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Burton, Joan

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Tax and Social Welfare Codes

Was asked: when the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare in relation to extending social insurance cover to the self-employed may be expected; and if she will make a statement on th...More Button

Creating jobs and tackling poverty are two of the key challenges that Ireland now faces and it is essential that our tax and social protection systems play their part in addressing these issues. To...More Button

The Group’s overall method of working is based on producing modular reports on the priority areas identified in the Terms of Reference. Where possible, the aim is to provide recommendations that ...More Button

Was asked: the steps she has taken to address the issues of tax parity and PRSI contributions for self-employed workers; her views on whether the current system discourages persons from becoming self-employed...More Button

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 639 and 741 together. More Button

Self-employed persons are liable for PRSI at the Class S rate of 4% which entitles them to access long-term benefits such as State pension (contributory) and widow's, widower's or surviving civil...More Button

Any changes to the PRSI system to extend the full range of social insurance benefits to self-employed persons would have significant financial implications and would have to be considered in the ...More Button

I established an Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare last year and one of the issues that the Group is currently considering is the issue of providing social insurance cover for self-employ...More Button

Self-employed individuals who fall on hard times or are without work for some time may establish entitlement to assistance-based payments. Those who have been previously self-employed can apply ...More Button

Redundancy Rebates

Was asked: the consultation that was made with employers groups in advance of the decision to reduce the redundancy rebate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if she has prepared an impact analysis of the effects on jobs of the reduction in the redundancy rebate; the effects it will have on the level of redundancy payments; and if she will make a stateme...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 628 and 629 together. More Button

The purpose of the redundancy payments scheme is to compensate workers, under the Redundancy Payments Acts, for the loss of their jobs by reason of redundancy. Compensation is based on the worke...More Button

It is the responsibility of the employer to pay statutory redundancy to all their eligible employees. An employer who pays statutory redundancy payments to their employees is then entitled to a ...More Button

Significant and increasing amounts have been paid out in redundancy rebates to employers from the SIF in recent years. While the SIF is constituted primarily from employer contributions, the tax...More Button

I am very concerned about the deficit in the Social Insurance Fund. In term of redundancy rebate payments to employers, €152.2 million was paid out in 2006; €167.4 million in 2007; €161.8 millio...More Button

I do not see why this country should continue to borrow money to plug the hole in the Social Insurance Fund in order to fund the cost of making people redundant – often from very profitable compa...More Button

As part of the deliberations on Budget 2012, the approach taken in other countries was examined and it was decided that the 60% level of rebate is not sustainable in the current economic climate....More Button

Unemployment Levels

Was asked: her policy on tackling long-term unemployment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The unemployment rate is currently 14.7% and while it has stabilised after several years of increases, the rate remains unacceptably high. It is of additional concern that long-term unemployment ac...More Button

Sick Pay Scheme Reform

Was asked: her policy on employers paying sick pay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

For a number of compelling reasons, the Government is considering the introduction of a scheme of statutory sick pay at this time – as a measure to help in addressing the growing deficit in the Soc...More Button

The range of complex issues that need to be addressed before any decision could be taken by Government on the possible introduction of such a scheme – the extent of coverage; the rate of payment;...More Button

Was asked: if she will publish the final report on her consultation on changes to the sick pay system; when she expects to bring proposals to Cabinet; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if a full cost-impact analysis on small business will be undertaken on her proposals to force employers to cover the cost of up to four weeks sick pay; if her attention has been drawn to the result...More Button

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 667, 680 and 748 together. More Button

There are a number of compelling reasons why the Government is considering the introduction of a scheme of statutory sick pay at this time – firstly, as a measure to help in addressing the growin...More Button

However, I am acutely conscious of the pressures facing employers in the current economic climate, and in particular, the pressures facing smaller and medium-sized enterprises, and I am aware of ...More Button

I can assure the House that the range of complex issues that need to be addressed before any decision could be taken by Government on the possible introduction of such a scheme – the extent of co...More Button

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding sick pay; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There are a number of compelling reasons why the Government is considering the introduction of a scheme of statutory sick pay at this time – firstly, as a measure to help in addressing the growing ...More Button

I can assure the House that the range of complex issues that need to be addressed before any decision could be taken by Government on the possible introduction of such a scheme – the extent of co...More Button

Youth Unemployment Data

Was asked: her policy on addressing youth unemployment; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Young people, typically, suffer disproportionately from job losses in recessions as they tend to have entered employment more recently, are more likely to hold temporary contracts and to be employe...More Button

Was asked: if she has any proposals to support the 40% of persons under the age of 25 who are unemployed and are seeking employment.More Button

Young people, typically, suffer disproportionately from job losses in recessions as they tend to have entered employment more recently, are more likely to hold temporary contracts and to be employe...More Button

  Question No. 635 answered with Question No. 633.More Button

  Question No. 636 withdrawn.More Button

Gender Recognition Issues

Was asked: if she will grant recognition to transgender persons and equality in same-sex marriage (details supplied). More Button

Was asked: when transgender-intersex citizens will be recognised and the reason for the failure to date to provide such recognition. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 633 and 635 together.More Button

The Gender Recognition Advisory Group (GRAG) was established in 2010 to advise the Government on the legislation required to give legal recognition to the acquired gender of transgender persons. ...More Button

Since the publication of the Report, the Department has been working on developing draft Heads of a Gender Recognition Bill. In this context, it has engaged in discussions with the relevant medic...More Button

The external counsel’s legal opinion on these issues was recently received in my Department and will inform discussions between officials in my Department, the Office of the Attorney General, the...More Button

With regard to intersex persons the GRAG concluded that addressing the inclusion of the intersex condition required more research and medical expertise than was available to it. In addition, the ...More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

Was asked: the number of occasions in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012 in which one month’s rents in advance have been provided through exceptional needs payments.More Button

The purpose of rent supplement 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 ...More Button

Was asked: if she will support a matter (details supplied).More Button

The rent being paid by the person concerned is higher than the appropriate maximum amount of rent in respect of which a supplement is payable, as set out in the statutory regulations. Given her pa...More Button

Was asked: the reason rent allowance has not been paid for the past seven months in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 16; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Rent supplement has not been paid to the person concerned because she failed to submit requested documentation in support of her claim. On receipt of the outstanding documentation her current clai...More Button

Was asked: if and when payment in respect of an application for rent supplement will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The first payment of rent supplement issued on 14th September 2012 in respect of the period commencing on 23rd July, the date on which he was found to qualify for rent supplement.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding the refund of rent supplement in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9. More Button

The person concerned reported non-receipt of a rent supplement cheque in respect of a week in July. The cheque has now been replaced.More Button

Was asked: if the rent supplement payment of €790 for Leixlip, County Kildare, is correct in view of the increased competition within the rental market in north Kildare; her views on whether such a level of r...More Button

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 a...More Button

The emphasis of the rent limit review was to ensure that maximum value for money for tenants and the taxpayer was achieved whilst at the same time ensuring that people on rent supplement are not ...More Button

Latest figures show that there are currently 4,341 rent supplement recipients in County Kildare. When compared with Census 2011 household data this shows that 36% of properties rented from privat...More Button

The number of rental properties available in North Kildare is somewhat lower than the numbers available in the rest of the county. It must be stressed, however, that the purpose of the rent limit...More Button

Department officials dealing with rent supplement tenants will continue to ensure that their accommodation needs are met; there will be no incidence of homelessness due to these changes.More Button

The Department will continue to monitor rent levels throughout the country but at this point I have no plans to revise the existing rent limits.More Button

Was asked: the options available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare who has been informed by her Department that their landlord must reduce their rent again from €800 to €725; her views on wheth...More Button

The maximum rent limit for a one parent family, with two children in County Kildare is €725. Analysis shows that for Kildare, there are properties available within the maximum rent limits for rent ...More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: if her attention has been drawn to the fact that due to the refusal by her Department to provide rent support in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare they cannot have visits fr...More Button

Was asked: if and when rent supplement will issue in view of the contradictory reply to Parliamentary Question No. 96 of 5 July 2012 in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she wil...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 638 and 644 together.More Button

The person concerned has been refused higher rent supplement to cover accommodation for himself and his child as the child is primarily accommodated with his mother and his housing need has alrea...More Button

Was asked: if she will approve an application for rent supplement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned has made an application for rent supplement and has been requested to provide further information in order to process her claim. A decision will be made on her application whe...More Button

Was asked: if she is carrying out a review of all existing rent supplement recipients; the number of cases in which rent supplement has been cancelled or suspended as a result of any such review; if any revie...More Button

The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term income support, to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation...More Button

The housing policy framework published by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Minister for Housing & Planning in June 2011 contains the announcement for the t...More Button

Revised maximum rent limits under the rent supplement scheme came into force on 1 January 2012. The revised rent limits are applicable to new rent supplement tenancies from January 2012 and exis...More Button

Where a claim is under review and the rent is above the maximum limit the customer is being asked to contact the landlord to renegotiate the rent. Where a landlord does not agree to reduce the r...More Button

Statistics are not available as to the number of rent supplement claims cancelled or suspended following review. More Button

Approximately 33,500 rent supplement claims have been awarded in 2012, representing over 37% of total claims in payment, indicating that accommodation can be secured within the existing rent limi...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding rent allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1. More Button

The person concerned has already been in receipt of rent supplement since 2009. Should he apply for rent supplement for a new address, all of his circumstances will of course be taken into account,...More Button

  Question No. 811 answered with Question No. 805.More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 38, 46, 47, 49 and 60 of 17 July 2012 regarding the rent supplement scheme and in particular the following paragraph: "while rent supplement is not generally...More Button

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 a...More Button

Statistics are not available on the number of rent supplement claims in payment in respect of tenancies which are in excess of the prescribed limits on an exceptional basis.More Button

  Question No. 820 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: the reason it has been deemed that a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is being over-accommodated with respect to their rent supplement payment; if she will review the decision to cease t...More Button

The person concerned has been awarded rent supplement from the 20th August 2011 on the basis of S.I. No. 412 of 2007, Part 6 Article 38 of which states that a designated person may...More Button

Farm Assist Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of claimants for farm assist in the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012 and the amount of money paid out in total in those years.More Button

A table detailing the number of recipients of a payment under the farm assist scheme follows showing the number of recipients at the end of July 2012 and at end of the years 2007 to 2011 inclusive....More Button

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Was asked: the reason an invalidity pension has ceased in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 23rd July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: the progress to date regarding an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 18th July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: if she will review the decision to refuse invalidity pension in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 03rd September 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide an update on a claim for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary submitted in November 2011; when a decision will issue; and if she will...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 10th January 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the app...More Button

Was asked: if a late appeal will be accepted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for invalidity pension, by the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer of the Department on 18th October 2011. I am informed by the Social Welfare appeals Office that...More Button

I understand that the person concerned has lodged a new application for invalidity pension and her case will be determined afresh in the light of any changed circumstances. If she is dissatisfie...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27th August 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: if she will ensure the immediate approval of an application for an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 14th November 2011. It is a statutory requirement of the ...More Button

Was asked: if she will ensure the immediate processing of an appeal in respect of an application for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a stat...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 4th September 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the ap...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal date for an oral hearing for an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an oral hearing of this case was scheduled for 03rd   July 2012.   However, prior to the hearing the p...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 28th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on invalidity pension will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 10th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: the reason invalidity pension has not been granted to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the invalidity pension claim of the person concerned was disallowed following an assessment by a Medical Assessor who expressed the opinion tha...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.More Button

Was asked: if and when a decision will be made in respect of an appeal for invalidity pension in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that no appeal by the person concerned has been received by that office.

  The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independe...More Button

Was asked: when an appeal in respect of invalidity pension will be determined in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 3rd   September 2012. It is a statutory requireme...More Button

Was asked: when invalidity pension will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if she will facilitate an oral hearing in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the mat...More Button

Invalidity pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions.More Button

This department received a claim for invalidity pension for the person concerned. The medical evidence provided by the claimant in support of her claim was examined by a medical assessor who was...More Button

Further medical evidence was subsequently submitted by the claimant. This additional evidence, along with the original information, was evaluated by a different medical assessor who also express...More Button

The person concerned has been advised of her right to appeal the decision. Should she wish to do so, she has been advised that she should appeal in writing to the Social Welfare Appeals Office a...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an appeal on an application for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 13 July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that t...More Button

Jobseeker's Benefit Appeals

Was asked: if an appeal submitted by a person (details supplied) in County Galway in relation to a decision to refuse jobseeker's benefit has been received and when a decision will issue; and if she will make...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned together with the relevant Departmental papers and the comments of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of ap...More Button

Was asked: if and when payment will issue in respect of an appeal for jobseeker's allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Carer's Allowance Applications

Was asked: if and when an application for carer's allowance will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

  Question No. 644 answered with Question No. 638.More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The application is currently with a deciding officer for a means assessment and a f...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Galway may expect to receive a decision on their entitlement to carer's allowance.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if it will be expedited due to financial hardship; and if she will make a statement ...More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: if and when payment of an application for carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department is committed to delivering the best possible service to its customers. Currently the average time taken to award a carer’s allowance application is 28 weeks. More Button

I acknowledge that the time taken to process carer’s allowance claims at present is not satisfactory but I am satisfied that the Department is taking appropriate action to resolve the situation.More Button

Carer’s allowance section has recently completed a major service delivery modernisation project to improve the efficiency with which it processes applications from clients for carer’s allowance. ...More Button

Following the completion of the modernisation project, an in-depth business process improvement (BPI) project commenced for the carer’s allowance scheme. This project focused on optimising outpu...More Button

I can confirm that the delay in processing applications does not result in any saving to the Department. If an application is awarded the payment is backdated to the date the application was made...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a claim for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question.

  On completion of the necessary investigations relating to all a...More Button

Was asked: when payment of carer's allowance will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person in question has been in contact with carer’s allowance section and arrears issued on August 30th for payment due for the period June to September 2012. The person concer...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on a carer's allowance application will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will receive a decision on their carer's allowance application; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: if and when an application for carer's allowance will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The application will be processed as quickly as possible and when a decision is made...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

  Question No. 748 answered with Question No. 667.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made in relation to an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

  Question No. 772 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

Was asked: if carer's allowance will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if she will examine the delay in processing a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 805 and 811 together.

  I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The appl...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

This application for carer’s allowance has been awarded. The payment commenced on 12th September 2012. A letter to this effect issued to the person in question on 12th&nb...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

Was asked: her views on whether it is fair and reasonable for carer's allowance applicants to wait over 12 months to have their claims processed; her views on whether it is fair and reasonable for applicants ...More Button

There is currently a significant backlog of claims awaiting decision in carer’s allowance. The Department is committed to delivering the best possible service to its customers. I acknowledge that ...More Button

Carer's allowance section has recently completed a major service delivery modernisation project to improve the efficiency with which it processes applications from clients for carer's allowance. ...More Button

Following the completion of the modernisation project, an in-depth business process improvement (BPI) project commenced for the carer’s allowance scheme. This project focused on optimising outpu...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue on an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in same; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed. The application is currently with a socia...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on a carer's allowance will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed. The application is currently with a socia...More Button

  Question No. 831 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite a decision on a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed. The application is currently with a socia...More Button

Was asked: if she will ensure that an urgent review is carried out in the case of an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a state...More Button

This application for carer’s allowance was disallowed on 23/06/12. A request for review was made by the person in question. That review has been completed. The decision that full time care and a...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on an application for carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

  Question No. 874 answered with Question No. 825.More Button

Was asked: when a decision on an application for carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinatio...More Button

  Question No. 883 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: when a decision on an application for carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. Further medical information and other information sought by the deciding officer ha...More Button

On completion of the medical assessment, the application will be processed as quickly as possible and when a decision is made the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.More Button

Social Welfare Benefits Applications

Was asked: if she will give a firm commitment that there will be no cuts to basic social welfare rates in the next budget; if she will give a further commitment that there will be no cuts by stealth, through ...More Button

The Government is committed to tackling Ireland’s economic crisis in a way that is fair, balanced, and which recognises the need for social solidarity. The appropriate level of overall expenditure...More Button

Was asked: he number of those individual persons with unique PPS numbers in receipt of €1,000 or more per week or €52,000 per annum from her Department under one or more different payment headings.More Button

It is not possible to extract the data requested in respect of the number of individual persons with unique PPS numbers in receipt of €1,000 or more per week or €52,000 per annum from the Departmen...More Button

Was asked: if and when a basic social welfare payment will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned has been advised on a number of occasions that his Garda National Immigration Bureau card is out of date since 30th January 2012. He has also been advised that holding of a cur...More Button

In the interim he has received a series of Exceptional Needs Payments through the Asylum Seekers/New Communities Unit within my Department.More Button

Was asked: if he will review the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin.More Button

Having reviewed the circumstances of this case I can confirm that the person concerned is in receipt of the maximum rate of State pension (non-contributory) of €219.00 per week along with Living Al...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Funding

Was asked: if she will consider revising the requirement for community employment schemes to open a new bank account on a yearly basis and to allow a roll-over of existing accounts as would be the case in nor...More Button

The requirement for a new bank account for each project year  is to be phased out at the next renewal date for existing projects. This policy change was notified to DSP Divisional...More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding a job seeker's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin South; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned together with the relevant Departmental papers and the comments of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of app...More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been reached on a jobseeker's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer having fully considered all the available evidence, including that adduced at oral hearing, allowed the appeal of the perso...More Button

Was asked: if and when jobseeker's allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 7th August 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that t...More Button

Jobseeker's Benefit Applications

Was asked: the entitlements available for low-paid part-time staff who work 20 hours per week (details supplied). More Button

The jobseeker's benefit and jobseeker’s allowance schemes provide income support for people who have lost work and are unable to find alternative employment. It is a fundamental qualifying conditi...More Button

It is recognised that a changing labour market has resulted in a move away from the more traditional work patterns, with a consequent increase in the number of atypical workers. In acknowledgeme...More Button

The review made a number of recommendations which are currently under consideration by a Departmental working group. These considerations are complex and are taking place in the context of othe...More Button

Disability Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding an application for disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo; if the application will be expedited due to financial hardship; and if she w...More Button

The person concerned applied for disability allowance on 30 March 2011. Medical evidence supplied with his claim was referred to one of the department’s medical assessors who was of the opinion, b...More Button

He subsequently appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeal Office. The appeals officer decided that, while the person was medically suitable for disability allowance, his weekly means w...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse an application for disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 24th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: when a medical assessment by another medical assessor will be carried out in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois in respect of their disability allowance claim; and if she will m...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the disability allowance claim of the person concerned was disallowed following an assessment by a Medical Assessor who expressed the opinion t...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse an application for disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 17th July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an appeal of a disability allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the Department is in receipt of an application for disability allowance from the above named person. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decis...More Button

Was asked: if and when it is likely that disability allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned applied for disability allowance on 20 March 2012.More Button

The medical evidence supplied with his application was referred to one of the department’s medical assessors who was of the opinion, based on the information supplied, that the person was not med...More Button

The person subsequently forwarded further medical evidence in support of his application which was referred to a medical assessor. When the medical opinion is received a deciding officer will re...More Button

Was asked: the reason for the delay in determining the outcome of an appeal in respect of a disability allowance claimant (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 11th January 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: when a person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on an appeal for disability allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 27th August 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: if a disability allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick can be now processed without any delay.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 15th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appea...More Button

Taxi Regulations

Was asked: if she has ever operated a scheme that provided lump sums to taxi drivers towards the purchase of licences or the operation of taxi business; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department does not operate a scheme that provides lump sums towards the set up of taxi businesses or the purchase of taxi licences. The Deputy may wish to note that the Department operates a ...More Button

  Question No. 654 withdrawn.More Button

Departmental Staff Data

Was asked: in respect of a person (details supplied), if she regards this person as having been permanent staff who took up a temporary position to fill critical vacancies at the time and as part of the Croke...More Button

The person in question is not a member of staff in the Department of Social Protection. More Button

Was asked: the number of press officers in her Department; the number of press officers in each agency under her auspices; the total cost of press officers in her Department and in agencies under her auspices...More Button

There are two Press Officers in my Department, both of whom are Higher Executive Officers. The standard salary scale for the grade is €43,816 to €55,415. In addition to salary, overtime amounting...More Button

Carer's Benefit Eligibility

Was asked: the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The medical assessment has been completed and the application is awaiting examinati...More Button

Departmental Bodies

Was asked: the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies or other quangos set up by her Department since February 2011; the number...More Button

I appointed a Steering Group on the National Internship Scheme in May 2011 to advise me on the implementation of the scheme. The Steering Group is comprised of representatives from the private, pu...More Button

I established an Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare in June 2011 in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government. Members of the Group have expertise in economic and social polic...More Button

An Interdepartmental Project Board for the contracting of External Employment Services was set up this summer. No direct costs have been incurred to date.More Button

A working group was set up in July 2012 to review the Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme and is due to report by year end. The group has representatives from other Government Departments and from...More Button

A working group was established in August 2012 to examine section 48 of the Pensions Act. This deals with the priority order of the distribution of assets in a scheme wind up. The group compris...More Button

The above five groups established since I came into office in March 2011 are still in place as the work they are doing is valuable and pertinent to the particular areas and issues with which the...More Button

Departmental Bodies Expenditure

Was asked: the estimated cost of each quango in her Department; the amount expected to be saved from the mergers of quangos in her Department; the basis for this figure; and if she will make a statement on th...More Button

The three statutory bodies operating under the aegis of the Department are the Social Welfare Tribunal, the Citizens Information Board (CIB) and the Pensions Board. In addition, the Office of the ...More Button

The Social Welfare Tribunal deals with cases where entitlement to jobseeker’s benefit or assistance is refused due to an involvement in a trade dispute. The Tribunal consists of a Chairman and f...More Button

The total Budget allocation to the CIB for 2012 is €46.843m. The CIB was assigned responsibility for the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) with effect from July 2009. There are no plans ...More Button

My Department provides an annual grant to the Pensions Board specifically to fund a public awareness campaign, the National Pensions Awareness Campaign. The grant for 2012 was €400,000. The Depa...More Button

The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman is independent in its function and comes under the remit of my Department. The 2012 Estimate for Pensions Ombudsman is €1.025m.More Button

In terms of rationalisation, the integration of the regulatory functions of the Pensions Board with the Financial Regulator and the merging of the Pensions Ombudsman with the Financial Services O...More Button

Job Creation

Was asked: the number of new jobs created by her Department as a result of the jobs initiative; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of new jobs created by her Department as a result of the action plan on jobs; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of new jobs created by her Department as a result of budget 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 660 to 662, inclusive, together. More Button

The Action Plan for Jobs, launched on 13 February 2012, is a matter for the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. It is important to note that the Action Plan for Jobs is not a policy wo...More Button

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I understand that the Deputy is referring to a recent newspaper article by the person concerned. The article raised a number of interesting points particularly around the issues of job creation an...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the total amount spent on taxis by her Department since February 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Since 1 February 2011 a total of €54,137 was spent on taxis by my Department. Taxis are used mainly by staff who travel as part of their official duties in instances where public transport is not ...More Button

Was asked: if she will detail, in tabular form, the total photography costs for her Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which...More Button

Photography services are used, in conjunction with press releases and conferences, to communicate the Department’s initiatives, schemes and services to customers and to the regional and national me...More Button

Was asked: if she will detail, in tabular form, the total cost of providing entertainment for her Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occas...More Button

Was asked: the amount spent on food and drink by her Department; if she will provide a breakdown of what this involved; the occasions on which food and drink was provided; those present; and if she will make ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 668 and 669 together.

  In the period 1 March 2011 to 7 September 2012 a total of €119,271 was spent on food and drink by my Department as outli...More Button

Was asked: the amount spent on hair and make-up by her Department since she came to office; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There have been no expenses incurred by my Department in respect of hair and make-up since I came to office.More Button

Was asked: the total amount of money spent on printing costs by her Department for explanatory materials leaflets and so on setting out changes to social welfare benefits since December 2011; and if she will ...More Button

My Department does not rely solely on printed material to communicate information about social welfare schemes or changes to schemes. All relevant information is published on the Department’s webs...More Button

Appointments to State Boards

Was asked: the total number of board appointees she has nominated since she came to office; the names, salaries and expenses of each; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The three statutory bodies operating under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection are the Social Welfare Tribunal, the Citizens Information Board and the Pensions Board. In addition, the...More Button

Was asked: the steps she is taking to ensure that State boards have at least 40% of each gender, as provided for in the programme for Government; the percentage at present; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

The three statutory bodies under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection are the Citizens Information Board, the Social Welfare Tribunal and the Pensions Board. In addition, the Office of...More Button

Was asked: the number of appointments that have been made to positions available on the boards of semi-State companies and statutory agencies following public advertisement; if she will provide details of the...More Button

The three statutory bodies under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection are the Citizens Information Board, the Pensions Board and the Social Welfare Tribunal. In addition, the Office of ...More Button

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

Was asked: the number and names of all special advisers, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in her Department; the name of the Minister of Minister of State to whom he or she rep...More Button

Was asked: the political activities of each special adviser, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in her Department; if any of them were members of a political party; if so the par...More Button

Was asked: the amount spent by her Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the names of special advisers for whom salary increases have been requested; the amount requested; the details of those granted increases and the amount by which they were increased; and if she wil...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 671, 676, 677 and 892 together.

  The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the names and current salaries of my Special Advisors is...More Button

Consultancy Contracts Issues

Was asked: if she will provide detail in tabular form of the names of all external public relations and consultancy persons and organisations used by her Department for the years 2011 and 2010; the amount pai...More Button

Was asked: if she will detail in tabular form the amount paid on external public relations and communications consultants since February 2011; the reason for the payment; the name of each organisation used; a...More Button

Was asked: if she will detail in tabular form the amount paid to consultants since February 2011; the name of each organisation used; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the total amount spent since February 2011 on external reports commissioned by her Department, including payments from ministerial allowances, details of the consultants employed and costs of each;...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 672, 674, 675 and 678 together.

  The Department has a major programme of business, organisational and technological change underway to enable it...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the gross annual salary costs for her private and constituency offices at present; the same figures for this time last year; and the same figures for any Ministers of State in her Department; if sh...More Button

Details of the current gross annual salary costs in respect of my private and constituency offices in the Department and corresponding details for September 2011 are set out in the following table....More Button

  Questions Nos. 674 and 675 answered with Question No. 672.More Button

  Questions Nos. 676 and 677 answered with Question No. 671.More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Was asked: the position regarding an application for rent allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned was refused rent supplement on the 15th September 2011 as his income was in excess of the prescribed limit. The Department has not received any new information...More Button

  Question No. 680 answered with Question No. 667.More Button

Was asked: if she will confirm if the freephone number for the central rents unit serving Dublin 15 has been moved, and replaced with a Lo-call number; if so if she will re-instate the freephone number given ...More Button

The freephone number which operated for the Central Rents Unit serving Dublin 15 was operational while the Unit was attached to the HSE. This number was attached to the HSE building housing the Un...More Button

The Central Rent Unit dealing with parts of Dublin 15 is keeping all means of contact under review to ensure that clients are able to access it as required and in this regard will shortly introdu...More Button

Was asked: if rent allowance will be restored in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned is currently in receipt of rent supplement. More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an application for rent supplement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of his full entitlement to rent supplement based on his household circumstances.More Button

Was asked: the maximum rent allowance payable in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The maximum rent supplement payable in the case of the person concerned is €434.63 per month based on the circumstances as presented to the Department. The rent supplement claim is currently under ...More Button

Was asked: her future plans, if any, to improve the efficiency and efficacy of the rent supplement scheme, bearing in mind the struggles that both landlords and tenants face, particularly tenants who have mor...More Button

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 a...More Button

The housing policy framework published by the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government and the Minister for Housing & Planning in June 2011 contains the announcement for the t...More Button

The timescale for determining individual applications for rent supplement is dependent, among other things, on the availability of the required information, such as details of the applicant’s inc...More Button

The provision of a prompt service is a major objective for the Department’s staff dealing with rent supplement applications in ensuring that tenants can meet their rental commitments. However, t...More Button

Was asked: if she will outline the relationship between the rent allowance section of her Department and local authority housing departments; the new procedures that have been put in place in relation to the ...More Button

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 a...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a rent allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It appears from the information collected to date that the person concerned does not meet the qualifying criteria set out in the statutory regulations in relation to Rent Supplement. Some further a...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding rent in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5.More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of Rent Supplement from April 2010. During a recent entitlement review details of earnings from part time employment came to light. This income will not disqualif...More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a domiciliary care allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. More Button

I confirm that the department is in receipt of an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question. The application is with a deciding officer for a means assessment and a full decisi...More Button

Was asked: when an application for domiciliary care allowance will be processed in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 13th   February 2012. It is a statutory requiremen...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on domiciliary care allowance will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received on the 16th May 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the child was not m...More Button

As part of the appeal process, the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration, including a review of any new information supplied. Upon re...More Button

Was asked: the percentage of applications for the domiciliary care allowance that were refused each year for the past five years; the number of refusals that were overturned following appeal; the main reason ...More Button

The Department has been accepting new claims for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) since 1st  April 2009. Statistics relating to the allowance for the period prior to April 200...More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been made on a domiciliary care allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Applications for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) in respect of two children were received from the person concerned on the 17th  August 2012. These applications have been for...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received from the person in question on the 2nd August 2012. This application has been forwarded to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors for ...More Button

Was asked: when a decision on a review of domiciliary care will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.More Button

An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received on the 29th March 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the child was not...More Button

As part of the appeal process, the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration, including a review of any new information supplied. Upon re...More Button

Question No. 886 withdrawn.More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: if she believes that it is fair that a cohabiting couple's total income before tax is taken into account when assessing for jobseeker's assistance, if each partner will benefit from the other's tax...More Button

The social welfare and tax systems have evolved over time and in response to a variety of factors, including Constitutional imperatives as interpreted by the Courts, changing social trends and EU D...More Button

National Internship Scheme Places

Was asked: the reason JobBridge has not been widened to include the blind person's pension as well as disability benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The National Internship Scheme provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors and at pr...More Button

Universal Social Charge Payments

Was asked: if she will consider including the universal social charge as an exclusion from income similar to the exclusion of PRSI and travelling expenses of €20 per week when considering applications for the...More Button

The back to school clothing and footwear allowance (BSCFA) scheme provides a one-off payment to eligible families to assist with the extra costs when their children start school each autumn. The G...More Button

Rent Supplement Scheme Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding rent supplement in respect of a person (details supplied).More Button

The application made by the person concerned was disallowed as his means were found to be in excess of the limit. He has lodged an appeal with the Social Welfare Appeals Office and the matter is cu...More Button

Was asked: if and when an appeal for a higher rate of rent support will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 19th June 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that...More Button

Was asked: to indicate if and when an application for rent allowance will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 28th May 2012. The case has been assigned to an Appeals Off...More Button

Was asked: the correct level of rent support in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of rent supplement of €283.00 per month which is currently under review. The person concerned has been requested to provide information in order to facilitate the...More Button

Labour Court Recommendations

Was asked: if she will supply a list of all Labour Court recommendations that have been issued in respect of her Department and organisations under her aegis that have not been complied with in full; and if s...More Button

The Department does not normally use the Labour Court for dispute resolution, the relevant forum in this regard is the civil service Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme.More Button

However, in the context of the transfer of a significant number of staff to the Department from the Community Welfare Service of the Health Service Executive and the Employment Support Services o...More Button

The recommendations relating to the first two matters above have been complied with in full and the necessary arrangements in relation to the implementation of the third issue have commenced. More Button

The statutory agencies that operate under the aegis of the Department are the Pensions Board and the Citizens Information Board. The Office of the Pensions Ombudsman also comes under the remit o...More Button

Carer's Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: if the current half-rate carer's allowance will remain unchanged; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There are almost 52,000 people in receipt of carer’s allowance from my Department at an annual cost of over €500 million. Of these, over 22,000 are getting half rate carer’s allowance in addition ...More Button

In Budget 2012, the basic rate of carer’s allowance and the respite care grant were not reduced. The means test for carer’s allowance is one of the most generous means tests in the social welfar...More Button

In the current economic climate every scheme in my Department must be kept under review, particularly payments that are additional to a primary weekly payment. As part of the deliberative proces...More Button

Invalidity Pension Applications

Was asked: if a review of the refusal of an application for invalidity pension will take place in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason payment under the invalidity pension scheme ceased in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 691 and 733 together.More Button

Invalidity pension is a payment for persons who are permanently incapable of work and who satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions.More Button

Invalidity pension was stopped for the person in question following a routine review of continued entitlement. Based on the up-to-date medical evidence provided for the purposes of the review, th...More Button

The person concerned has requested a review of this decision and has submitted further medical evidence in support of his application. This evidence has been forwarded to a different medical asse...More Button

Pensions Legislation

Was asked: her plans to amend legislation dealing with private pensions in the private sector (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The provision for increases in payments to current pensioners is determined by the rules of the pension scheme and is not provided for in legislation. However, the Pensions Act was amended in 2009...More Button

The revaluation of preserved benefits for former scheme members is provided for in the Pension Act 1990. The Act prescribes that the percentage of increases applied shall be the lesser of the in...More Button

The revaluation rate applied to preserved benefits has for most of the last decade lagged behind the rate of change in the average industrial wage. This position has now been reversed. The incr...More Button

The operation of the Pension Act is monitored on an on-going basis and while there are no proposals at the moment to amend the revaluation provision in the Pensions Act the matter will be kept un...More Button

Departmental Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the position regarding recruiting persons with a disability; the number of persons currently employed in her Department; the number of persons with a disability who have been employed since 1 Janua...More Button

The Department of Social Protection is committed to ensuring that its human resource practices, including recruitment, are fully in line with civil service policy on equality of opportunity. The t...More Button

Currently there is no open recruitment for permanent positions in the Department, in line with the Government moratorium on recruitment in the Civil Service, which was announced on the 27th March...More Button

The Department also participates in the Willing Able and Mentoring (WAM) Programme, which is administered by the Association of Higher Education Access and Disability (AHEAD). This is a work exp...More Button

Citizen Information Services

Was asked: the reason the citizens information service in a town (details supplied) in County Donegal has been reduced from a five-day week service to a one day and at most two-day service; and if she will ma...More Button

Donegal Citizens Information Service (CIS) is funded through the Citizens Information Board to provide information, advice and advocacy services to the citizens of Co. Donegal. There are offices i...More Button

Recruitment of a replacement staff member to the office in question is at the final stages and this will stabilise the service provided to the public in that location.More Button

Donegal CIS will continue to provide targeted information sessions to local groups and communities where a need is identified or to meet specific requests and will keep the level of service provi...More Button

Carer's Allowance Payments

Was asked: her views on the fact that people who are approved carers and only in receipt of half rate should not be specifically singled out for a cut as they are carrying out a lot of work for this additiona...More Button

There are almost 52,000 people in receipt of carer’s allowance from my Department at an annual cost of over €500 million. Of these, over 22,000 are getting half rate carer’s allowance in addition ...More Button

There are no carers who are only in receipt of a half rate carer’s allowance. Carer’s allowance is not a payment for providing care but an income support for people who are unable to work becaus...More Button

The Government appreciates the work that carers do in providing care for their loved ones and has recognised this in the recently published National Carers’ Strategy. The means test for carer’s ...More Button

In the current economic climate every scheme in my Department must be kept under review, particularly payments that are additional to a primary weekly payment. As part of the deliberative proces...More Button

Was asked: if she will outline in respect of people who are on the half-rate carers allowance the breakdown of the primary payments that these people are in receipt of in the first instance; and if she will m...More Button

The following table outlines the breakdown of the primary payments carers are in receipt of along with a half rate carer’s allowance, as of the end of July 2012.

More Button

Was asked: the number of persons here on the half-rate carer's allowance and if this will be broken down on a county basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The following table outlines the current county by county breakdown of the number of people in receipt of half-rate carer’s allowance.

More Button

Was asked: if half rate for carers allowance will be applied in respect of arrears in regard to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person in question is in receipt of half-rate carer’s allowance at present.

  Arrears for carer’s allowance were paid for the period Thursday 16th June 2011 t...More Button

Was asked: the correct rate of carer’s allowance due in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; if he will outline the amount of arrears due since 20 October 2011; if all such arrears have been ...More Button

The person in question was awarded carer’s allowance from 20th October 2011. The correct rate of €278.50 has been applied in this case. This comprises the basic rate of €204 plus €1...More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15 may be considered a dependant on their spouse's carer’s allowance payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

There is no increase for a qualified adult payable with the carer’s allowance scheme and therefore it is not possible to add the person concerned as a dependent on their spouse’s carer’s allowance ...More Button

Departmental Staff Redeployment

Was asked: her proposals regarding locating staff (details supplied) in County Laois and the current position on this matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Department is actively pursuing the setting up of a Control Office in Portlaoise. The new office will be based at Government Buildings, Abbeyleix Rd, Portlaoise in a space previously occupied ...More Button

The route for filling vacancies created in Portlaoise will be through redeployment in the first instance and this panel is managed by the Public Appointments Service. If sufficient staff cannot ...More Button

Currently there are two deciding officers based in the Portlaoise Branch Office and two deciding officers from Kilkenny Local Office attend Portlaoise one day per week to implement decisions on J...More Button

Mortgage Interest Supplement Appeals

Was asked: If she will expedite an appeal for mortgage interest supplement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 6th July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals...More Button

Social Welfare Code Review

Was asked: if she will streamline the current situation where people coming off FÁS courses are left without a direct continuation of welfare payment while seeking work, as if they are unable to obtain work i...More Button

In cases where a jobseeker customer takes up temporary work for a short period or avails of a short-term training course, arrangements are in place to temporarily suspend the claim so that it can b...More Button

When a customer receives an offer of temporary employment or a training course they should give full details to their social welfare local office and contact the office without delay when the cou...More Button

The average processing times for jobseeker benefit claims in August 2012 was 2.35 weeks and 4.49 weeks for Jobseeker allowance claims. In cases referred to by the Deputy the processing time unde...More Button

The Department is constantly reviewing its operational procedures to ensure that customers do not have to apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance payments. A procedural review specifically tar...More Button

  Question No. 703 withdrawn.More Button

One-Parent Family Payment Applications

Was asked: if and when payment will issue in respect of an application for one-parent family payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The one parent family application of the person concerned is being processed at present, and she will be informed of the outcome in due course.More Button

Was asked: if an interim payment will be made on an application for one-parent family allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

An application for supplementary welfare allowance from the person concerned has been awarded and is in payment.More Button

Was asked: if an application for one-parent family allowance will be reopened in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The one parent family payment claim of the person concerned has been reinstated.More Button

Was asked: if she will review to decision and/or restore one parent family payment which has been withdrawn on the basis of alleged cohabiting with their partner in the case of a person (details supplied) in ...More Button

A review of this case will be undertaken and the person concerned will be informed of the outcome once the review is completed.More Button

Was asked: if and when one-parent family payment will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The records of the Department show that no current application for a one parent family payment has been submitted by the person concerned.More Button

Social Welfare Application Forms

Was asked: her views on a matter (details supplied) regarding dyslexia; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

It is the policy of my Department to standardise and simplify its application forms as much as possible. Plain English principles are applied in the design of all primary application forms to ensu...More Button

My Department operates a network of some 125 social welfare local and branch offices throughout the country. Each local office has dedicated information officers providing information on all the...More Button

In addition, the nationwide network of over 200 Citizens Information Centres offer a drop-in service where callers can meet information providers face-to-face. Staff in these centres assist and ...More Button

I am satisfied that the assistance and support available to customers, including those with disabilities such as dyslexia, through my Department’s offices and through the Citizens Information Ser...More Button

Public Services Card

Was asked: when a national roll-out of the public service ID cards will take place; if there is information available on the success of the pilot programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Social Protection (DSP) has developed, in conjunction with a number of other Government Departments, a rules based standard for establishing and authenticating an individual’s ide...More Button

A PSC is currently issued following a “face-to-face” registration process which involves the capture of an individual’s photograph and signature and the verification of identity data already held...More Button

The pilot has been completed and a roll-out of SAFE/PSC registration centres nationally is now in progress. SAFE/PSC registration is currently being extended via the DSP Local Office network, an...More Button

Was asked: the number of new photo ID cards that have been issued to persons who are in receipt of social protection payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Department of Social Protection has developed, in conjunction with a number of other Government Departments, a rules based standard for establishing and authenticating an individual’s identity ...More Button

The roll-out of the SAFE registration functionality on a national basis began in June this year. The creation of a SAFE registration environment in a local office involves improving the technica...More Button

Work is continuing on developing the required bandwidth, installing the appropriate equipment and training staff across the remainder of the Departments local office network. In addition, a numb...More Button

In the meantime, production continues to ramp up across the offices where registration is operational and it is expected that the target of approx 100,000 face to face registrations will be achie...More Button

In addition to the above, a pilot for a reduced registration process using information already available has commenced and the Department has engaged with over 4,000 pensioners as part of this pi...More Button

Was asked: the number of social welfare offices that have been fitted with the technology to process the data on the new photo ID cards; if she will provide a list of these offices in a tabular form; and if s...More Button

Was asked: if she will provide in tabular form the number of persons in each social welfare office that have been found to have been making fraudulent claims as a result of the new photo ID cards; and if she ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 869 and 870 together.

  In conjunction with a number of other Government Departments, my Department has developed a Public Services Card (PSC) un...More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

Was asked: if and when child dependant allowance will be paid in respect of a jobseeker's allowance payment to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The person concerned is now in receipt of a qualified child dependent allowance on their jobseeker’s allowance claim and arrears due have been paid. More Button

Disability Allowance Applications

Was asked: if and when eligibility for disability allowance will be determined in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that an application for disability allowance has been received from the person concerned. A decision on her application will be made shortly and the person will be notified in writing of...More Button

Was asked: if and when an application for disability allowance will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned applied for disability allowance on 5 June 2012. The medical evidence supplied with her application was referred to one of the department’s medical assessors who was of the op...More Button

Was asked: if and when payment of disability allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that an application for disability allowance has been received from the person concerned. A decision on her application can be expected very shortly and the person concerned will be noti...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10; if she will expedite this matter; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I confirm that the Department is in receipt of an application for disability allowance from the above named person. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decis...More Button

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Payments

Was asked: the amount of supplementary welfare payable in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned was paid supplementary welfare allowance while her one parent family payment claim was under review. She was paid a weekly rate of €135.80. This consisted of a personal rate ...More Button

Was asked: if and when basic supplementary welfare allowance will issue in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15 whose job seeker's allowance claim was terminated; and if she will make a statem...More Button

The person concerned has been in receipt of a basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance payment since 19th July 2012. This is being paid on a weekly basis pending the completion of the investigation of...More Button

Social Welfare Fraud Cost

Was asked: if she plans to withdraw social welfare payments from persons who are found to be illegally importing tobacco into the State; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The prevention of fraud and abuse of the social welfare system is an integral part of the day-to-day work of the Department. The Deputy will appreciate, however, that persons engaged in illegal ac...More Button

Was asked: if she is on course to target benefit fraud to the value of €625 million in 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department has a target of reviewing 985,000 individual welfare claims and achieving €645m in control savings in 2012, an increase of €105m on the 2011 target. At the end of July, over €400m in...More Button

Homeless Persons Data

Was asked: if she is aware of the situation regarding young people facing homelessness and problems with emergency accommodation (details supplied).More Button

Was asked: her views regarding young persons who are homeless and in need of an adult payment (details supplied) to enable them to live independently; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 724 and 759 together.More Button

The €100 rate of jobseeker’s allowance was introduced for claimants aged under 20 in April 2009, and this rate was applied to claimants aged up to 21 from December 2009. The €100 rate does not a...More Button

A rate of €144 applies to claimants aged 22-24. The adoption of these measures reflected the need to encourage more young jobseekers to improve their skills by either pursuing further study or a...More Button

Receiving the full adult rate of a jobseeker’s payment without a strong financial incentive to engage in education or training can lead to welfare dependency. While many young people with low le...More Button

Where a person is in receipt of a rate of jobseeker's allowance described above and he or she participates in a course of education, training, community employment, rural social scheme or Tús, th...More Button

I understand that Deputies have been contacted with regard to these measures following a campaign by Focus Ireland. My officials have engaged in constructive dialogue with Focus Ireland with reg...More Button

National Internship Scheme Data

Was asked: if she will provide, in tabular form, the total number of persons who have applied, partially completed, and completed a three, six or nine-month internship under the JobBridge work placement schem...More Button

The National Internship Scheme provides internship opportunities of either 6 or 9 months for unemployed individuals in organisations in the private, public and community voluntary sectors. Internsh...More Button

Jobseeker's Allowance Applications

Was asked: the position regarding an entitlement to jobseekers's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned has been asked to produce further documentation in relation to his claim for jobseeker’s allowance and on receipt of the requested documentation his claim will be processed.More Button

Was asked: if and when jobseeker's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned has been asked to produce further documentation in relation to her claim for jobseeker’s allowance and on receipt of the requested documentation her claim will be processed.More Button

Was asked: if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare is eligible for jobseeker's allowance in view of their availability to work; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned is currently in receipt of one parent family payment. To establish her entitlement to jobseeker’s allowance she should submit an application at her local social welfare office...More Button

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Appeals

Was asked: if she will examine the refusal of an appeal for supplementary welfare in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all the evidence, disallowed the appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision. The r...More Button

  Question No. 733 answered with Question No. 691.More Button

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Was asked: if and when an appeal for carer's allowance will be decided in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal, by the person concerned, was registered in that office on 02nd July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appe...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a carer's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 17th April 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: when a decision will be made on a review of a carer's allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

This matter is under investigation and a Department representative will contact Deputy Creed directly.More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 20th July 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Was asked: if and when carer's allowance will be paid in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned applied for a carer’s allowance for two people and is currently in receipt of a carer’s allowance for one of those carers. More Button

Payment of an increase in her carer’s allowance in respect of a second carer was refused on the grounds that the care recipient is not so disabled as to require full time care and attention as pr...More Button

The person concerned appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office and submitted further medical evidence in support of the appeal. This information has been forwarded to the medica...More Button

Illness Benefit Appeals

Was asked: when a decision will be made on an application for illness benefit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 12th January 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the app...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an application for illness benefit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Payment of illness benefit, to the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer following an examination by a Medical Assessor of the Department who expressed the opinion that he was capa...More Button

Pension Provisions

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 342 of 17 July 2012, if she will indicate the number of contributions paid by a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement o...More Button

The application for State pension (contributory) has been reviewed and the position set out in my reply on the 17th July remains unchanged. The person concerned, according to the r...More Button

Was asked: if a register of all pension schemes approved by the Revenue Commissioners exists; and if so, the statutory agency with which such a register is held; if the relevant legislation covering this can ...More Button

The Pensions Board maintains a register of occupational pension schemes, all of which are approved by the Revenue Commissioners. In accordance with Section 60 of the Pensions Act 1990, the trustees...More Button

The register is not available to the public. However, the Pensions Board will assist scheme members determine the status of their pension scheme should this be required. The Pensions Board, in it...More Button

Was asked: the responsibilities on pension schemes to locate recipients of schemes with particular reference to beneficiaries who cannot be located; the legislation covering this area; the action that must be...More Button

Section 59 of the Pensions Act 1990 sets out the general duties of trustees of pension schemes one of which is where appropriate, to make arrangements for the payment of the benefits as provided un...More Button

A group chaired by my Department and comprising of representatives from the Pensions Board and the Revenue Commissioners has considered ways of facilitating a more enhanced pension tracing facili...More Button

The establishment of a dormant accounts type fund into which the accrued benefits of untraceable scheme members would be lodged will also be considered. More Button

Was asked: the position regarding pension entitlements under proposed new rules (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There is an important context to the proposed changes to State pension provision. Given the scale of the fiscal crisis and because spending on social protection accounts for nearly 40% of current ...More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify an anomaly which has shown up on the system where a farmer has retired under the EU Commission early farm retirement scheme at the age of 55 years and was advised that participa...More Button

Under social welfare legislation, certain payments received by way of pension are excluded from income on which PRSI is charged. As payments received under the Early Retirement Scheme are regarded...More Button

Was asked: the information campaign undertaken by her to inform persons affected by changes to the State contributory pension scheme that came into effect in April 2012; her future plans for an information ca...More Button

On 6 April 2012, the minimum social insurance contributions required to qualify for a State pension (contributory/transition) increased from 260 contributions to 520 contributions. This change had...More Button

Was asked: the number of persons affected by the changes to the State contributory pension scheme that came into effect on 6 April 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

A number of minimum paid contributions are required to qualify for a State pension (contributory). The change introducing an increase in the minimum number of paid contributions was provided for ...More Button

These changes reflect the comprehensive coverage of the social insurance system and take into consideration the fact that the State pension is a very valuable benefit. Therefore, it is important...More Button

Recent changes to State pension supports the direct link between contributions made and the rate of pension received which underpins State pension policy. This ensures that those who contribute ...More Button

As social structures in Ireland are changing rapidly, the structures of our social support need to change to accommodate this and the changes to State pension have been made in the context of cha...More Button

Was asked: the estimated savings from the changes to the State contributory pension scheme that came into effect on 6 April 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Because the State pension is a very valuable benefit it is important to ensure that those qualifying have made a sustained contribution to the Social Insurance Fund over their working lives. The ...More Button

Was asked: her plans to address concerns among women affected by changes to the State contributory pension that came into effect on 6 April 2012. More Button

The sustainability of pensions into the future is important given the changing demographics, the increased numbers of those over 65 and increased longevity and reduced dependency ratio. Because th...More Button

It is important in assessing any rates of payment, that we focus on the real impact of social welfare payments. In this regard, it should be noted that older people do not experience the levels o...More Button

The Actuarial Review of the Social Insurance Fund shows that, notwithstanding the changes in the contribution rules and associated rates of payment introduced in September 2012, those with lower ...More Button

Illness Benefit Payments

Was asked: the reason a person in receipt of a contributory widows pension may only receive illness benefit for a maximum period of 15 months; if she believes this to be discriminatory; and if she will make a...More Button

I wish to advise the deputy that payment of illness benefit in addition to widow’s pension was abolished for new applicants from the end of January 2012. However, where persons in receipt of widow...More Button

Generally, the social welfare code is a contingency-based system, such contingencies including sickness, unemployment, old age or widowhood. While there were some exceptions (including the payme...More Button

In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the current arrangements are not discriminatory.More Button

  Question No. 741 answered with Question No. 639.More Button

Illness Benefit Eligibility

Was asked: if she has decided to withdraw disability benefit payment to persons who take up addiction rehabilitation as part of a community employment scheme; when this decision was made; the savings made as ...More Button

The decision to cease Illness Benefit payments to recipients commencing a Community Employment (CE) scheme on or after the 16th January 2012 was announced in Budget 2012 and is deta...More Button

Back to Education Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: her plans to reduce the amount of days that are required for persons who apply for back to education allowance to participate on a third level education course to take into consideration self-emplo...More Button

The back to education allowance (BTEA) scheme is a second chance education opportunities scheme designed to remove the barriers to participation in second and third level education by enabling elig...More Button

In general, the qualifying period for the second level option is 3 months (78 days) on a social welfare payment while the qualifying period for third level courses is 9 months (234 days) having b...More Button

A waiting period prior to entitlement is considered essential to enable people to engage in job search and consider options available to them. The imposition of a waiting period serves to minimi...More Button

My Department is currently reviewing a wide range of activation supports available to DSP customers, including BTEA, and it is my intention to canvass the views of stakeholders as part of the imp...More Button

  Question No. 751 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: if, in view of the current jobs market requiring many workers to switch sector and skills-set, she will review the criteria for the back to education allowance to enable applicants to enrol on cour...More Button

The back to education allowance (BTEA) is a second chance education opportunities scheme designed to remove the barriers to participation in second and third level education by enabling those in re...More Button

Progression in education is a condition which is not unique to BTEA, indeed State support for education purposes is grounded on a student progressing from one qualification level to a higher one....More Button

My Department is currently reviewing a wide range of activation supports available to DSP customers, including BTEA, and it is my intention to canvass the views of stakeholders as part of the imp...More Button

One-Parent Family Payment Appeals

Was asked: when a decision will issue on a one-parent family payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned together with the relevant Departmental papers and the comments of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of app...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Places

Was asked: her plans to address concerns regarding one-year-only recommendations, and their impact on community employment schemes, in view of the challenges in respect of recruiting suitable candidates in ar...More Button

Community Employment is a labour market activation measure. It is designed as a temporary, fixed-term intervention to assist long-term unemployed and other specified disadvantaged groups to re-ente...More Button

All CE participant contracts are for 1 year at a time, even under the 3-year Part-time Job Option (PTJ) where contracts are renewable annually for up to 3 years participation. If a participant is...More Button

Was asked: the number of participants engaged in community employment schemes nationwide on 1 August 2011; the numbers so engaged on 1 August 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the end of July 2011 there were 23,403 (participants and Supervisors) engaged on Community Employment (CE).

  At the end of July 2012 there were 22,764 (participants and Sup...More Button

Voluntary Sector Funding

Was asked: if any funding is available for individual voluntary groups which provide community services, in view of recent reductions in allocations towards day centre and child care services; and if she will...More Button

Matters relating to the funding of day care centres and childcare services are the responsibility of the Ministers for Health and Children and Youth Affairs respectively. The funding available fro...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Eligibility

Was asked: the position regarding the uptake of places on community employment schemes by citizens who are single parents; her views on the impact on uptake of loss of secondary payment; her further views on ...More Button

There are 3,279 persons under the Community Employment (CE) eligibility category One-parent Family Payment (OFP) at the end of August 2012. In January the figure was 4,539. There has been a drop in...More Button

  Question No. 759 answered with Question No. 724.More Button

Was asked: if the 12 months a participant spends on a TÚS programme counts as eligibility for access to a community employment scheme for that person; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if there is any scheme or programme that would allow a person (details supplied) in County Wexford to continue working on a community project; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 825 and 874 together.More Button

As the criteria for community employment are currently framed, time spent on Tús or similar schemes does not count towards the qualifying period for eligibility. Discussions are underway in the ...More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal against non-payment of domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The continued entitlement of the person concerned to domiciliary care allowance was reviewed in March 2012. The case was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the chi...More Button

The person concerned was notified of the decision on 7th March 2012 and she has appealed the decision. As part of the appeal process, the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s M...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding a domiciliary care allowance review in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received on the 28th March 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the child was not medic...More Button

The person concerned requested a review of the decision and the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration. The person concerned will be no...More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse an application for domiciliary allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statemen...More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 25th February 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the ap...More Button

Was asked: if she will expedite an appeal of an application for domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all the evidence, disallowed the appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision. The p...More Button

Social Welfare Appeals

Was asked: the position regarding a social protection appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 19th June 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals...More Button

Was asked: if a decision has been reached on an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 15th March 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appea...More Button

Social Insurance Payments

Was asked: if she will clarify the entitlement of a person genuinely employed by their spouse to pay Class A PRSI; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under social welfare legislation, the social insurance status of spouses working in a family business can vary. Spouses and relatives who are engaged in a business partnership are treated as indiv...More Button

Alternatively, where a family business is incorporated as a limited company, spouses and assisting relatives involved in the business pay PRSI contributions either as employees or as self-emplo...More Button

Exceptions to this general rule apply in the case of certain 'Family Employment'. This term is used to describe a situation in which a self-employed sole trader/businessperson either employs, or...More Button

Where formal employment relationships are intended between spouses or assisting relatives, the legislation provides the scope necessary to allow parties enter into formal arrangements for a cont...More Button

Was asked: the reasons for the failure to recognise the insurability of the employment of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The matter here, including seeking retrospection back to 2002, was the subject of a statutory decision by a Deciding Officer, who decided that the situation did/does not constitute a contract of se...More Button

Following an oral hearing on 23 May 2012 in Portlaoise, involving full evidence and examination, an Appeals Officer disallowed an appeal in August 2012 and upheld that the reality of the situatio...More Button

National Employment and Entitlements Service

Was asked: her views on progress made so far in integrating the social welfare system with the availability of employment services to ensure that persons are given the opportunity to be active in their job se...More Button

As the Deputy is aware, the Department is currently establishing the new National Employment and Entitlements Service (NEES) which integrates employment and benefit payment services. Considerable p...More Button

The first step in establishing the NEES was integrating staff from FÁS, the Community Welfare Service into the Department. This was followed by a number of developments including one-stop shop t...More Button

The first four locations for the one stop shop trials are King’s Inns/Parnell St.(Dublin city centre), Tallaght, Arklow and Sligo, with a further number of locations due to provide the NEES servi...More Button

While the new service is currently been trialled and implemented in four locations, it is envisaged that following these trials a considerable number of offices will begin to deliver the new serv...More Button

Job Initiatives

Was asked: if the possibility of introducing a youth guarantee scheme in relation to employment and training, as undertaken in the UK and the Netherlands, is being explored by her Department; and if she will ...More Button

Pathways to Work sets out the Government’s policy responses to labour market activation. The objective is to ensure that Ireland’s greatest resource, its people, will no longer remain o...More Button

  Question No. 777 withdrawn.More Button

Was asked: the number of participants engaged in job initiative schemes nationwide on 1 August 2011; the numbers so engaged on 1 August 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

There were 1,279 participants on the Job Initiative (JI) scheme at the end of July 2011. There were 1,201 participants at the end of July 2012. (Statistics are compiled at month end). As per the an...More Button

Was asked: the number of job initiative schemes operational nationwide on 1 August 2011; the number of such projects operational on 1 August 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the end of July 2012 there were 62 JI projects employing 1,201 (participants and Supervisors). The reduction in the number of schemes is primarily due to the non-recruitment of new entrants and...More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Eligibility

Was asked: the position regarding domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The age limit for receipt of domiciliary care allowance (DCA) is 16 years. As the child in question is now over 16 years of age, DCA is no longer payable. However persons over the age of 16 years...More Button

Departmental Staff Training

Was asked: the amount of money spent on an annual basis on education and training of staff in 2011 and to date in 2012; the number of staff that availed of each course; and if she will provide a list of the c...More Button

In 2011, the total spend on the education and training of staff was €553,572.49 while to date in 2012, the amount spent is €391,044. In 2011, a total of 138 different training courses and seminars...More Button

Community Employment Schemes Data

Was asked: the number of community employment projects operational nationwide on 1 August 2011; the number of such projects operational on 1 August 2012; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

At the end of July 2011 there were 1,143 Community Employment (CE) projects. At the end of July 2012 there were 1,114 CE projects.The reduction in the number of projects is due to a combination of ...More Button

Social Insurance Refunds

Was asked: the position regarding a refund of contributions in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The determination of the employment status and therefore PRSI Class applicable to working directors has been the subject of challenge, court judgments and legal advices. As a result, the Departmen...More Button

This is a difficult and complicated aspect of PRSI insurability and it is vital that this matter be fully examined. It is not possible to say how the outcome will impact on individual cases.More Button

Free Travel Scheme Eligibility

Was asked: her plans regarding the free travel scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The free travel scheme is currently available to all people living in the State aged 66 years or over, to carers and to people who are in receipt of certain disability type payments. There are cur...More Button

The cost of the free travel scheme has risen substantially over the last 10 years from €45.8 million for almost 608,000 customers in 2001 to over €75 million for 726,000 customers in 2011. My De...More Button

There are considerable challenges ahead to protect, as far as possible, the key income supports provided by my Department which impact in some way on the lives of almost every person in the State...More Button

To help ensure the future sustainability of the free travel scheme, a review is being carried out by officials from my Department, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Department o...More Button

Redundancy Payments

Was asked: the position regarding a redundancy claim in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford; when payment maybe expected; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

An application for a redundancy lump sum payment in respect of the person concerned was received in the Department in August. It is expected that the claim will be finalised within the coming week...More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Payments

Was asked: the position regarding the back-dating of domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 18th April 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeal...More Button

Disability Allowance Payments

Was asked: the current level of payment of disability allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned is in receipt of disability allowance at the maximum personal weekly rate of €188.00 plus a fuel allowance of €20.00 which is paid during the free fuel season.More Button

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme Applications

Was asked: the current entitlement to back to school allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The person concerned has not made an application for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance to date. The scheme remains open until the 30th of September 2012 and an app...More Button

Domiciliary Care Allowance Review

Was asked: if she will provide details of her policy review of the domiciliary care allowance scheme; the membership of this review group; the terms of reference of the review; the number of times the review ...More Button

The review of the operation of the domiciliary care allowance scheme, announced to the house in May 2012, has commenced and is progressing according to plan.

  The membership of ...More Button

Child Benefit Payments

Was asked: the reason a children's allowance payment has not been paid to a person (details attached) in Dublin 15; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Child benefit is payable in respect of children who are ordinarily resident in the State. In the case of the person concerned payment of child benefit was suspended from September 2012 as a result...More Button

Was asked: if consideration will be given to the costs of private child care when means testing children's benefit on income; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Child benefit is a universal payment that assists parents with the cost of raising children and it contributes towards alleviating child poverty. The estimated expenditure on child benefit for 2012...More Button

I have no plans to implement means-testing of child benefit at this time. However, if the Government decided in principle to progress on these lines, there are many issues that would have to be ...More Button

Nonetheless, I am conscious that achieving a better design of the overall system of child income supports, including child benefit, raises complex issues about the effectiveness and efficiency of...More Button

Mortgage Interest Supplement Expenditure

Was asked: the amount estimated to be spent on mortgage interest supplement in 2013.More Button

The Estimates of Expenditure for 2013 for the Department of Social Protection, including the estimate for the mortgage interest supplement scheme, are currently under preparation and will be publis...More Button

Scéimeanna Teanga

Dréachtaíodh an dara scéim Ghaeilge do mo Roinnse sa bhliain 2010. Níorbh fhéidir, áfach, teacht ar réiteach ar an dara dréachtscéim toisc nárbh fhéidir gealltanas a thabhairt go ndéanfaí seirbhís ...More Button

Illness Benefit Reform

Was asked: her plans to reform the sick certificate system and cut out the amount of defrauding of the system; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The illness benefit system involves Medical Certifiers who are responsible for the certification of illness in relation to customers. Medical certifiers, who are in the main general practitioners ...More Button

Medical evidence submitted in support of a claim, based on GP certification, is systematically reviewed by medical assessors within the Department. In all cases of incapacity, there is scope for...More Button

However, if it were to emerge that a disproportionate number of customers certified by any particular certifier were found capable of work by Medical Assessors, this would be investigated. No su...More Button

Departmental Schemes

Was asked: since the introduction of the pathways to work scheme, if she will outline the number of persons on lower social welfare payments as a result of failing to co-operate with reasonable offers of educ...More Button

Penalty rates are a means of encouraging jobseekers to engage with activation measures, including the National Employment Action Plan (EAP). A penalty rate may be imposed where the customer fails,...More Button

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Was asked: the amount paid retrospectively in 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012 for claims of jobseeker's allowance and one-parent family payment which were originally rejected but were then subject to a s...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is not available.More Button

Was asked: if she will outline in tabular form the total number of jobseeker's allowance and one-parent family payment applications, rejections, appeals and subsequent rejection or acceptance of the appeal in...More Button

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the following tables.

Jobseeker's Allowance

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Work Placement Programme

Was asked: with regard to Tús - community work placement initiative, the number of letters of invitation that have been issued to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the percentage of recipients that responded positively to the letters of invitation to participate in the Tús scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the percentage that gave good cause for non-participation in Tús - community work placement initiative; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: if she will clarify what constitutes good cause as per letter of invitation for not attending the interview to take part in Tús; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of recipients that did not reply to the letter of invitation to participate in Tús - community work placement initiative; and of these, the number that signed-off jobseeker's payment; an...More Button

Was asked: of those who have completed Tús – community work placement initiative, the percentage that entered employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 875 to 880, inclusive, together. More Button

Tús is a work placement initiative focussed on those people on the live register and receiving a job seekers payment for over a year. Selection is by a randomised process undertaken by my Depart...More Button

In making his or her decision, a Department official must have regard to the personal and family circumstances of the person. A decision to disqualify can arise where the person invited does not...More Button

My Department is in the process of collating data on the first 12 months of the operation of Tús and is not yet in a position to provide precise numbers until this process is completed and the da...More Button

Family Income Supplement Application Numbers

Was asked: the number of new applications made for family income supplement in the past available 12-month period; the corresponding figure for renewal decisions; the number of renewal applications refused, g...More Button

The statistics requested covering the period from September 2011 to August 2012 are as follows:

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Rent Supplement Scheme Application Numbers

Was asked: if she will review the impact of the sharp reduction in the rent support in areas in which local demand for rent accommodation is high and local authority housing application waiting lists are exce...More Button

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 a...More Button

It is my intention to transfer responsibility for the provision of rental assistance to persons with a long term housing need from my Department, currently provided through rent supplement, to ho...More Button

A multi-agency steering group has been established to develop proposals to give effect to this transfer. The group is chaired by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government ...More Button

Policy in relation to social housing provision is a matter for my colleague the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government. More Button

For all counties, major urban population centres were tested as part of the rents limit review. The maximum rent limits are based on an analysis of rental rates rather than house prices or region...More Button

Department officials dealing with rent supplement tenants will continue to ensure that their accommodation needs are met; there will be no incidence of homelessness due to these changes. More Button

The Department will continue to monitor rent levels throughout the country but at this point I have no plans to revise the existing rent limits.More Button

Mortgage Arrears Proposals

Was asked: the number of accountants that have been selected to participate in the free independent financial advice service for borrowers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the geographical spread of the free independent financial advisers for borrowers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 888 and 889 together.

  The Interdepartmental Mortgage Arrears Working Group (referred to as the Keane group) recommended that an independent m...More Button

State Bodies Establishment

Was asked: the number of State bodies that have been set up since 9 March 2011; the rationale behind these decisions; and if she will make a statement on the matter.More Button

No State Body has been set up under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection since 9 March 2011.More Button

Capital Expenditure

Was asked: if she will provide a list of the payments made by the State to private land owners in 2010 and 2011 to acquire land for use in the public capital programme.More Button

Responsibility for the acquisition of office accommodation for my Department rests with the Office of Public Works. Accordingly, my Department was not involved in making payments to private landown...More Button

   Question No. 892 answered with Question No. 671.More Button


 

 

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