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Written Answers - Social Welfare Code

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 319.  Deputy Ciarán Lynch Information on Ciaran Lynch Zoom on Ciaran Lynch  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if she will confirm that a person on invalidity pension who applies for partial capacity benefit but whose capacity to work is assessed as moderate or severe will lose 50% or 75% of their payment respectively; the provision made for a person whose capacity to work varies from day to day due to the underlying medical condition; if the reduction in the invalidity pension will continue when a person is assessed as having a moderate or severe invalidity but no suitable work is available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16654/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Partial Capacity Benefit scheme provides an opportunity for people with disabilities, and assessed to have an employment capacity which is restricted when compared to the norm, to avail of employment opportunities while continuing to receive an income support payment. Participation in the scheme is voluntary and the scheme is designed in particular to respond to the needs of people who have sought to avail of “exemptions” in order to take up employment opportunities. The limitations on hours worked which applied under the “exemptions” arrangements do not apply to the new scheme. There is no earnings limit in place either.

[833]The level of partial capacity benefit payable is related to the level of restriction on claimants’ employment capacity, as assessed by a Medical Assessor. In the case of a person who was in receipt of invalidity pension prior to qualifying for partial capacity benefit, s/he will continue to receive a payment equivalent to 75% of the personal rate of invalidity pension where the claimant is assessed as having a severe restriction on his/her capacity for work. Where the claimant is assessed as having a moderate restriction on his/her capacity for work, s/he will continue to receive a payment equivalent to 50% of the personal rate of invalidity pension. I should emphasise that any increases payable in respect of qualified adults or children are not affected in any way. I should mention also that where the claimant is assessed as having a profound restriction on his/her capacity for work, s/he will continue to receive a payment equivalent to 100% of the personal rate of invalidity pension.

It is not possible to make adjustments in the rates of payment where the capacity to work varies from day to day. However, the scheme provides that a claimant may revert to their underlying payment in the event that s/he is unable to continue to work for any reason.


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