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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 41 - 53
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Jobseeker's Benefit Applications
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Supplementary Welfare Allowance Applications
 Header Item Illness Benefit Appeals
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Applications
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Expenditure
 Header Item Disability Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Community Employment Schemes Places
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals Status
 Header Item Supplementary Welfare Allowance Applications

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 785 No. 2

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Written Answers Nos. 41 - 53

  Question No. 41 withdrawn.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 42. Deputy John O'Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their application for carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54634/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I confirm that the department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 11th October 2012. Once all the necessary investigations have been carried out in relation to all aspects of this application, a decision will issue directly to the person in question.

Jobseeker's Benefit Applications

 43. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of claimants of jobseeker's benefit who have been removed from benefit after the change to assessing their claims on a five day basis in July this year and the number projected to be removed when Sunday working will be assessed in April 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54656/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The jobseeker's benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative employment. It is a fundamental qualifying condition for these schemes that a person must be available for full-time work. Budget 2012 provided for a change in payment week for jobseeker’s benefit. Where a benefit recipient is working part-time or in casual employment their rate of benefit is calculated with reference to a 5 day, rather than a 6 day, week. The Budget also provided for the inclusion of Sunday working when calculating the amount of jobseeker’s benefit/allowance payable. The change to the calculation of jobseeker’s benefit was implemented in July 2012 and the inclusion of Sunday working will be implemented in February 2013.

The change to the calculation method for part-time or casual jobseeker’s benefit recipients does not, in general, act to remove persons from the scheme as the rule whereby a person must be fully unemployed for three days in any consecutive period of six days, known as the ‘3 in 6’ rule, is retained. However, under the Sunday working measure this rule will be changed to a ‘4 in 7’ basis. As a result persons currently working three days plus Sunday will no longer be entitled to benefit. It is estimated that some 800 people may lose entitlement in this context of having four days of work per week.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

 44. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the reasons a family (details supplied) in County Kildare was refused a domiciliary care allowance payment; if the decision may be appealed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54662/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received on the 26th June 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the child was not medically eligible for DCA. A letter issued on the 16th August 2012 refusing the allowance, the person concerned subsequently lodged an appeal against this decision. As part of the appeal process, the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration, including a review of any new information supplied. Upon receipt of the Medical Assessor’s opinion, the case will be further examined and will be forwarded for consideration by the Appeals Office, if necessary.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Applications

 45. Deputy Arthur Spring Information on Arthur Spring Zoom on Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry was awarded supplementary welfare allowance when residing in Ireland in 1998; if they met all conditions necessary for the entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance in that year, the reason they are not entitled to SWA at present; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54669/12]

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 was registered in that office on 06th November 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

 46. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if a decision on an appeal for illness benefit will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54680/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Payment of illness benefit, to the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer following an examination by a Medical Assessor of the Department who expressed the opinion that she was capable of work. An appeal was registered on the 31st October 2012 and the Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that, in accordance with statutory requirements, the Department was asked for the documentation in the case and the Deciding Officer’s comments on the grounds of the appeal. In that context, an examination by another Medical Assessor will be carried out. The person concerned will be notified when arrangements for the examination have been completed. 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.

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

 47. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding social welfare entitlements in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54681/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned should contact her local social welfare office or Citizens’ Information Centre whereupon her full details can be provided and any possible entitlements outlined in this regard.

Rent Supplement Scheme Expenditure

 48. Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the amount spent annually for 2010 and 2011 on rent allowance in the counties Laois and Offaly. [54684/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton There are approximately 88,000 persons in receipt of rent supplement for which the Government has provided a sum of €436 million for 2012. The total expenditure on rent supplement was €517 million in 2010 and €503 million in 2011. These expenditure figures are not available broken down by county. The following tabular statement provides details of the number of rent supplement recipients in counties Laois and Offaly at end 2010 and 2011.

  Number of rent supplement recipients in County Laois and County Offaly:

  End 2010 End 2011
County Laois 1,151 1,178
County Offaly 1,273 1,349

Disability Allowance Appeals

 49. Deputy Seán Kenny Information on Seán Kenny Zoom on Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton when a decision will issue on a disability allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [54732/12]

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 for Illness Benefit from the person concerned was assessed by a Medical Assessor of the Department of Social Protection who was of the opinion that she was capable of work. She appealed this decision and in that context the appeal was assessed by another Medical Assessor who also expressed the opinion that she was capable of work. In the light of this, it was decided to afford the person concerned an opportunity of setting out the complete and up to date grounds of her appeal and to furnish any further medical evidence that she wished to submit in support of her appeal. She did this and, at this stage, the Department of Social Protection have been requested to submit relevant documents to this office on her case.

On receipt of their response her appeal will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision in the case or arrange an oral hearing if warranted. 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.

Community Employment Schemes Places

 50. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding a community employment extension scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54742/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned was in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance up until March 2010. He then commenced a Community Employment Scheme which is due to finish in March 2013. Based on the eligibility criteria for participation on CE Schemes, there is no provision to extend his participation beyond March 2013 as he will have completed 3 years on the scheme.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 51. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54743/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I confirm that an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question was refused on the ground that the caree in question was not medically eligible for carer’s allowance. A letter issued on the 14th June 2012 refusing the allowance. The person in question subsequently submitted further medical evidence for review on 22nd June 2012 and the 16th July 2012. This medical evidence is awaiting assessment by a medical assessor. On completion of all the necessary investigations as part of this review the original decision will be either confirmed or revised by the deciding officer, as appropriate, and the person in question will be contacted directly with the outcome.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

 52. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an appeal for a respite grant in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54819/12]

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 19th November 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When received, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on 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 Applications

 53. Deputy Dan Neville Information on Dan Neville Zoom on Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding supplementary welfare allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick. [54822/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned applied for Disability Allowance and was refused. He has appealed this decision to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office and is awaiting the result of this appeal. In the meantime, he has applied for Supplementary Welfare Allowance and this is currently being investigated by the Designated Officer as this allowance is subject to a means test. He will be notified of the outcome of this application as soon as possible.


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