4 contributions from 1952 to 1996. Therefore, she does not satisfy the qualifying conditions and her claim was disallowed.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 739. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will ensure the immediate processing of an appeal in respect of an application for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38134/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 4th September 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When received, the appeal in question will be referred in to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Illness Benefit Payments

 740. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the reason a person in receipt of a contributory widows pension may only receive illness benefit for a maximum period of 15 months; if she believes this to be discriminatory; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38135/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I wish to advise the deputy that payment of illness benefit in addition to widow’s pension was abolished for new applicants from the end of January 2012. However, where persons in receipt of widow’s pension were claiming illness benefit prior to the end of January 2012, a maximum overlapping period of 15 months applies.

Generally, the social welfare code is a contingency-based system, such contingencies including sickness, unemployment, old age or widowhood. While there were some exceptions (including the payment of half-rate illness benefit concurrently with widows contributory pension), there is a general rule that only one social welfare payment is payable at any one time. This maintains the equity of the social welfare system and is common to social security systems across the world.

In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the current arrangements are not discriminatory.

  Question No. 741 answered with Question No. 639.


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