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Burton, Joan

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Pension Provisions

I thank Deputy Penrose for raising this extremely important issue. The Pensions Act sets out the order in which the assets of a pension scheme are distributed in the event of the wind-up of a pens...More Button

If a scheme is underfunded, the assets remaining after the distribution of assets in respect of payments to pensioners may not be sufficient to meet the liabilities pertaining to active and defer...More Button

The Government decision dated 4 October 2011 approved the drafting of legislation to change the current 100% priority given to existing pensioners on the wind-up of a deferred benefit pensions sc...More Button

When I published the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013, I pointed out that I would not be proceeding at this stage with a change to the manner in which the assets o...More Button

The Deputy may also be aware that the Pensions Act provides a procedure - that is, the funding standard - for determining whether a scheme has sufficient assets to meet its liabilities. The fund...More Button

Pension Provisions (Continued)

I appreciate the comments of Deputy Penrose, who clearly has a wide knowledge of this area. I am aware how worrying this is for the type of people Deputy Penrose has referred to who are coming clo...More Button

It is important to get the indications from the submission of funding proposals with regard to where schemes stand. A great deal of work has been done in several schemes to provide for re-fundin...More Button

We can all agree that people who have handsome pensions should contribute, but in many cases their contribution alone would be insufficient. Therefore, we need to consider where the balance shou...More Button

Deputy Penrose's question primarily relates to an insolvency situation. The Waterford Crystal case relates to a double insolvency situation, which is currently before the Irish courts. It will ...More Button

Birth Certificates

Was asked: the position regarding an apostille stamp in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an apostille stamp issue in respect of a person (details supplied). More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 105 and 106 together.

  In order to properly identify the parties to a marriage, the requirements under section 46(7) of the Civil Registration A...More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that a jobseeker's allowance appeal, by the person concerned, together with the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Dec...More Button

Invalidity Pension Eligibility

Was asked: if she will reconsider her decision not to grant an invalidity pension to a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Invalidity pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions. One of the contribution conditions fo...More Button

An application for invalidity pension was received from the person concerned. According to the department’s records the person concerned has only 45 qualifying contributions paid in 2012, the go...More Button

Alternatively, if the person’s means are insufficient to meet their needs, they may apply for means-tested disability allowance from the Department by completing the relevant application form and...More Button

One-Parent Family Payment Appeals

Was asked: when a decision on a one-parent family payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

 The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case on 24More Button

Social Welfare Overpayments

Was asked: the position regarding an overpayment of supplementary welfare allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 19th April 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: if she has responsibility regarding the paying of a full-rate qualified allowance to a person in receipt of the jobseeker's allowance in respect of their spouse, who was in employment for a period ...More Button

Every week, the Department pays nearly 1.5 million people a social welfare payment and, when qualified adults and children are included, almost 2.3 million people benefit from weekly payments from ...More Button

The Department engages in data exchange and matching exercises with other Government Departments and public bodies, including the Revenue Commissioners, for control purposes. Data matching is an...More Button

However, it is the customer’s responsibility to provide full and accurate information about their particular circumstances to support their claim and they must also inform the Department promptly...More Button

An overpayment is any social welfare assistance or benefit payment which the person who received the amount was not entitled to receive. Where overpayments occur, they are regarded as a debt to t...More Button

Debt holders should be aware that a Departmental debt will remain on their records until it is fully recovered. This may result in a reduction of all future entitlements up to and including state...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the current cost of administration for all universal payments made by her Department in tabular form; the current cost of administration for all means tested payments made by her Department in tabu...More Button

The Estimates for the Department published on Budget day provides for expenditure of €20.243 billion on schemes, services and administration in 2013. Of this, just under €580 million or 2.9% of to...More Button

The Department provides a very wide range of schemes and services. These include social insurance schemes where entitlement, in the first instance, is based on PRSI contribution, means tested soc...More Button

- there is a means testing element to determining entitlement to an increase for a qualified adult and qualified child as well as the fuel allowance for social insurance schemes, andMore Button

- claimants of many schemes may have to satisfy conditions other than those related to PRSI contributions or means in order to fulfil the statutory requirements for entitlement to a given scheme. T...More Button

The various schemes are operated through a network of local and central offices. The main components of workflow in the department’s processing sections are claim processing, maintenance, control...More Button

Many staff may be involved, on a daily basis, in the administration of both social insurance and social assistance schemes such as jobseeker’s benefit and allowance which are both administered si...More Button

This means that it is not possible to disaggregate the specific administration costs for particular schemes given the level of costs which are borne centrally and the number of staff who are enga...More Button

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Was asked: when a decision on an invalidity pension appeal will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 20th March 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appea...More Button

Was asked: if she will examine an invalidity pension appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 10th June 2013, who will make a summary decision on the...More Button

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: when an application for a carer's allowance on appeal will be approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 16th May 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite a response to an application for carer's allowance which is now under appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow. More Button

Carer’s allowance was stopped on 24th October 2012 in respect of the person in question as, following a review, it was decided that the medical criteria were no longer satisfied.More Button

In order for a child under 16 years to be deemed eligible for carer's allowance, domiciliary care allowance must be in payment for that child. In those circumstances, the child is deemed to be a...More Button

The person in question requested a review of this decision and submitted additional medical evidence in support of the application on the 2nd of November 2012 and again on the 5th of February 201...More Button

If the person in question is not satisfied with the decision to stop her carer’s allowance, she may submit an appeal to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. To date there is no record ...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on a carer's allowance appeal will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27th   March 2013. It is a statutory requirement ...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: if she will set out the value for money reports and the focused policy assessments carried out within her Department since March 2011; the actions that have been taken to implement such reports; an...More Button

Following a Government decision to defer the selection of reviews pending the outcome of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE) there were no Valu...More Button

During 2012, a Review of the Employment Support Schemes was undertaken within the Department. The review examines the policies and programmes in place within the Department of Social Protection ...More Button

Following publication of the Review in January 2013 I convened a stakeholder’s forum which brought together relevant experts, practitioners, policy makers and representative bodies to consider th...More Button

In common with all VFM reviews, the recommendations and implementation are monitored by the Department’s Policy Committee.More Button

While the Department is not at present carrying out any formal Value for Money reviews, the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare is reviewing a number of priority areas. The group, which I e...More Button

All schemes within my Department remain under constant review particularly in the budgetary context. A wide range of other policy reports have been undertaken by the Department since 2011, such ...More Button

All published policy reports are available on the Department’s website.More Button

Household Benefits

Was asked: the reasons a person (details supplied) in County Kildare has not received their companion bus pass; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned was medically assessed by a Medical Assessor on 13th May, 2013. The medical opinion was conveyed to Household Benefits Section, Sligo and a decision letter was ...More Button

After-School Support Services

Was asked: if Ballymun will be included as a location in the next phase of the new after-school child care scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The After-school Child Care Scheme commenced its first pilot phase on 29 April, 2013, with up to 500 places made available in seven designated Social Welfare Local / Intreo Offices located in King’...More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify, for those who come off lone-parent allowance early and therefore cannot avail of jobseeker's transition payments due to employment but still struggle with the costs of child ca...More Button

The reforms to the one-parent family payment (OFP) scheme aim to provide the necessary supports to lone parents to help them to escape poverty and social exclusion. I believe that supporting lone p...More Button

Some of these former OFP recipients will still have caring responsibilities for young children and, as such, may not be able to meet all of the conditionality provisions that apply to the JA sche...More Button

That is why I have in the Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013, included legislative provisions to introduce transitional arrangements into the JA scheme. These arrang...More Button

The legislative amendments I am proposing to the JA scheme take account of the caring responsibilities of lone parents with young children. They also enable lone parents with young children who a...More Button

The availability of these JA transitional arrangements to lone parents reduces the need for childcare support. However, if a lone parent in this situation wishes to avail of an employment opport...More Button

In addition to this scheme there are other child care supports available from the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (D/CYA). The Community Childcare Subvention (CCS) programme, funds some ...More Button

Disability Allowance Appeals

Was asked: if an application for a disability allowance now under appeal will be expedited and approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; if supplementary welfare will be approved ...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 13th May 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals...More Button

  Question No. 120 withdrawn.More Button

Social Welfare Appeals Data

Was asked: the number of applicants awaiting payment following successful appeals to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office; if she will provide an indication of the number of such applications per pay...More Button

My Department aims to process and pay as appropriate all successful appeals returned by the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). In general, across schemes, there is no issue with implementing su...More Button

However, in the disability allowance and invalidity pension scheme areas, temporary delays are currently being experienced by successful appellants. These delays are arising due to the large num...More Button

Was asked: the number of appeals adjudicated upon by the Social Welfare Appeals Office and the average waiting time for an appeal in respect of applications for rent supplement in the years 2011, 2012 and to ...More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that statistics are not maintained in the format requested by the Deputy. The average processing times are maintained for the overall scheme type,...More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

Was asked: the position regarding rent allowance in respect of a person (details supplied).More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of Rent Supplement of €970 per month. However, the rent currently being paid exceeds the maximum amount for which a supplement is payable and the person has been...More Button

New maximum rent limits were recently announced and the person concerned may now seek a voluntary reduction from the landlord or seek new accommodation within the new appropriate maximum rent lim...More Button

Departmental Consultations

Was asked: if she will report on her Department's consultations with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government on the plans contained in the programme for Government to move the paymen...More Button

The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs a...More Button

The Government has approved in principle to transfer responsibility for the provision of rental assistance to persons with a long term housing need from this Department to housing authorities usi...More Button

Reporting and policy matters in relation to HAP, including the necessary legislative requirements to facilitate its implementation, are a matter for the Department of Environment, Community and L...More Button

In December 2012, this Department’s household budgeting scheme was amended to provide for the mandatory deduction of local authority rents. This is a major stepping stone in facilitating the tran...More Button

Rental Accommodation Scheme Payments

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that her decision to cut rent allowance rates throughout the country will directly result in homelessness, especially for single persons and couples with...More Button

The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term income support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation ...More Button

One-Parent Family Payment Application Numbers

Was asked: her plans to address the needs of those in receipt of the one-parent family payment who will be affected by the changeover to the transition payment, who are working as little as an hour a day for ...More Button

The reforms to the one-parent family payment (OFP) scheme aim to provide the necessary supports to lone parents to help them to escape poverty and social exclusion. I believe that supporting lone p...More Button

The Social Welfare and Pensions (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2013 contains legislative provisions to introduce transitional arrangements into the JA scheme to assist former OFP recipients whos...More Button

Former OFP recipients who have a youngest child aged 14 years or over can apply for the JA payment, with the full conditionality of that scheme applied. This includes satisfying the scheme rule w...More Button

They may be able to reorganise their current hours of employment to satisfy JA scheme conditionality or secure an increase in their hours in order to qualify for FIS. If they are unable to meet e...More Button

Persons due to exit the OFP scheme in the coming period are being engaged with at local level by Social Welfare Local / Intreo Offices. During these engagements the options available to a former ...More Button