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Written Answers. - Pension Provisions.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 258. Mr. M. Higgins Information on Michael D. Higgins Zoom on Michael D. Higgins  asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan  the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway has not been considered for an exemption to rule 4 of the rules of behaviour for persons in receipt of invalidity pension in view of the therapeutic benefit such work would have on this person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26980/02]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan Zoom on Mary Coughlan The person concerned has been in receipt of invalidity pension since 22 June 1992. The principal qualifying condition for receipt of invalidity pension is that the claimant must be considered to be permanently incapable of work and one of the rules is that he does not engage in work. An exemption from this rule may be obtained where the employment is of a rehabilitative nature and with prior written permission from my Department.

The person concerned was granted an exemption, with effect from 5 April 2000, to engage in part-time work as driver for a construction company. This exemption was reviewed and, on 28 August 2001, the person concerned returned a declaration to state that the employment had ceased. A further exemption to work as a driver for a construction company was granted on 24 September 2001 for a one year period ending 1 October 2002. This exemption was recently reviewed and, based on all the facts, including the advice of the Department's chief medical adviser, it was considered that there is no further therapeutic benefit from the work involved.

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