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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 204-18
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Delays
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Applications
 Header Item Employment Support Services
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Payments
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Payments
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 911 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 60 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 204-18

Carer's Allowance Delays

 204. Deputy Paul Murphy Information on Paul Murphy Zoom on Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the length of time an applicant must wait for payment under the carer's allowance scheme; the reason for this length of time and the measures he will take to shorten it, given the hardship it causes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14066/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible.

My Department is experiencing some delay in the processing of new Carers allowance claims at present. The volume of CA claims on hand is a consequence of continued strong claim intake and the delays in processing are frequently caused by the customer failing to fully complete the claim form or failing to attach the supporting documentation that is requested on the application form.

An in-depth Business Process Improvement (BPI) review has recently been completed for the CA scheme. This project focused on optimising output, improving customer service and the elimination of backlogs.

The outcome of this review is a detailed plan outlining the process required to manage both the continuous weekly intake and reduce the average waiting time. My Department has introduced a number of measures to address the efficiency of claim processing for CA in light of the current waiting times, including the assignment of temporary and full-time staff and the facility to assign overtime working where appropriate.

These measures will, over time, lead to a reduction in the average waiting time. The position is being closely monitored and kept under review by the Department.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

 205. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the status of an application by a person (details supplied) under the invalidity pension scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14075/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The person concerned has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from the 28 January 2016. Payment will issue to his nominated Post Office on the 16 June 2016. Any arrears due from the 28 January 2016 to the 15 June 2016 (less any overlapping social welfare payment and/or outstanding overpayment) will issue in due course. The person in question was notified of this decision on the 31 May 2016.

  The delay in awarding this claim was due to a delay in submission of medical diagnostic reports to the department.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Employment Support Services

 206. Deputy Jim Daly Information on Jim Daly Zoom on Jim Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if persons in receipt of a payment under the jobseeker's allowance or otherwise who are eligible for supported employment due to illness, injury, mental ill health or disability will not be denied access to the additional client-centred specialist support they need, via employability services, while working with payment-by-results JobPath providers, Turas Nua or Seetec, given that the majority of clients utilising supported employment in west Cork are not in receipt of payment under disability allowance or the invalidity allowance scheme and given the growing trend for referrals due to mental ill health; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14092/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The EmployAbility service is a national employment service dedicated to improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities who wish to take up employment. The budget for 2016 provides €9.6 million to run the service.

EmployAbility participants are people with a disability, which can range from physical to mental ill health, who are “job ready” (typically able to work a minimum of 8 hours per week and motivated to work) and need the support of a job coach to obtain employment in the open labour market. All potential EmployAbility clients must be referred through a Department of Social Protection Intreo office, or a Local Employment Service.

Participants should be in receipt of a disability-related social welfare payment, such as disability allowance, illness benefit, or invalidity pension. Where a potential client is not on a disability-related payment but on another payment, such as jobseeker’s payments, a medical certificate or letter from their GP to verify their illness/injury/disability is required for registration on the service. There are no plans to change the eligibility criteria in this regard to access this service.

JobPath is a new approach to employment activation that supports people who are long-term unemployed and who are most distant from the labour market to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. Only clients in receipt of a jobseeker payment are referred to JobPath. Where it transpires that a jobseeker’s allowance recipient on JobPath requires additional supports that are not available on JobPath and where such supports are available under the EmployAbility service, then arrangements may be made for the person to avail of the EmployAbility service if they meet the eligibility criteria for that service.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

 207. Deputy Bobby Aylward Information on Bobby Aylward Zoom on Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar to expedite an application by a person (details supplied) under the disability allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14097/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar An application for disability allowance was received from the person in question and, based upon the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds.

  The person concerned requested a review of the decision by a deciding officer (DO) and submitted additional evidence for consideration. The review has now been concluded by a DO but the outcome is that the decision to refuse on medical grounds has been confirmed. They were notified of this on 1 June 2016 and advised of their right to appeal the decision to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

 208. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar to approve an application by a person (details supplied) under the disability allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14102/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I can confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for disability allowance from the person concerned on 11 September 2015. In order to assist him/her to make a decision on eligibility, the deciding officer (DO) referred the application to a local social welfare investigative officer for a report on the person’s means and circumstances.

The DO has received the report from the investigative officer but there is some essential supporting documentation still outstanding. This information has been requested by the DO directly from the person concerned. On receipt of this information, a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

 209. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied) under the domiciliary care allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14168/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar An application for domiciliary care allowance was received from the person concerned on the 24th August 2015. This application was not allowed as the child was not considered to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the allowance. A letter issued on the 12th November 2015 outlining the decision of the deciding officer to refuse the allowance.

A review of this decision was requested on 2nd December 2015 and additional information on this child’s condition/care needs was supplied. A letter issued on the 8th April 2016 outlining the decision of the deciding officer that a revised decision was not warranted as the child was not considered to satisfy the qualifying conditions. The person concerned was advised that if they were not happy with the deciding officer’s decision, they could appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days. There is no record of any further correspondence in relation to her claim.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

 210. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied) under the disability allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [14169/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar An application for disability allowance was received from the person in question by the department on 12 November 2015. The application, based on the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds and the person in question was notified in writing of this decision on 23 January 2016.

  The person was also notified of his right to a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. My department has no record of an application for a review or an appeal in this case.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

 211. Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied) under the disability allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14170/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The person concerned has been awarded disability allowance with effect from 20 January 2016. The first payment will issue to the person in question on 22 June 2016.

  Once a decision is made and an application is put into payment, arrears are held for a period so that any necessary adjustment can be made in respect of other overlapping payments or in respect of outstanding payments.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

 212. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when he will restore a carer's allowance or an exceptional needs payment in lieu thereof and rent support to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14192/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Payment of carer's allowance in the case of the person concerned was terminated in January 2016, when means were not disclosed during the course of a review of entitlement. The person concerned has appealed this decision and her case is currently with the social welfare appeals office. Entitlement to rent supplement is based on household means and cannot be determined in this case until all relevant requested documentation is submitted in support of this application. Payment of rent supplement is currently suspended.

The person concerned has not submitted an application for an emergency needs payment. These payments are made based on individual needs and circumstances and are also means tested.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Rent Supplement Scheme

 213. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when he will approve payment to a person (details supplied) under the rent support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14193/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Though the Department is aware that the client applied for Rent Supplement at a previous location that has since closed, the Department has not, to date, received an application for Rent Supplement from the client concerned in respect of her current address. The client should forward an application to be assessed for entitlement to Rent Supplement to, the Mid-Leinster Rent Unit, PO Box 11758, Dublin 24.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if and when he will approve an application by persons (details supplied) under the carer's allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14195/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I confirm that the department received an application for carer’s allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 15 March 2016. Unfortunately, there are currently delays in the processing of new applications. Additional resources have been provided to the CA section in order to improve the waiting times for new applications and they are working hard to make this happen.

  Frequently, delays are outside the control of the Department and are caused by the customer failing to fully complete the claim form or failing to attach the supporting documentation that is requested on the application form.

  This application will be processed as quickly as possible and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

  In the meantime, if the means of the person concerned are insufficient to meet her needs she should apply for a means-tested supplementary welfare allowance from her local community welfare service.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

 215. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if and when he will pay arrears to a person (details supplied) under the disability allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14196/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Disability allowance arrears have recently issued to the person in question and he may expect to receive them within the next few days.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 216. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if a person (details supplied) is entitled to a further payment for a second child under the carer's allowance scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14197/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Carer’s allowance (CA) is in payment to the person concerned since 24 June 2010 in respect of one care recipient.

  My department received an application for CA for a 2nd care recipient from the person concerned on 13 April 2016 in respect of her spouse.

  This application will be processed as quickly as possible and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome. In the meantime, both the person concerned and her spouse are in receipt of a weekly social welfare support.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility

 217. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if a person (details supplied) qualifies for assistance arising from storm damage to a dwelling; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14200/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar There is no record that the person concerned has applied for an exceptional needs payment. The relevant application form has been issued to the person concerned by post. A decision will be made on receipt of the completed application form.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

 218. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar if he will offer rent support to a person (details supplied); if he will make an exceptional needs payment in the interim; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14201/16]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar As detailed to the Deputy in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 131 of 26th May 2016, my Department has not, to date, received an application for Rent Supplement from the client concerned. As previously advised, the client should forward an application to be assessed for entitlement to Rent Supplement to the Mid-Leinster Rent Unit, PO Box 11758, Dublin 24. I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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