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Doherty, Regina

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Free Travel Scheme

Was asked: if proposals will be brought forward for a pensioner travel allowance prior to budget 2019 which would provide an allowance to those in receipt of a State pension who live in a degree of rural isol...More Button

Any decision to introduce a travel allowance along the lines suggested by the Deputy would significantly change the nature of the free travel scheme and would have considerable budgetary consequenc...More Button

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme my Department may award a travel supplement in any case where the circumstances of the case so warrant. The supplement is intended to assist with...More Button

I acknowledge that not all customers have easy access to transport providers participating in the free travel scheme particularly in parts of rural Ireland. A further provision of €10 million w...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Was asked: her plans to ensure that no delays are made in the processing of the payment of a domiciliary care allowance and all subsequent arrears to a person (details supplied) following a decision of the so...More Button

Working Family Payment Data

Was asked: the estimated annual cost of administering the working family payment scheme; and the percentage of the annual spend on the scheme.More Button

An estimate of €431.3m has been provided for in the 2018 Revised Estimates for the Working Family Payment. It is not possible to disaggregate the cost of administering the Working Family Payment s...More Button

State Pension (Contributory) Data

Was asked: if the standard State pension will be returned to pre-recession levels as part of budget 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

In 2006, the maximum rate of the State Pension (contributory) was €193.30. This was increased by €14 to €209.30 for 2007 and by €14 again for 2008 bringing the rate to €223.30. In January 2009, th...More Button

Bereavement Grant

Was asked: if reinstating the death grant as a social welfare entitlement will be considered; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

During the economic downturn, my Department protected primary social welfare rates and in recent years, as the economy recovered, the Government has concentrated resources in improving the core ra...More Button

The number of bereavement grant claims in 2013 was 23,716, and this represented an increase of approximately 4% on 2012. Based on a similar yearly increase each year since 2013, it is estimated ...More Button

Any decision to reinstate the Bereavement Grant would have to be considered in the context of overall budgetary negotiations. More Button

It is worth noting that there are a range of supports available for people following bereavement which provide more significant support than the grant. These include weekly-paid widow's, widower...More Button

Under the SWA scheme, the Department of Social Protection may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be exp...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Personal Public Service Numbers

Was asked: if an application for a PPS number by a person (details supplied)will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

While an application was received from the person concerned, not all documentation was provided. The applicant has been notified of this and has been asked to provide all of the required documenta...More Button

Treatment Benefit Scheme

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) whose glasses were stolen can avail of the treatment benefit scheme to have them replaced; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The treatment benefit scheme provides for an optical examination and new spectacles every second calendar year for everyone who meets the PRSI qualification criteria. There are no special allowanc...More Button

Telephone Support Allowance

Was asked: if the telephone allowance will be increased from €2.50 to €4 per month as proposed by an organisation (details supplied); her plans to expand this allowance to all recipients of the State pension;...More Button

The new Telephone Support Allowance (TSA) is a weekly payment of €2.50 not a monthly payment. Customers of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection who are in receipt of a qualif...More Button

The primary objective of the TSA is to allow the most vulnerable people access to personal alarms or phones for security. The allowance will also encourage social contact and assist in the preve...More Button

The criteria for the TSA are framed in order to direct the limited resources available to my Department in as targeted a manner as possible. Fuel Allowance is a means tested payment and these cr...More Button

Any decision to extend the TSA scheme to all pensioners regardless of their means or personal circumstances or to increase the weekly rate to €4 would have significant budget implications and wou...More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.More Button

Departmental Contracts Data

Was asked: the number of times her Department has engaged polling companies and-or Irish market researchers to conduct research on its behalf in each of the past two years; the names of such companies; the co...More Button

The information requested is currently being compiled by my Department and will be provided to the Deputy as soon as possible.More Button

Jobseeker's Payments

Was asked: the length of time persons must wait before applying for jobseeker's benefit and-or jobseeker's allowance in cases in which they are made redundant as part of a voluntary redundancy scheme in a lar...More Button

The 2018 Estimates for my Department provide for expenditure this year on the jobseeker’s schemes of €2.17 billion.

  Jobseeker’s benefit (JB) is a contingency based social welfa...More Button

Back to Education Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that there is an anomaly between eligibility criteria for progression routes in the postgraduate applications centre, PAC, system when applying for highe...More Button

The back to education allowance (BTEA) is a scheme that allows persons in receipt of certain social welfare payments the opportunity to pursue a course of study, while still maintaining their incom...More Button

BTEA applicants holding a qualification at tertiary education level (certificate, diploma, primary degree or post graduate qualification) are not approved under the BTEA to pursue a course at a s...More Button

Overall, it is important to note that the purpose of the BTEA is to raise educational and skill levels so as to improve a welfare recipient’s employment prospects. Progression in education is a ...More Button

PAC (the Postgraduate Applications Centre) is an agent for and acts on behalf of the universities participating in the Application System. PAC is an administrative facility. More Button

If the Deputy is referring to a particular case, she should forward the details to my Department for review. More Button

I hope this clarifies the matter.More Button