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Written Answers - Social Welfare Benefits

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 138.  Deputy Joe Higgins Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if there has been a change in criteria for persons applying for domiciliary care allowance; and if the conditions for eligibility have changed to make it more difficult to qualify. [3142/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton There has been no change in the qualifying criteria for Domiciliary Care Allowance. In general, the Allowance can be payable in respect of children under 16 years of age who have a disability so severe that it requires the child needing care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age. This care and attention must be given by another person, effectively full-time, so that the child can deal with the activities of daily living. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.

Eligibility for the Allowance is not based primarily on the medical or psychological condition, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind necessitating the degree of extra care and attention required. Each application is assessed on an individual basis taking account of the evidence submitted. In addition, the person claiming the Allowance for the child must be providing for the care of the child and must be considered habitually resident in the State.

Where a person is not satisfied with the decision of a Deciding Officer, they may seek to have the decision reviewed or they may appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

 139.  Deputy Joe Higgins Information on Joe Higgins Zoom on Joe Higgins  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if there has been an increase in refusal of applications and renewal applications for domiciliary care allowance since March 2011. [3143/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Department has been accepting new claims for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) since 1st April 2009. The number of applicants for DCA that were received, awarded and refused in 2010 and 2011 (to end November) is detailed in the table below. There has been no significant change in the overall rate of refusal for the allowance.

Domiciliary Care Allowance applications — 2010-Nov 2011

Applications received Applications fully processed in year Applications allowed incl. on review Applications refused
2010 5,457 5,333 2,576 2,757 (51%)
2011 (to 30th November) 5,226 5,118 2,347 2,771 (53%)

 140.  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  if rent allowance has been reinstated in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3146/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned is in receipt of his full entitlement to rent supplement based on his household circumstances. A payment issued to the person concerned in December and will continue to issue from January onwards as the necessary documentation was recently received.


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