Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Tuesday, 13 July 1982

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 337 No. 9

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641.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned who attained age 65 on 24 February 1982 claimed retirement pension on 28 January, 1982.

One of the conditions for receipt of retirement pension requires a person to have at least 156 contributions in respect of insurable employment. At the date of his claim the claimant had only 117 such contributions recorded to his credit under the insurance number supplied by him. In reply to a request from the Department he supplied details of other employments and the local social welfare officer has confirmed that these were sufficient to enable the claimant to satisfy the aforementioned condition.

He has been awarded a retirement pension at the appropriate rate with effect from 25 February 1982 and a pension book containing orders valid for payment from 8 July 1982 has been issued to the designated post office for collection by him. The arrears of pension due for the period from 25 February 1982 to 7 July 1982, less the amount of unemployment assistance paid to him in that period, have been paid direct to him by a payable order.

[2148] As he was also employed in Great Britain, details of his Irish insurance record have been sent to the British Department of Health and Social Security for their consideration regarding his possible entitlement to a British retirement pension under EEC regulations.

642.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will make arrangements for the issue of a duplicate pension book to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo whose book has been lost.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned is in receipt of old age contributory pension. On 5 July 1982 a request was received from the local post office asking that a duplicate pension order book be issued to replace the original which had been lost but this request was cancelled on the following day as the missing book had been found by the pensioner.

643.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned submitted medical evidence of incapacity in respect of the period from 16 March to 12 April 1982. A cheque paying the amount of benefit due for that period was issued on 7 May 1982.

It was subsequently established the claimant was in fact incapable of work from 6 March to 24 April 1982. An adjustment cheque for the balance of disability benefit and pay-related benefit due on the claim was issued on 12 July.

644.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a non-contributory old age pension will be issued to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo who is in receipt of a widow's pension.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned has been in receipt of widow's non-contributory pension since November 1975 at a reduced rate on the basis of her means [2149] assessed on the estimated yearly value of a farm and a small shop.

Her pension was increased from £27.80 to £28.45 from 9 July 1982, consequent of her attaining pension age of 66 years on 7 July 1982.

There is no record of the receipt of any claim to an old age non-contributory pension from the widow. The Social Welfare (Overlapping Benefits) Regulations, however, preclude a widow from receiving payment of a widow's non-contributory pension and old age non-contributory pension concurrently. In any event it would be of no financial advantage to her to change from a non-contributory old age pension as the two rates are similar.

645.

Mr. Bellew: Information on Thomas Bellew  Zoom on Thomas Bellew  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in Dundalk, County Louth.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned has been in receipt of disability benefit since June 1977. He was paid under his insurance number to December 1980. On the changeover to payment under the RSI number from January 1981 he was requested to forward his RSI number but as he did not reply, he was allocated a temporary number by the Department. He was paid under this number to 27 March 1982 and under a different RSI number to 21 May 1982.

At that stage payment was suspended pending inquiries regarding the correct RSI number. On completion of the inquiries payment was restored from 22 May 1982 and all payment due to 24 July 1982 has been made, less deductions in respect of an overpayment which arose as a result of duplication of payment under the two RSI numbers.

646.

Mr. Bellew: Information on Thomas Bellew  Zoom on Thomas Bellew  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Louth.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned, claimed [2150] disability benefit from 25 May 1982 and has been paid at the maximum appropriate rate from 28 May 1982, fourth day of incapacity. All disability benefit and pay-related benefit due to the 8 July 1982, date of latest medical evidence received has now issued.

647.

Mr. Bellew: Information on Thomas Bellew  Zoom on Thomas Bellew  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in Dundalk, County Louth.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned originally claimed disability benefit from 23 July 1980 and was paid for 52 weeks to 25 July 1981. Payment ceased after that date as she had less than the required minimum of 156 paid contributions from date of her entry into insurance in 1978 to qualify for further payment of benefit. She was subsequently paid unemployment benefit from 6 October 1981 to 21 April 1982.

The claimant again claimed disability benefit from 22 April 1982 and was paid to 26 May 1982. She was not however entitled to the payment made for this period as she had not resumed employment and paid the necessary 13 contributions after the termination of her previous illness to requalify for further payment of disability benefit. It was, therefore, necessary to discontinue payment of benefit.

648.

Mr. Bellew: Information on Thomas Bellew  Zoom on Thomas Bellew  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dundalk, County Louth was refused permission to sign on for credits and as a result has received a dental bill.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned recently failed to qualify for dental benefit as a result of a deficiency in her insurance contribution record for the April 1980 to April 1981 contribution period.

During that period the person's claim to unemployment benefit was disallowed on the grounds that she was not available for employment. She appealed against the decision, but an appeals officer upheld the disallowance of her claim. A [2151] person disallowed for benefit is not entitled to receive credited contributions, in respect of the period during which she was so disallowed.

649.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  It could not be established at the date of her claim that the person concerned satisfied the statutory contribution conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit.

Inquiries were made with her employers and, although investigations have not yet been finalised, it has been recently established that she has sufficient contributions for reduced rate unemployment benefit.

Arrangements have been made to pay arrears of unemployment benefit at the rate of £26.25 weekly to her this week.

650.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned did not claim unemployment benefit. He did however claim disability benefit from 12 February to 25 March 1982, after which date he was certified fit to resume work. He was not qualified for payment at the time as, according to the records of the Department, he had not the required minimum of 26 paid or credited contributions in the contribution year 1980-81 which governed his claim.

Subsequent inquiries revealed that he had sufficient contributions to qualify him for payment at the appropriate maximum weekly rate. Payment of all arrears of disability benefit and pay-related benefit due on the claim has now been made.

651.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when pay-related benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

[2152]Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Arrangements have been made to pay the person concerned all arrears of pay-related benefit due to her this week.

Further combined payments of flat-rate unemployment benefit (£27.80) and pay-related benefit (£17.16) totalling £44.96, will be made as weekly payments become due.

652.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will pay unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned recently lodged a claim for unemployment benefit from 30 June 1982 at his local office.

To enable his entitlement to unemployment benefit to be determined, details of holiday pay days due to him by his employer have been requested and, when the necessary information is received, his claim will be dealt with promptly.

653.

Dr. O'Hanlon: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 3 April 1982. As, according to the records of the Department, she had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in the 1980-81 governing contribution year she was not entitled to payment. Following inquiries it has been established that she had contributions in respect of employment in Northern Ireland which qualified her for payment of benefit. A cheque for the amount of benefit due to 10 July 1982 was issued on 9 July.

654.

Mr. Boland: Information on John Boland  Zoom on John Boland  asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether a person (details supplied) in County Dublin is now receiving disability benefit in respect of injuries received in an accident while at his employment.

[2153]Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed occupational injury benefit in respect of an incapacity which he attributed to an accident at work on 24 March 1982.

Pending inquiries regarding the nature and origin of the incapacity he was paid disability benefit on an interim basis from 29 March 1982 (fourth day of incapacity). In addition he was paid pay-related benefit from 8 April 1982, thirteenth day of incapacity.

On completion of the inquiries regarding the occupational accident it was accepted that the incapacity was due to an accident at work and the claim was allowed at the maximum appropriate rate. An adjusting cheque in respect of injury benefit due for the period from 24 March 1982, date of accident to 10 July 1982, date of the latest medical certificate received, was issued on 9 July 1982.

655.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when full unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 3 May 1982 and he has been paid maximum flat-rate unemployment benefit at £31.15 as weekly payments became due. Inquiries were necessary to establish his title to pay-related benefit and these were [2154] recently finalised and pay-related benefit was allowed at £18.49 weekly. All arrears of pay-related benefit due were paid last week.

656.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit payments will be resumed to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned has been in receipt of disability benefit continuously since 20 November 1978. He was paid up to 19 June 1982 when payment ceased in the absence of continuing medical evidence of incapacity after 3 March 1982. On inquiry it was ascertained that he has in fact been submitting medical evidence after that date but that he had been quoting an incorrect RSI number. Payment of benefit has now been restored and all benefit due to 17 July 1982 has issued.

657.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the total expenditure for unemployment compensation (comprising unemployment benefit and assistance and relevant pay-related benefit) for (a) 1979, (b) 1980 and (c) 1981 and (d) the projection for 1982.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The information requested is as follows:

1979 1980 1981 1982(b)
£ £ £ £
Unemployment Assistance (including payments to smallholders) 66,294,495 81,709,919 108,846,266 160,984,000
Unemployment Benefit 43,158,236 70,528,989 113,355,785(a) 151,191,000
Pay-Related Benefit paid with Unemployment Benefit 8,734,184 17,656,448 32,858,682(a) 38,850,000
Total 118,186,915 169,895,356 255,060,733 351,025,000

(a) Provisional

(b) The figures for 1982 are those provided in the Budget. On the basis of present trends it is likely that the provisions made will be exceeded.

Note: Rates of benefit and assistance were increased from April and October 1979, April 1980, April and October 1981, and April 1982.

[2155]658.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey  Zoom on Donal Carey  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit has not been paid since 25th January, 1982 to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed injury benefit from 25 January 1982. Pending inquiries as to the nature and origin of the incapacity he was paid disability benefit on an interim basis from 28 January 1982, fourth day of incapacity. Pay-related benefit was authorised from 8 February 1982, 13th day of incapacity. The injury benefit claim was authorised on 9 March 1982 and an adjustment payment issued to him on 10 March 1982.

Cheques issue to the claimant on receipt of medical evidence of incapacity but there appears to be a delay by him in submitting the certificates. He has been advised to submit certificates at weekly intervals so that payments can issue at regular weekly intervals.

All payments due to the claimant to 10 July 1982 have now issued. In view of the fact that it is contended that the claimant has not been paid benefit since the commencement of the claim arrangements have been made for an Inspector to visit him at an early date with a view to clarifying the position.

659.

Mr. O'Keeffe: Information on Jim O'Keeffe  Zoom on Jim O'Keeffe  asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether he is aware of the chaotic conditions at the Employment Exchange in Bandon, County Cork, because of the large numbers attending there; and whether he will make more suitable arrangements there.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  My Department's employment office in Bandon is run by a branch manager who, under the terms of the contract of her employment, provides suitable office accommodation. In the last year or so there has been a substantial increase in the numbers attending there to prove unemployment and this has given rise to some queueing problems. To meet the difficulties certain changes in the signing [2156] arrangements are being introduced which will result in a reduction in the number of persons who attend there each day.

In the meantime the branch manager is seeking alternative accommodation for the employment office.

660.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if arrears of unemployment assistance at the full rate will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 5 January 1982 but as the means assessed against him (£20.75) exceeded the maximum rate payable to him (£20.35) he was not then entitled to payment. From 31 March 1982 the maximum rate of unemployment assistance was increased to £25.45 and he was paid unemployment assistance from that date at the rate of £4.70 as weekly payments became due. No arrears of assistance are therefore due.

The person concerned applied last week for a reassessment of his means. Arrangements are being made to have his case re-investigated after which the assessment of his means will be reviewed by a deciding officer.

661.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will pay the full amount of unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned applied for a factual assessment of his means and his case is still under investigation. When the necessary inquiries are finalised his means will be assessed by a deciding officer and, if advantageous to him, his unemployment assistance will be revised in accordance with such an assessment.

In the meantime he is receiving unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £18.80. This is the rate appropriate to a married man with three qualified children, assessed with means of £18.50 a week based on the notional value of his holding of £16 PLV.

[2157]662.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to pay unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The persons concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 28 April 1982 but his claim was disallowed as he did not fulfil the statutory contribution condition during the relevant contribution period 6 April 1980 to 5 April 1981.

He was advised of his right to claim unemployment assistance but to-date he has not done so. If he wishes to claim he should complete an application form at his local office after which his case will be investigated and following an assessment of his means his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined.

663.

Dr. O'Hanlon: Information on Rory O'Hanlon  Zoom on Rory O'Hanlon  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in Castleblayney, County Monaghan.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned submitted a first medical certificate giving notice of incapacity from 8 May 1982. As no further medical certificates to indicate the duration of the claim were received, no payment of disability benefit was made.

It has been confirmed from the claimant's employer that he was not absent from work owing to illness during May but that he left his employment on 28 May 1982. He then claimed unemployment benefit but payment was not authorised pending enquiries as to the reason for leaving employment.

These inquiries have now been completed and the unemployment benefit claim has been authorised. All arrears of unemployment benefit due for the period 2 June 1982, fourth day of unemployment, to 14 July 1982 will be paid to him at the Employment Office, Castleblayney, on Friday, 16 July 1982. He is not entitled to pay-related benefit as his weekly flat-rate employment benefit exceeds 85 per cent of his net average weekly earnings prior to unemployment.

[2158]664.

Mr. Conaghan: Information on Hugh Conaghan  Zoom on Hugh Conaghan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the rate of disability benefit has been reduced in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 4 July 1980 and was paid to 16 January 1982 at the rate appropriate to a widow in receipt of a widow's contributory pension at the maximum rate. Payment at a reduced rate was made from that date as, according to the records of the Department, she had less than the required 48 contributions paid or credited in the 1980-81 governing contribution year to qualify for payment at the full appropriate rate.

Following inquiries it has since been ascertained that she had in fact sufficient contributions paid and credited in the 1980-81 contribution year to qualify for benefit at the maximum rate for a widow. Accordingly, an adjustment cheque for the arrears of benefit due from 18 January to 10 July 1982 was issued on 12 July.

665.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford is entitled to a non-contributory old age pension.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  It was decided by the local pension committee on 22 February 1982 that the person concerned was not entitled to an old age pension as her means, consisting of a holding exceeded the statutory limit. No appeal against this decision has been lodged. If her circumstances are such that she now considers she is entitled to the pension she should re-apply and the claim will be forwarded to a social welfare officer for re-investigation.

666.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Liam Anthony Naughten  Zoom on Liam Anthony Naughten  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when employment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 11 May 1982 and his case was referred to a social [2159] welfare officer for investigation of his means.

As soon as the necessary inquiries are completed his means will be assessed by a deciding officer and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined.

667.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Liam Anthony Naughten  Zoom on Liam Anthony Naughten  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit at the full rate is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 1 May 1981 and was paid at the appropriate maximum rate for a claimant with an adult dependant and two child dependants from 5 May 1981, fourth day of incapacity.

The claim, which was closed in error from 11 June 1981, was later re-admitted but the claimant was paid at the appropriate maximum rate for a single person. The matter has now been resolved and arrears due to the claimant in respect of his wife and two children were issued on 9 July 1982.

As it is understood that a third child was born recently a claim form on which to indicate date of birth and other necessary details has been issued to the claimant. On its return duly completed an adjusting payment will issue.

668.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the assistance his Department provides for a husband trying to bring up a family on his own; and if he foresees any improvement in the arrangements.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  A husband who is bringing up a family on his own would be eligible for payments in respect of each qualified child under the general children's allowances scheme. In addition, where he is in receipt of a weekly payment under one of the social insurance or assistance schemes increases would be payable in respect of child dependants. An adult dependant increase would be payable in respect of a woman having the care of his [2160] child dependants if she is maintained by him. If the man is a widower whose wife died as a result of an occupational accident or disease and he is permanently incapable of work he would be entitled to a widower's pension under the occupational injuries scheme.

Where a person in this situation is in need he could qualify for payment under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme which provides assistance for persons whose means are not sufficient for their needs and those of their dependants.

The whole range of social insurance and assistance services is under regular review and improvements are made as the opportunity arises and financial circumstances permit. This normally takes place in the context of budgetary provisions.

669.

Mr. R. Bruton: Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton  asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether he will grant disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in Dublin to replace injury benefit which has expired.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned has been in receipt of disability benefit since 10 August 1981 at the maximum rate appropriate to a married man with one child. His entitlement to occupational injury benefit had ceased on 8 August 1981 on the expiration of the 26 weeks statutory period of payment. All payments have been issued promptly on receipt of medical evidence of incapacity. The last payment in respect of a medical certificate dated 3 July 1982 issued on 8 July 1982.

670.

Mr. S. Brennan: Information on Seamus Brennan  Zoom on Seamus Brennan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare his plans to enable old age pensioners and in particular a person (details supplied) who are resident in the Barnacullia area of Kilternan, County Dublin, to avail themselves of free travel.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Free travel is available to all old age pensioners and other qualified persons, including the person concerned, on the public transport serving the Barnacullia [2161] area on the same conditions as apply elsewhere in the State.

671.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an invalidity pension will be paid through his Department from the British Department of Health and Social Security for a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned was last insured in the United Kingdom prior to the commencement of his illness. In accordance with EEC regulations his claim to benefit is, therefore, the responsibility of the Department fo Health and Social Security, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He had been paid invalidity pension by a local office of that Department while resident in the United Kingdom. The Department of Social Welfare has been advised by the UK authorities that, since the claimant's transfer of residence to Ireland, there has been a delay on his part in the submission of medical evidence about which DHSS have written to him.

The UK authorities have also indicated that a decision will be made on the claim as soon as a reply is received.

In the event of an invalidity pension being awarded by the DHSS it will be paid directly to the claimant and not through the Department of Social Welfare.

672.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in paying a widow's pension to a person (details supplied) in County Waterford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned has been awarded a contributory widow's pension at the maximum rate appropriate to a widow with three qualified children, with effect from 7 May 1982, the Friday following her husband's death.

Pension books containing orders from 18 June 1982 were issued on 9 July 1982 to the designated post office for collection by her and she was notified accordingly.

The arrears of pension due from 7 May [2162] to 17 June 1982 have been paid direct to the widow by payable order after adjustment for the amount of unemployment assistance which she received during that period.

There was no undue delay in paying pension in this case. The widow claimed contributory pension on 13 May 1982 and before an award could be made it was necessary to establish the insurance record of her husband. The widow, in her application, had quoted an incorrect insurance number and it was necessary to make enquiries to establish the correct number.

673.

Mr. Deasy: Information on Austin Deasy  Zoom on Austin Deasy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the nonpayment of an old age pension to a person (details supplied) in County Waterford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Following an oral hearing of an appeal regarding the entitlement of the person concerned to a non-contributory old age pension an appeals officer decided on 13 May 1981 that he was not entitled to any pension as his means consisting of capital, the disposal of which was not accepted for old age pension purposes, exceeded the statutory limit. The claimant re-applied for an old age pension on 31 December 1981. The claim was disallowed by the local pension committee on 6 May 1982 on the grounds that the claimant did not satisfy the statutory condition as to means. No appeal has been lodged against the pension committee's decision of 6 May 1982.

674.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a non-contributory old age pension is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  An appeals officer has decided that the person concerned is not entitled to a non-contributory old age pension as her means, consisting of a holding and capital exceed the statutory limit. The transfer of the holding to her daughter who is residing outside the State and disposal of a considerable amount of capital [2163] have not been accepted for old age pension purposes.

675.

Mr. Noonan: Information on Michael J. Noonan  Zoom on Michael J. Noonan  (Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability or occupational injury benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 29 March 1982. He was not entitled to payment at the time as according to the records of the Department, he has less that the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in the 1980-81 year which governed his claim. Following inquiries it has been ascertained that he had in fact sufficient contributions in that year to qualify him for payment. A cheque paying all benefits due from 1 April 1982, fourth day of incapacity, to 10 July 1982, date of latest medical certificate received issued on 12 July 1982.

Enquiries are being made as to the origin of incapacity with a view to ascertaining whether the claimant has a title to occupational injury benefit in respect of it.

676.

Mr. Bellew: Information on Thomas Bellew  Zoom on Thomas Bellew  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the reduction in a childrens' allowance which is paid to a person (details supplied) in County Louth.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The claimant reported to the Department that the allowance book held by her did not contain an order for £15.00 in respect of the month of June 1982. The circumstances in which an order was missing are being investigated.

In the meantime, a replacement order has been issued direct to the claimant.

677.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit at the full rate will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 15 June 1982 and [2164] payment was made from 18 June, fourth day of incapacity to 12 July 1982 at the rate for a widow with 42 contributions paid or credited in the 1980-81 governing contribution year. In order to qualify for benefit at the maximum rate appropriate to a widow the claimant would need to have at least 48 contributions paid or credited in the 1980-81 contribution year.

The claimant is also in receipt of a contributory widow's pension of £65.35 per week from the Department which includes an increase in respect of her three dependent children. Under the regulations, the personal rate of disability benefit to which she would ordinarily be entitled is reduced by one half and she is not entitled to an increase of benefit in respect of her children as she is already receiving the full allowance for them with her widow's pension.

678.

Mr. B. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 12 November 1979 to 20 September 1980 but she was not entitled to payment as she had already been paid benefit for the full 52 weeks to which she was entitled as a person having less than 156 contributions paid in respect of her since her entry into insurance. It was subsequently confirmed that she had additional paid contributions in respect of employment in the United Kingdom which had the effect of qualifying her for payment. A cheque paying all disability benefit due in respect of the period from November 1979 to September 1980 has now been issued to her.

679.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a death grant will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  One of the conditions for the receipt of a death grant is that there must not be less than 26 contribution weeks of insurable employment for which the [2165] appropriate contributions have been paid between 1 October 1970 and date of death or date of attainment of pension age.

On 5 May a claim for death grant was received from the wife of the person concerned who had died on 8 April 1982. As, according to the records of the Department, there were no contributions to credit in respect of him since 1949 a death grant was not payable on his insurance.

680.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a death grant will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  It has not been possible from the information supplied to trace a claim for death grant in respect of the person concerned.

A form on which to claim the grant has been issued to the nephew of the deceased. On its return, duly completed, the claim will be examined without delay and a decision given.

681.

Mr. B. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason occupational injury benefit is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed occupational injury benefit in respect of an incapacity which she attributed to an accident at work on 22 April 1982.

Before payment could be authorised it was necessary to make inquiries regarding the nature and origin of the incapacity. On completion of the inquiries it was accepted that the incapacity was due to an accident at work and payment has now been made from 22 April 1982, date of accident, to 10 July 1982, date of the latest medical certificate received.

In addition pay-related benefit has been paid from 6 May 1982, thirteenth day of incapacity, to 10 July 1982.

682.

Mr. Ellis: Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if his Department will now [2166] restore the payment of disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim as he has a permanent disablement.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned was paid disability benefit from 29 January 1980 to 6 March 1982. Payment of benefit was disallowed after that date following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work. The claimant has appealed against the disallowance of benefit and the appeals officer proposes to hold an oral hearing of the case on 12 July 1982 at the Employment Exchange, Longford. The decision of the appeals officer will be conveyed to him as soon as possible after that date.

683.

Mr. Ellis: Information on John Ellis  Zoom on John Ellis  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if his Department will now pay disability benefit which is due to a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim as he has not been paid since 25 May 1982.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 22 May 1981 and was paid for 52 weeks from 26 May 1981, fourth day of incapacity, to 24 May 1982. He was not entitled to payment after that date as, according to the records of the Department, he had less than 156 paid contributions since his entry into insurance.

Following inquiries about the claimant's employment record since his entry into insurance in 1949, it has now been established that he had in fact sufficient contributions to qualify him for continuous payment of disability benefit. His claim was re-admitted for payment from 25 May 1982 and arrears of disability benefit due to 17 July were issued to him on 9 July 1982.


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