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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 140-149
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Applications
 Header Item Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Applications
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals Waiting Times
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Applications
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Application Numbers
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Applications

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 800 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 92 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 140-149

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 140. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding an application for invalidity pension (details supplied) [19377/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 2 April 2013, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 141. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will provide an update on an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick and a time frame as to when a decision will be made;; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19378/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 2 January 2013. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on the 13 April 2013 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. While every effort is being made to deal with the large numbers awaiting a decision on their appeals, it is not possible to give an approximate date when a decision will be issued. In order to be fair to all appellants, they are dealt with in strict chronological order. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

 142. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of applications for various social welfare payments such as disability benefit, disability allowance, invalidity pension or other means-tested or health-related payments which have been refused the decision upheld on appeal and subsequently granted on foot of a new application in each of the past three years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19389/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The information requested by the Deputy is not collated by my Department. However I include, for the Deputy’s information, a table detailing the number of means-tested or health-related payments that have been awarded during 2010, 2011, 2012 and up to 31 March 2013.



Health Related and Means Assessed Schemes Awarded



Allowances
2010
2011
2012
31 March 2013
State Pension (Non-Contributory)
7,191
5,730
7,243
1,666
Jobseeker's Allowance
191,144
174,491
167,623
39,911
One-Parent Family Payment
12,127
12,178
11,151
2,600
Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Non-Contributory Pension
533
377
287
40
Disability Allowance
8,306
9,246
10,400
2,394
Blind Pension
117
106
96
23
Carer's Allowance
8,769
7,465
9,880
5,685
Domiciliary Care Allowance
3,103
2,686
1,586
383
Respite Care Grant
5,486
4,965
4,575
382
Illness Benefit
249,166
259,008
245,319
70,974
Interim Illness Benefit/Occupational Injury
12,289
11,616
10,927
2,940
Invalidity Pension
3,597
2,657
6,352
2,405
Disablement Pension
1,293
1,310
1,384
242
Carer's Benefit
1,965
1,941
2,021
394
Family Income Supplement - New Claims
14,328
13,631
13,264
7,236
Family Income Supplement - Claim Renewals
22,101
23,787
28,118
10,268
Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
106
117
95
20

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

 143. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton further to Parliamentary Question No. 667 of 16 April 2013 if she will indicate if in the determination of means, specific regard was had for persons liabilities in the form of outstanding liabilities to revenue, arrears of mortgage and lack of any income whatsoever; if the totality of any means assessed against them exceeded such liabilities; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19390/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The person concerned is in receipt of a jobseeker’s allowance payment. The means assessment is subject to the legislative provisions of that scheme. It is open to the person concerned to appeal the decision or if there are any changes in his circumstances he can request a review of his means.

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

 144. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the total number of applications for disability allowance/invalidity pension approved on application, refused on application and/or subsequently awarded and/or approved on appeal in each of the past three years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19391/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the following tabular statement.



Disability Allowance
 
Registered
Awarded on Application
Refused on Application
Withdrawn by Applicant
Pending
Awarded/

Approved on Appeal
2010
21,409
8,306
10,316
626
6,880
1,951
2011
24,264
9,246
14,116
783
6,999
2,457
2012
25,887
10,400
14,519
1,240
7,775
2,939
31 March 2013
5,034
2,394
4,015
265
6,834
913
Invalidity Pension
 
Registered
Awarded on Application
Refused on Application
Withdrawn by Applicant
Pending
Awarded/

Approved on Appeal
2010
8,774
3,597
3,677
285
2,701
532
2011*
14,621
2,657
5,945
1,699
6,814
759
2012
11,510
6,352
10,721
702
3,662
1,509
31 March 2013
2,453
2,405
2,588
342
2,627
1,897
 *Due to scheme migrating to a new processing system statistics were not accurately reported for the first quarter 2011.

Social Welfare Appeals Waiting Times

 145. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the average length of time taken to process appeals for means-tested or health-related social welfare payments in each of the past three years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19392/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The average time taken to process appeals for means-tested or health-related social welfare payments in each of the past three years to date is given in the following Table. These processing times are calculated from the registration date of the appeal to the date of its finalisation. They include all activities during this period including time spent in the Department for comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal put forward by the appellant, and any further investigation, examination or assessment by the Department’s Inspectors and Medical Assessors that is deemed necessary. A considerable period of time is added to the process when an oral hearing is required because of the logistics involved in this process. By its nature and because it is a quasi-judicial nature, the processing of appeals takes time even at the best of times and reflects the fact that, by definition, the appeal process cannot be a quick one.

  Table: Average Processing Times of Appeals 2010-2012

SCHEME 2010 2010 2011 2011 2012 2012
-

Average processing times (weeks)

Summary Decisions


Average processing

times (weeks)

Oral Hearings


Average processing times (weeks)

Summary Decisions


Average processing

times (weeks)

Oral Hearings


Average processing times (weeks)

Summary Decisions


Average processing

times (weeks)

Oral Hearings
Blind Pension 19.8 39.4 20.4 69.8 24.4 34.7
Carers Allowance 26.9 47.3 31.3 57.9 33.5 42.5
Carers Benefit 21.6 44.2 21.8 59.4 27.3 35.3
Disability Allowance 30.8 51.1 27.4 55.6 34.2 40.6
Illness Benefit 39.2 56.4 38.2 59.8 41.9 50.3
Domiciliary Care 26.8 49.1 25.4 55.8 32.5 41.4
Farm Assist 23.2 50.7 20.9 57.9 23.4 44.9
Bereavement Grant 25.1 - 22.1 - 29.0 -
Family Income Supplement 21.4 29.0 19.9 31.8 22.8 31.2
Invalidity Pension 40.9 59.7 36.4 58.9 38.8 48.7
One Parent Family Payment 30.2 49.4 24.3 57.5 29.4 44.6
Maternity Benefit 37.7 - 25.1 62.1 30.8 41.7
State Pension (Non-Con) 26.5 49.9 20.6 54.6 27.7 51.1
Occupational Injury Benefit 55.7 53.8 30.7 54.8 19.5 66.9
Occupational Injury Benefit (Medical) 32.5 67.9 77.8 65.0 78.7 87.4
Disablement Pension 27.4 51.9 48.0 59.7 35.7 46.0
Incapacity Supplement - 30.7 - 48.3 14.2 48.8
Guardian's Payment (Non-con) 24.3 42.2 23.9 59.0 32.0 58.8
Pre-Retirement Allowance - - - - 54.6 -
Jobseeker's Allowance (Means) 22.2 46.9 18.0 54.8 22.8 38.2
Jobseeker's Allowance 23.6 43.0 23.8 47.9 24.4 34.4
Respite Care Grant 30.5 49.1 23.4 60.8 28.5 37.3
Supplementary Welfare  Allowance 6.9 14.8  6.3 17.6 17.6 22.9
Treatment Benefits 21.9 57.8 28.8 - 19.0 -
Survivor's Pension (Non-con) 31.9 54.6 18.1 53.1 30.9 39.1
Widows Parent Grant 20.9 - 22.0 - 23.2 -

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

 146. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of applications for health-related social welfare payments approved on application or referred to appeal in each of the past three years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19393/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton All applications for Social Welfare payments are considered on the merits of the information supplied by the applicant. In the event of an application failing to satisfy the eligibility criteria for the scheme the applicant is so advised and informed of their right to lodge an appeal of the decision with the Social Welfare Appeals Office. Included in this reply is a breakdown by scheme of all awarded claims (Table 1) and appeals registered (Table 2) in respect of health-related social welfare payments for the period 2010 to 31 March 2013.

Table 1 - Health Related and Means Assessed Schemes Awarded on Application

- 2010 2011 2012 31 March 2013
Disability Allowance 8,306 9,246 10,400 2,394
Blind Pension 117 106 96 23
Carer's Allowance 8,769 7,465 9,880 5,685
Domiciliary Care Allowance 3,103 2,686 1,586 383
Respite Care Grant 5,486 4,965 4,575 382
Illness Benefit 249,166 259,008 245,319 70,974
Interim Illness Benefit/Occupational Injury 12,289 11,616 10,927 2,940
Invalidity Pension 3,597 2,657 6,352 2,405
Disablement Pension 1,293 1,310 1,384 242
Carer's Benefit 1,965 1,941 2,021 394
Incapacity Supplement  -  -  - Claim activity is not collated in respect of this scheme.
*Partial Capacity Benefit - -  - Claim activity is not collated in respect of this scheme.
*Scheme commenced February 2012

Table 2 - Health Related and Means Assessed Schemes Appeals Registered
- 2010 2011 2012 31 March 2013
Disability Allowance 4,840 5,472 6,223 1,508
Blind Pension 14 21 27 5
Carer's Allowance 3,025 2,199 2,676 1,052
Domiciliary Care Allowance 1,858 2,401 2,186 281
Respite Care Grant 162 303 278 59
Illness Benefit 5,471 3,657 2,647 564
Interim Illness Benefit/Occupational Injury 44 21 19 4
Invalidity Pension 1,024 2,285 4,765 1,332
Disablement Pension 342 263 409 88
Carer's Benefit 182 160 183 28
Incapacity Supplement 15 6 21 -
*Partial Capacity Benefit - - 67 22



    * Scheme commenced February 2012

Domiciliary Care Allowance Application Numbers

 147. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of applications for domiciliary care allowance received in each of the past five years to date; the number approved, rejected or pending; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19394/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The Department has been accepting new claims for DCA since 1 April 2009. Statistics relating to the allowance for the period prior to April 2009 are a matter for the HSE, the previous administrators of the scheme. The number of applicants for DCA that were received, awarded and refused from April 2009 to December 2012 is set out in the table.

Domiciliary Care Allowance applications – 2009 to 2012  

  Applications received Applications processed in year Applications allowed* Applications disallowed
2009 (from 1st April) 3,389 2,823 1,220 (43%) 1,603
2010 5,457 5,333 2,576 (48%) 2,757
2011 5,525 5,396 2502 (46%) 2,894
2012 4,339 4,680 2204 (47%) 2,476
 *including on review following receipt of additional information.

  There were 639 DCA applications pending as of 31st March 2013.

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

 148. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the number of applications for rent allowance refused or reduced in each of the past two years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19395/13]

 149. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the total number of persons in receipt of mortgage interest supplement in each of the past two years to date; the number who have had reductions in this payment in the period in question for whatever reason; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19396/13]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 149 together.

  The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. There are currently approximately 86,000 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has provided over €403 million for 2013. Mortgage interest supplement provides short-term income support to eligible people who are unable to meet their mortgage interest repayments in respect of a house which is their sole place of residence. There are approximately 13,000 mortgage interest supplement recipients for which the Government has provided some €42 million for 2013. Statistics are not available on the number of applications for rent or mortgage interest supplement refused or reduced in each of the past two years to date.

  Following Budget 2012 all recipients of rent supplement and mortgage interest supplement experienced a reduction in their payment following the increase of the minimum contribution paid by recipients towards their accommodation costs, which came into effect from January 2012. The minimum contribution increased from €24 to €30 for a single adult household and to €35 for a couple.

  The following tabular statement shows the number of rent supplement and mortgage interest supplement recipients at end 2011 and 2012 and to end March 2013.

  Number of rent supplement and mortgage interest supplement recipients

Year
Rent Supplement
Mortgage Interest Supplement
2011
96,803
18,988
2012
87,684
14,597
2013 – End March
86,375
13,413


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