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Written Answers. - Asylum Applications.

Wednesday, 6 February 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 547 No. 4

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[1627]

 164. Mr. R. Bruton Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern  the number of asylum seeking applicants who are on normal social welfare payments; and the number who are in receipt of only subsistence payments under direct provision. [3861/02]

Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern Zoom on Dermot Ahern The income maintenance needs of asylum seekers are met for the most part by health boards who administer the supplementary welfare allowance scheme on behalf of my Department. The scheme provides entitlement to any person in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs.

Where a person has access to some resources either in cash or in kind this is taken into account in determining entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance. This occurs in the case of asylum seekers who are being provided with full board accommodation under the direct provision system operated by the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.

Where a person in direct provision receives all meals and has access to other facilities such as laundry and leisure areas the recommended weekly allowance is €19.05 per adult and €9.52 per child. Furthermore, as is the case with all persons who are resident in the State where there are other reasonable expenses, exceptional needs payments will be made by the health board.

At present there are a total of 9,532 supplementary welfare allowance claims in payment in respect of 19,215 asylum seekers. Some 6,386 of these claims, in respect of 14,486 people, refer to asylum seekers who are outside of direct provision. These claimants are in receipt of full rate of supplementary welfare allowance appropriate to their respective family size. In addition to the basic allowance there are currently approximately 5,100 rent supplements in payment to these people. There are currently 3,146 supplementary welfare allowance claims in payment in respect of 4,729 people who are in direct provision.

In addition to the numbers outlined above there are 528 claims for unemployment payments currently in payment to asylum seekers. These claims are in respect of approximately 1,550 people. A small number of asylum seekers are in receipt of other social welfare payments such as one-parent family payments, pensions or disability allowance. Asylum seekers are also entitled to claim child benefit. Details of the numbers involved in these categories are not available.


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