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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 529-550
 Header Item Community Welfare Services Provision
 Header Item Rent Supplement Scheme Data
 Header Item Disability Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Scéimeanna Fostaíochta
 Header Item Jobseeker's Allowance Payments
 Header Item Local Employment Service
 Header Item Community Employment Schemes Eligibility
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals
 Header Item Disability Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications
 Header Item Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications
 Header Item Social Welfare Appeals
 Header Item Carer's Benefit Eligibility
 Header Item Community Employment Schemes Administration
 Header Item Disability Allowance Applications Waiting Times
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Payments
 Header Item JobPath Programme
 Header Item JobPath Data

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. 529-550

Community Welfare Services Provision

 529. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty if the community welfare service at the Intreo centre at Bishop’s Square is moving from being a walk-in service to appointment only; the reasons for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10262/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Over the last number of years the Department has developed a new integrated income and employment support service called Intreo. The aim of this development is to streamline and integrate the delivery of all services to the customer, eliminating duplication and enabling them to access all services in a single location. In the Intreo Centre customers can access job-seeking advice, information on vacancies, income support services including Community Welfare Services all in the one place. The main point of access for all services in Bishops Square Intreo Centre will be via the reception area.

With effect from Monday the 4 March 2019, access for a customer to see a Community Welfare Officer (CWO) will be by scheduled appointment. However, information on the services provided by the CWS and relevant application forms, will now be available in the Intreo Centre at reception where it will also be possible to make an appointment.

If it is appropriate for a customer to meet with a Community Welfare Officer they will be given an appointment to do so and this will enable the customer to complete much of the claims application documentation in advance. There will, of course, be facility for a customer to have access to the CWS in an emergency situation.

The new service approach will be available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am to 12.30pm and Thursday from 10.30am to 12.30pm, providing a more flexible, structured and accessible service to customers. It will also eliminate the waiting times that are currently being experienced by the drop in service, thus providing a better customer service experience to our customers.

If, due to incapacity or other reason, a customer cannot access the service at the Intreo Centre, a Community Welfare Officer will be available to carry out a home visit. This element of the service was always available and will continue to be so.

There will be no changes to current payment arrangements for customers as a result of this change and all current customers of the service have been notified of the change.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Rent Supplement Scheme Data

 530. Deputy Brendan Howlin Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the number of recipients of rent supplement in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by county, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [10277/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Rent supplement continues its vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme supporting approximately 23,300 recipients for which the Government has provided  €132.4 million for 2019.

  End of year statistics for rent supplement recipients by county for the years 2011 to  2018 and to date in 2019, are provided in the attached tabular statement.  The 2019 figure, similar to that for 2018, is predicated on current trends associated with Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) and the underpinning macroeconomic conditions for next year.

  The aim of the “Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (July 2016), reiterated in the “Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018-2021” (September 2018), is to provide 87,000 flexible housing supports through the HAP and Rental Accommodation Scheme between 2016 and 2021.  Part of this commitment will be the transfer of those with long term housing needs out of rent supplement and on to HAP with a targeted completion date for these transfers of the end of 2020.  

  Tabular Statement:

  Rent Supplement Recipients by County 2011 - End of January 2019

County 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Jan 19
Carlow 1,440 1,239 1,108 1,086 962 593 398 225 209
Cavan 843 519 455 414 403 391 297 200 195
Clare 1,961 1,722 1,547 1,336 1,024 423 177 114 111
Cork 10,732 9,878 9,020 8,273 6,822 4,958 3,578 2,791 2,712
Donegal 2,977 2,411 2,047 1,812 1,202 415 146 89 84
Dublin 34,423 32,584 29,541 26,453 23,758 20,561 16,309 12,489 11,995
Galway 4,615 4,134 3,983 3,591 3,326 2,506 1,724 1,139 1,094
Kerry 2,278 2,037 1,888 1,736 1,633 1,554 1,141 780 760
Kildare 4,447 4,338 4,135 3,698 3,396 2,579 1,874 1,143 1,030
Kilkenny 1,619 1,365 1,210 1,011 554 319 181 113 111
Laois 1,178 1,097 1,085 1,008 978 871 552 240 222
Leitrim 440 374 354 324 331 281 180 96 89
Limerick 3,833 3,323 2,984 2,461 1,441 954 739 506 486
Longford 623 511 507 476 384 401 252 142 128
Louth 2,734 2,549 2,422 2,211 1,462 859 456 217 192
Mayo 2,928 2,435 1,900 1,619 1,528 1,074 623 358 341
Meath 2,723 2,143 1,941 1,726 1,528 1,001 546 304 292
Monaghan 488 438 395 352 269 188 141 110 110
Offaly 1,349 1,240 1,124 1,041 812 563 233 92 85
Roscommon 1,275 997 802 687 611 566 378 219 215
Sligo 698 591 542 451 478 289 131 77 74
Tipperary 2,609 2,199 2,094 1,961 1,674 901 434 246 237
Waterford 2,098 1,773 1,556 1,443 958 590 188 116 125
Westmeath 1,671 1,592 1,588 1,533 1,426 1,299 840 629 614
Wexford 4,102 3,700 3,179 2,700 2,296 1,960 1,326 790 752
Wicklow 2,719 2,495 2,381 2,130 1,991 1,945 1,534 1,078 1,044
Total 96,803 87,684 79,788 71,533 61,247 48,041 34,378 24,303 23,307

Disability Allowance Appeals

 531. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty if an appeal has been received against a decision to refuse an application for disability allowance in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10292/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 24th January 2019.  It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 8th February 2019 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.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Scéimeanna Fostaíochta

 532. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty den Aire Gnóthaí Fostaíochta agus Coimirce Sóisialaí Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty an gceapfar cinnire ógra úr ar scéim fostaíochta pobail (sonraí tugtha) i nDún na nGall; an sealbhóir reatha ar tí éirí as an phost; muna gceapfar, an dtuigeann sí nach mbeidh aon duine ar fáil ina háit chun an tseirbhís don óige a riaradh; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [10293/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Is éard a bhíonn i Scéimeanna Oibre amhail an Fhostaíocht Phobail (FP) ná tionscnaimh dhearfacha a chuireann ar chumas na ndaoine a bhíonn dífhostaithe go fadtéarmach a gcion a dhéanamh ar mhaithe lena bpobail le linn dóibh cur lena scileanna féin chun ullmhú i gcomhair na fostaíochta ionchais san am le teacht. Tá sé tábhachtach a thabhairt faoi deara, áfach, go bhfuil an rannpháirtíocht sna scéimeanna seo ceaptha le maireachtáil go ceann téarma shocraithe shealadaigh agus ní poist inbhuanaithe lánaimseartha iad na háiteanna atá á dtairiscint. Críochnóidh an duine lena mbaineann i scéim Oileán na nÓg, Club Óige Chríost Rí, a teidlíocht ar 156 seachtaine sa scéim i Meitheamh 2019. Iarrfar an tráth sin duine chun teacht in ionad an duine reatha maidir leis an bpost atá á shealbhú aici faoi láthair. Fógrófar iarratais ar an bpost ar Jabanna Éireann (Jobsireland) agus tarlóidh an gnáthphróiseas earcaíochta i gcomhar le grúpa coimircíochta na Fostaíochta Pobail agus le seirbhís INTREO áitiúil na Roinne Gnóthaí Fostaíochta agus Coimirce Sóisialaí.

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

 533. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty if a review will be undertaken of the case of a person (details supplied) with a view to backdating payment of a jobseeker's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10294/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty In this instance it would not be appropriate for my Department to undertake a review as it is a matter for the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) which operates independently of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. 

  The person concerned can request the SWAO to review the decision of appeal 17/09672 which covers the decisions of Jobseekers Allowance applications registered on 20 January 2017 and 20 April 2017.

  There is no appeal registered with the SWAO of the decision based on the Jobseekers Allowance application of 14 December 2017.

  I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Local Employment Service

 534. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the number of referrals made to the local employment service in 2018, by office.  [10322/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The Local Employment Services (LES) engages primarily with long-term unemployed jobseekers, but may also engage with short-term unemployed jobseekers where a local need arises. Jobseekers are referred directly to the LES by Intreo offices.

  The following table reflects the numbers of activation customers who attended/engaged with the Local Employment Service, by provider, in 2018. The engagement period can last for up to 12 months. The Department records when a customer attends/engages with the LES service and some of the numbers below may include those persons who were referred towards the end of 2017, but who attended/engaged with the service in 2018. The numbers are reflective of the volume of customers who will have received activation assistance from the LES service in 2018 represents an increase of just over 2000 customers compared to 2017.

LES CONTRACT Activation - Clients Engaged 2018
Northside 1,737
Ballymun 1,528
Dublin City NW 1,900
Blanchardstown 1,542
Dublin SWIC 531
Docklands/Eastside 1,130
Dublin South City 466
Dublin 12 731
Ballyfermot 735
Clondalkin 1,746
Tallaght 2,477
Southside 1,129
Kildare 2,102
Bray 953
Monaghan 770
Dundalk & Drogheda 1856
Mayo 935
Galway 944
Limerick 2,371
Cork 1,781
South Kerry 780
Tralee 1,250
Waterford City 1,006
Waterford County 547
Wexford 1,659
Total 32606
   

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Eligibility

 535. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty if she will consider extending the three year rule for those aged over 55 years of age engaged in community employment in which they are providing a service in their community that otherwise would not be available; if there is discretion in such cases; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10323/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty As the Deputy will be aware, the Government agreed to establish an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) to explore how these social inclusion schemes might best be organised into the future including which Department should hold lead responsibility for sponsoring CE schemes focused on social Inclusion.  The deliberations of the group will inform any further consideration to review participation limits including those who are over 55 in conjunction with other labour market issues that should inform any decision on participation limits on active labour market programmes.

Social Welfare Appeals

 536. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth 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. [10355/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 18th January 2019.  It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 4th February 2019 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.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Appeals

 537. 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 a disability allowance for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10377/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath Disability allowance (DA) is subject to periodic reviews. This gentleman's entitlement to DA was recently reviewed and it was established that he had means not previously disclosed to this Department. These means are derived from a blind welfare allowance (BWA) which is paid by the health service executive (HSE).

DA is a statutory means-tested payment and the provisions governing the assessment of means are set out in legislation.  When deciding on entitlement of DA, a deciding officer has no discretion regarding the application of this legislation. The deciding officer implemented their decision from a current date resulting in no retrospective debt being raised against the person concerned.

This gentleman has lodged an appeal with the independent social welfare appeals office (SWAO).  All the relevant papers requested by that Office were prepared and submitted by this Department. The SWAO will be in touch with the person concerned in due course in relation to the progress of their appeal.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

 538. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty further to Parliamentary Question No. 553 of 13 November 2018, if the payment will be disregarded in the means test for social welfare payments for those who were in receipt of a payment before she approved disregarding it in view of the fact the payment is still being taken as means from social welfare payments (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [10382/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The Northern Ireland Victims and Survivors Service delivers funding and support to survivors of the Conflict / Troubles on behalf of the Executive Office of Northern Ireland.  They have remit to assist all victims and survivors identified in the Victims and Survivors (Northern Ireland) Order 2006, providing support to those who have been injured (physically or psychologically), those who care for people who have been injured, and those who have been bereaved by the Conflict / Troubles.

I have recently approved the introduction of a disregard for payments from Northern Ireland Victims & Survivors Service for social welfare means testing purposes, and I was pleased to sign Regulations to this effect on December 21 2018, with the disregard being effective from this date.

My officials have been in contact with the Deputy about the specific case he raised and the claimant in question has since had their means reassessed in line with the disregard.

Disability Allowance Applications

 539. 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 for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10386/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 12 November 2018.  Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds as it was not found that this gentleman was substantially restricted in taking up employment.

  The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 5 February 2019 and was also notified of their right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). No request for an appeal or review has been received to date.

  I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

 540. 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 for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10387/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath I can confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance (DA) from this gentleman on 14 December 2018. 

  On 13 February 2019 the person concerned was requested to supply supporting documentation required by the deciding officer in order to make a decision on his eligibility.  On receipt of this information a decision will be made on his DA application and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

  I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

 541. 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 for a domiciliary care allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10389/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath This lady was notified on the 27th February 2019 that her Domiciliary Care Allowance has been awarded on appeal with effect from 1st April 2018.

  Arrears due for this period will issue along with her March 2019 payment on the 19th March 2019.

  I hope this clarifies the position for the  Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals

 542. 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 appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10390/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 2nd January 2019.  It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought.  When these papers have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Eligibility

 543. 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 if the case of a person (details supplied) in County Sligo will be reviewed; if this condition can be waived in the circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10413/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty Carer's benefit (CARB) is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce to care for a child or an adult in need of full-time care and attention. An increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people.     

  Under the provisions of the legislation a person claiming CARB must be in remunerative full time employment (for a minimum of 16 hours in the week or 32 hours in the fortnight) for eight weeks out of the previous 26 week period immediately prior to the first day on which a claim is made. 

  The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined and the deciding officer decided that this evidence did not indicate that this requirement was satisfied.   

  There is no provision in legislation to waive this requirement, however the person concerned may wish to apply for increase for qualified adult (IQA) on her spouse's state pension contributory (SPC) and in addition carer's allowance (CA) which pays at half rate when a carer is in receipt of another social welfare payment such as IQA on SPC.   

  The person concerned may also wish to apply for the carer's support grant (CSG) formerly known as the respite care grant. This annual payment is for carers, who look after a person in need of full-time care and attention and is made regardless of the carer's means, it is however subject to the same caring conditions as CA.   

  If the person concerned wishes to make an application to any of the above mentioned schemes, she should complete and return the application form(s) that I have arranged to issue to them.   

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Administration

 544. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard Durkan Zoom on Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the reason her Department is delaying a person (details supplied) from taking up a community employment scheme position in a company; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10414/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty There was no delay in processing the Community Employment (CE) position for the person concerned.  The (CE) eligibility form was received by CE Unit on the 6th February 2019 and the person concerned commenced CE on the 4th March 2019.   

  The average timeframe for processing a  CE application from receipt of eligibility form from the CE project to a customer commencing a scheme is 15 working days.   However, this is dependent on forms being received on / before Wednesday in any given week with forms received on Thursdays and Fridays pushing processing times out by a further week. 

  I trust this clarifies matters for the deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications Waiting Times

 545. Deputy Sean Sherlock Information on Seán Sherlock Zoom on Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the reason there is a 14-week wait for answers in relation to disability allowance applications.  [10423/19]

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath My Department is committed to making decisions on entitlement 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 disability allowance (DA), evidence must be provided in respect of the person’s medical condition, the extent to which it restricts them from taking up employment, their means and their habitual residency.

  The target processing time for the DA scheme is to process 75% of new claims within 12 weeks.  In January 2019, the average waiting time for new DA applications was 14 weeks.

  My Department recognises that the current processing times for DA must be improved and is working to achieve this.  The current processes in place and resources assigned to this area of my Department, along with the number of Medical Assessors available to provide medical opinions are kept under constant review to ensure that any delays are minimised.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Payments

 546. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty when arrears of a carer's allowance will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10490/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty An application for carer’s allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 20 July 2018. 

  The application was awarded to the person concerned on 7 January 2019 with effect from 2 November 2017 and the first payment for 3 January 2019 issued to her nominated bank account on 10 January 2019.

  Arrears of carers allowance due from 2 November 2017 to 2 January 2019 will issue to the bank account of the person concerned on 7 March 2019.

  I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

JobPath Programme

 547. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty further to Parliamentary Question No. 613 of 5 February 2019, the timeframe for the publication of the econometric review of JobPath which was due to be published at the end of January 2019; if she has read the report; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [10503/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty This evaluation of the JobPath public employment service is being carried out in the context of a partnership between my Department and the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

The final outputs of the project will be

(1) the publication of a DEASP report;

(2) the publication of a joint DEASP-OECD report which will present both further results and further enhancements to the evaluation methodology; and

(3) regular quarterly publication by my Department of updated outcome statistics for JobPath participants using the same methodology as in the published reports.

One of the features of JobPath is that any long-term unemployed jobseeker is potentially eligible for referral for as long as he or she remains unemployed.  As a result, the probability of being referred, as well as the likely employment outcome, changes over time.  This means that developing a counterfactual model to accurately estimate the impact of JobPath on participants' labour market prospects represents a significant technical challenge.

To address this challenge, my Department has developed a new extendable econometric modelling framework, in collaboration with the OECD. This framework represents a major step forward in terms of both the quality of the evaluation data and methodology, and the comprehensiveness of the outcome measures. Furthermore, the evaluation approach is designed to facilitate regular statistical updates on the outcomes of JobPath participants, and to enable the development of comparable reporting on other labour market programmes. The technical complexity of the project has meant a longer time to completion than first envisaged.

I understand my officials will present the evaluation report to me shortly, prior to its publication.

JobPath Data

 548. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the number of persons referred to JobPath to date; the number of persons referred for a second time to date; and if a person has been referred more than twice. [10510/19]

 549. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the number of persons engaged with the JobPath companies. [10511/19]

 550. Deputy John Brady Information on John Brady Zoom on John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty the number of persons that have commenced employment through JobPath to date; the number of these jobs that were sustained for 13, 26, 39 and 52 weeks, respectively. [10512/19]

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty I propose to take Questions Nos. 548 to 550, inclusive, together.

  The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection provides a range of activation supports catering for long-term unemployed jobseekers and those most distant from the labour market to secure and sustain full-time paid employment. These supports include the JobPath service.

  My Department selects clients for the JobPath service by means of a random selection process and protocols for selection currently preclude the selection of anyone who has already completed 52 weeks with the JobPath service within the previous four months. If, however, at the end of this period the jobseeker has not engaged in other activation supports and services they then become eligible for selection for a subsequent period of activation on the JobPath programme.

  To date just over 21,000 jobseekers have commenced a second engagement period with the service, having availed of the service previously and 25 people have commenced a third engagement period.

  Jobseekers referred for a subsequent referral will start working with a Personal Advisor, who will review their development during their previous engagements with the service and together they will prepare a new personal progression plan to build on that progress. The actions and tasks agreed will be based on their previous engagements, with particular focus on the identified barriers, which are preventing the person moving into full-time suitable employment.

  To date, some 47,000 jobseekers have commenced employment during their engagement period with JobPath as set out in table 1. It should be noted that the figures presented are representative of the entire cohort of JobPath clients between July 2015 and February 2019 and all job starts in the same period. Many clients who are currently engaged with JobPath are still in the first phase of the service and will not have had sufficient time with the service to have gained employment nor sustain that employment for up to 52 weeks. Performance will improve as more clients complete their engagement with the service and have a chance to reach 52 weeks in employment.

  I trust that this clarifies matter for the deputy.

Table 1:

Jobseekers referred 209,538
Jobseekers with a second referral 21,846
Jobseekers with a third referral 25
Currently engaged 77,252
Commenced employment 47,482
Jobs sustained for 13 weeks to date 28,582
Jobs sustained for 26 weeks to date 21,363
Jobs sustained for 39 weeks to date 16,152
Jobs sustained for 52 weeks to date 12,137


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