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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 509-528
 Header Item Family Resource Centres
 Header Item Childcare Costs
 Header Item Childhood Obesity
 Header Item Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Policy
 Header Item Child and Family Agency Reports
 Header Item Animal Welfare Bodies
 Header Item Community Enhancement Programme
 Header Item Tidy Towns Committees Funding
 Header Item CLÁR Programme
 Header Item School Meals Programme
 Header Item Legislative Reviews
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Applications
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Waiting Times
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Applications

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 980 No. 4

First Page Previous Page Page of 91 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 509-528

Family Resource Centres

 509. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone her plans to introduce a family resource centre at a location (details supplied); the way in which an application can be made in relation to same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10822/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Family Resource Centre (FRC) Programme is administered by Tusla, the Child and Family Agency.

  I am aware that an application for inclusion in the Programme was made by an organisation in the location to which the Deputy refers, last year. This organisation was not selected as one of the final eleven new Family Resource Centres in 2018.

  I have secured an increase of €1.5 million in additional funding for the further investment and development of the Family Resource Centre Programme this year. However, there are currently no plans to establish any new Family Resource Centres in 2019.

  Tusla will continue to support the organisation to which the Deputy refers through its local office.

  Tusla identifies and monitors the need for the delivery of family support services based on population demographics and presenting needs across the country, including the Cavan-Monaghan area. Tusla plans to allocate future funding according to the results of needs analysis projects across the country.

  Tusla continues to work with Family Resource Centres and other family support organisations throughout the country and will discuss service needs and funding resources with centres, where appropriate. Tusla is committed to using all available resources for children and families in the most efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable way.

Childcare Costs

 510. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if she will engage with the Minister for Finance with a view to introducing measures which would reduce commercial rates for childcare providers with the objective of facilitating providers in passing on a cost reduction to families who avail of their services; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10836/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The matter of rates payments for the early learning and care sector does not fall under the remit of my Department, nor does my Department have a role in determining which properties are rateable. The levying of commercial rates is the responsibility of the Valuations Office, which falls under the ageis of the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 

In this regard, I understand that the Valuation Act, 2001 as amended by the Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015 provides that all buildings used or developed for any purpose, including constructions affixed thereto, are rateable unless expressly exempted under Schedule 4 of the Act.  Under Schedule 4, paragraph 22, community childcare facilities are exempt from commercial rates, by virtue of the fact that they operate on a not-for-profit basis. The Valuations Office have also advised that, under Schedule 4 paragraph 10, facilities who provide the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme (ECCE) only are exempt from commercial rates.  All other childcare providers are, therefore, rateable.

The issue of commercial rates is one that has been raised by the early learning and care sector, in particular through the National Early Years Forum, which I established in 2016.  My Department has therefore taken a number of steps to pursue this matter, including meeting with relevant officials to explore the possibility of obtaining an exemption of the application of commercial rates to private childcare providers, on the basis that they are educational facilities and, seeking legal advice in relation to same.

My Department has therefore taken a number of steps to pursue this matter, including meeting with relevant officials to explore the possibility of obtaining an exemption of the application of commercial rates to private childcare providers, on the basis that they are educational facilities and, seeking legal advice in relation to same.

Most recently I contacted the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, requesting reconsideration of the position of private childcare facilities in respect of their rateability for commercial rates.  It was confirmed that there are no proposals under consideration for a discount of commercial rates for private childcare providers, and that the Commissioner of Valuation has no discretionary latitude to grant exemptions not covered by Schedule 4 of the Act.

My Department and I have made every effort to raise the concerns of the early learning and care sector in this respect, however as the matter falls outside the remit of my Department, I am constrained in the role I can play.  My Department will, however, continue to monitor this matter.

Childhood Obesity

 511. Deputy Alan Farrell Information on Alan Farrell Zoom on Alan Farrell asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the action she has taken to advance the recommendations of the report of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs on tackling childhood obesity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10839/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The report that the Deputy is referring to falls under the remit of the Department of Health.  The question is therefore more appropriate for my colleague Simon Harris TD, Minister for Health. 

Early Childhood Care and Education Programmes

 512. Deputy Seán Haughey Information on Seán Haughey Zoom on Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if a child (details supplied) will be permitted to avail of the access and inclusion model under the early childhood care and education programme; if an appeal can be made following a decision to the effect that this application was late in view of the fact that their parent has no alternative supports in place at this time to advance their early education and welfare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10891/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone According to the details supplied by the Deputy, the child in question is not within the eligible age range to avail of the ECCE programme at this time, but will be eligible from September of this year. AIM supports are currently only available to children participating in the ECCE programme. Pobal has advised that no application for AIM supports has yet been made on behalf of the child in question. Applications for AIM usually open in the May preceding enrolment to ECCE and I would advise the Deputy to ask the family to make contact with Better Start before or around this time as it is advisable that applications for AIM supports are made in good time to ensure that the relevant supports are in place when required.

The Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a programme of supports designed to enable children with a disability to access and meaningfully participate in the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programme. It was introduced in June 2016 and is administered by Pobal on behalf of my Department. AIM is a child-centred model, involving 7 levels of progressive support, moving from the universal to the targeted, based on the needs of the child in the context of the pre-school setting they are attending.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 513. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the person within the management of Tusla to whom a person (details supplied) released their report in May 2016. [10918/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I do not have the information requested by the Deputy. I am requesting Tusla to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 514. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if a copy of the minutes of Tusla national management team meetings at which a report (details supplied) was discussed will be provided in view of correspondence received. [10919/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Deputy will be aware that I have sought written clarification from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in relation to a number of matters regarding the report referred to by the Deputy.

  I am aware that an individual has asked the Chairperson of a sub-committee of the Tusla Board for the information to which the Deputy refers.

  The sub-committee of the Board of Tusla has advised me that the matters raised by the Deputy will be part of the investigation, which is currently under way.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 515. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the person or body that made the decision not to provide a report (details supplied) to the board of Tusla or to witnesses; and the reason the decision was made. [10920/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Deputy will be aware that I have sought written clarification from Tusla, the Child and Family Agency in relation to a number of matters regarding the report referred to by the Deputy.

  The sub-committee of the Board of Tusla has advised me that the matters raised by the Deputy will be part of the investigation, which is currently underway.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 516. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if it is customary for Tusla management to withhold reports dealing with serious and long-standing child protection issues from its board and her Department. [10921/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone I would like to assure the Deputy that it is not customary for Tusla management to withhold reports dealing with serious and longstanding child protection issues from the Tusla Board or my Department.

  As a State Body, and like other State bodies, Tusla management may commission and/or produce reports for its own purposes, which may not necessarily be shared with the Board or my Department.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 517. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if there are existing finished reports in the possession of Tusla, its board or her Department which have not been shared with the next appropriate governance level or the public; and if so, the reason in each case for the failure to share same. [10922/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has advised me that it is not aware of any existing finished reports in its possession which have not been shared with the appropriate level of governance.

  I would also like to inform the Deputy that I am not aware of any such reports in my Department which have not been shared with the appropriate level of governance.  

Child and Family Agency Policy

 518. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone if there is an agreed protocol, process and governing criteria among Tusla, its board and her Department in respect of the nature of information to be shared with and alerted to the next appropriate governance level within agreed timescales linked to the usual priorities of risk, range of risk, early warning, public interest and so on. [10923/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone There is currently a Communications, Collaboration and Accountability Protocol between the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. The purpose of this protocol is to ensure that there are lines of communication, accountability and decision making between the Tusla Executive, the Tusla Board, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Child and Family Agency Reports

 519. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone the reason a report (details supplied) was not forwarded to or requested by the board of Tusla or her Department prior to May 2018 in view of the fact that the former Minister for Children and Youth Affairs treated the level and age of risk identified in the midlands in 2015 as very serious and communicated their concern both privately to the CEO of Tusla and the media.  [10924/19]

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Deputy Katherine Zappone): Information on Katherine Zappone Zoom on Katherine Zappone The Deputy will be aware that Tusla, the Child and Family Agency has informed me that the report referred to was commissioned by Tusla management with the purpose of informing them in relation to certain events, and was accordingly described as an internal management report.

  The Deputy will also be aware that I have sought written clarification from Tusla in relation to a number of matters regarding the report.

  The sub-committee of the Board of Tusla has advised me that the matters raised by the Deputy will be part of the investigation, which is currently under way.

  As you have highlighted, the former Minister for Children and Youth Affairs took matters in the Midlands very seriously. I also take child protection matters very seriously. Internal and external assurances were sought and continue to be sought regarding the safety of children and young people.

Animal Welfare Bodies

 520. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring if the option of establishing a national inspectorate of independent vets to carry out inspections in respect of animal cruelty will be examined in view of the conviction for animal cruelty at a location (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10261/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney My Department has policy responsibility for matters pertaining to the Dog Breeding Establishment Act 2010.   

  In July 2018, my Department published new Guidelines for dog breeding establishments. These came into effect on 1 January 2019 and are available on my Department's website at the following link:

  https://drcd.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/Guidelines-for-DBEs-.pdf 

  These Guidelines were developed through consultation with both industry experts and the public. Some of the issues raised, including the issue referenced in the Deputy’s question, related to matters beyond the scope of the guidelines and they are now being considered as part of a wider review of the legislation, in order to identify any necessary legislative amendments that may be required in the Act to further improve standards.

  The enforcement of animal welfare standards for all animals, including dogs, is a matter for the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the Animal Health and Welfare Acts.  Both Departments work closely with each other to ensure a coordinated approach is taken in this area.

Community Enhancement Programme

 521. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring when the 2019 community enhancement programme will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10430/19]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring I launched the Community Enhancement Programme for the first time in May 2018. It provides funding to community groups to help them to enhance facilities in disadvantaged areas. 

  The details of the 2019 Programme are currently being finalised by my Department and I expect that it will be launched before the end of March. 

Tidy Towns Committees Funding

 522. Deputy John Curran Information on John Curran Zoom on John Curran asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring if he has considered allocating ring-fenced funding to Tidy Towns committees; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [10431/19]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The TidyTowns competition was originally launched by Fáilte Ireland over 60 years ago.  Since its inception, the competition has grown from 52 entrants in 1958, to 883 entrants in 2018. 

As Minister for Rural and Community Development, I was delighted to be in a position to announce grant funding to TidyTowns Committees of €1.4 million for each of the years 2017 and 2018, to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition.  This funding has allowed the Committees to prepare better for the annual competition through the purchase or upgrade of small equipment and other materials.  

While there is no specific funding ring-fenced for TidyTowns Committees, it should be noted that TidyTowns Committees can apply, as community groups, for funding to other schemes within my Department, such as the Community Enhancement Programme. This programme is administered through the Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs), and allows applications for funding for the management and maintenance of estates.

In 2018, 158 applications were approved for funding of €536,816 to TidyTowns Committees under the Community Enhancement Programme.

CLÁR Programme

 523. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring when the next round of CLÁR funding will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10497/19]

Minister for Rural and Community Development (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The CLÁR programme provides funding for small scale projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation.  The programme has been very successful since I reintroduced it in 2016, following a number of years when it was closed for new applications.  It now forms part of my Department's Project Ireland 2040 Programme for Rural Regeneration.

  Although the amounts available to projects under CLÁR are relatively modest, the impact of the funding is very significant.  I have visited many of the projects myself and I have seen first-hand the difference they make to local communities.

  I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28 February last.  The measures being funded under the programme this year are:

  Measure 1: Support for Schools/Community Safety measures

  Measure 2: Play Areas (including Multi-Use Games Areas)

  Measure 3:  Community Wellbeing Supports (new in 2019), comprising of:

  (a) First Response Support

  (b) Mobility and Cancer Care Transport

  (c) Sensory Gardens

  The “Community Wellbeing Support” measure encompasses the assistance given in previous years for voluntary first-response organisations and for mobility and cancer care supports.  

  This measure will also, for the first time, provide funding for the development of specialist sensory gardens and complementary play equipment. These gardens are designed to stimulate the senses and can be of particular benefit in enhancing the quality of life for people with a diverse range of life challenges.

School Meals Programme

 524. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty her views on a matter in relation to the school meals scheme (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10336/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The school meals programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,580 schools and organisations benefitting 250,000 children at a total cost of €57.6 million in 2019 representing an increase of €3.6 million over the previous year.  The objective of the scheme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, to take full advantage of the education provided to them. 

As part of Budget 2019, it was announced that my department would commence a pilot scheme from September 2019, providing Hot School Meals in 36 schools for an estimated 7,200 children at a cost of €1m for 2019 and €2.5m in a full year.

The Programme is an important component of policies to encourage school attendance and improved educational achievement by children.

Research shows us the value of the provision of adequate and nutritious meals for a child’s health, learning, attention and educational achievement.  That is why I am providing funds to establish a pilot programme for a hot meals scheme in primary schools.

For schools already participating in the School Meals Programme, it is intended that the hot meal will replace the lunch option for the duration of the pilot i.e. the school year commencing in September 2019.

Eligible primary schools will shortly be  issued with an invitation to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in the pilot from September 2019.  Funding of €2.90 per meal will be provided and it will not be permitted to seek an additional contribution from families to provide the meals.  Schools will identify a supplier who will supply (prepare and deliver) the hot meals in line with HACCP and food safety regulations in compliance with the Healthy Ireland nutrition standards for school meals.

In recent years entry to the School Meals Scheme has been confined to DEIS schools or schools deemed by the Department of Education and Skills to be in need of school meals support.  The school concerned applied for funding for a Dinner Club for the 2018/2019 academic year but were refused on the basis that they are not a DEIS school and are not deemed by DES to be in need of school meals support.  They do receive funding from my Department, through a major charity, for breakfast for a small number of children.  The school will shortly receive an expression of interest letter for the hot school meal pilot.

I trust that this clarifies the position. 

Legislative Reviews

 525. Deputy Billy Kelleher Information on Billy Kelleher Zoom on Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty her plans to update the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts 1973 to 2001; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10381/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty As with all employment legislation, my Department continues to monitor the effectiveness of the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts so as to ensure that it is fit for purpose and meets the requirements of employers and employees.  

  The Deputy will note that the Employment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2018 was signed by the President on 25 December 2018 and came into force yesterday, the 4th March 2019.

  The main provisions of the Act are that -

  - Employers shall give employees basic terms of employment within five days;

  - Zero hour contracts are prohibited except in situations of genuine casual employment and where they are essential to allow employers to provide cover in emergency situations or to cover short-term absence;

  - Employees called in to work but sent home again without work are entitled to a new minimum payment;

  - Banded Hours provisions are introduced: a new right for employees whose contract of employment does not reflect the reality of the hours they habitually work whereby they will be entitled to be placed in a band of hours that better reflects the hours they have worked over a 12 month reference period; and

  - there are strong anti-penalisation provisions for employees who invoke their rights under this legislation.

  The introduction of this important legislation will improve the security and predictability of working hours for employees on insecure contracts.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

 526. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10816/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

  Full-time care and attention does not necessarily mean 24 hours in each day. Full-time care and attention can be considered to apply where there is an ongoing and daily commitment by the carer and which also generally results in the carer not being able to support him/herself through normal full-time employment.

  I confirm that my Department received applications for carer’s allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 16 October 2018.

  The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined and the deciding officer decided that although the person concerned is providing a certain level of care, they are not providing full-time care and attention.

  The person concerned was notified on 12 February 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

  My Department have received and forwarded a request for appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office for their necessary action.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Waiting Times

 527. Deputy Seán Barrett Information on Seán Barrett Zoom on Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the reason it is taking a minimum of 16 weeks for a carer’s allowance application to be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10904/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

  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.

  In general, social welfare schemes with a number of complex qualifying conditions can take longer to process. Before a decision can be made on entitlement to CA, evidence must be provided in respect of the care recipient’s care requirement, the level of care the carer provides and the carer’s means.

  While the average processing time is still higher than it should be, the re-assignment of staff from other areas of the Longford Centralised Schemes Office to claims processing in October has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of claims awaiting decision and the processing time has already started to improve from an average of 17 weeks at the end of December 2018 to 16 weeks at the end of January 2019.

  I expect the average processing time to further reduce over the coming months. 

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

 528. Deputy Marc MacSharry Information on Marc MacSharry Zoom on Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty when a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim will receive a decision in relation to an application for an invalidity pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10220/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

  The department received a claim for IP from this gentleman on 22 August 2018.  His claim was disallowed on the grounds that the medical conditions for the scheme were not satisfied. He was notified on 22 November 2018 of this decision, the reasons for it and of his right of review and appeal.

  He requested a review of this decision and submitted further medical evidence on 17 December 2018   in support of his request.  Following a review of all the information available it has been decided that there is no change to the original decision.  He was notified on 28 February 2019 of the outcome of the review.  

  I am informed by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Invalidity Pension appeal was registered on 4th December 2018, and in accordance with the statutory requirements, the Appeals Office contacted the person concerned and asked him to set out the complete grounds of his appeal.  

  No reply was received from the person concerned and his appeal was subsequently withdrawn on 14th February 2019.

  I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 


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