Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Tuesday, 31 January 1984

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 347 No. 6

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251.

Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment assistance is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from self-employment as a [1242] painter exceeded the statutory limit. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and his case has been referred to an appeals officer for determination. A decision in the case will be made as soon as possible.

252.

Mrs. O'Rourke: Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in the issue of deserted wife's payments to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; when regular payment will commence; and when she will receive the arrears due to her.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned has been awarded deserted wife's benefit for herself and three children at the maximum rate from 8 September 1983. There was some difficulty in this case in tracing the husband's insurance record on which his wife's entitlement to benefit depended.

An order book payable from 2 February 1984 has been sent to the designated post office for collection by her and she has been notified accordingly. A payable order in respect of arrears for the period from 8 September 1983 to 1 February 1984, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance paid to her by the Midland Health Board during that time, will be sent to her shortly.

253.

Mrs. O'Rourke: Information on Mary O'Rourke  Zoom on Mary O'Rourke  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefits will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed injury benefit on 10 January 1984 in respect of an incapacity which he attributed to an accident at his part-time employment on 5 December 1983. Investigations into the circumstances of the accident are being made and when these are completed a decision will be made on the claim.

In the meantime his entitlement to disability benefit on an interim basis has been examined. The contributions recorded in respect of him in the governing contribution years 1981-1982 and [1243] 1982-1983 are at class H — the rate appropriate to an enlisted member of the Defence Forces. These contributions are not reckonable for disability benefit purposes while the person in respect of whom they have been paid continues to serve as a member of the Defence Forces. The person concerned is still a serving member of the Defence Forces and he is not, therefore, entitled to disability benefit based on these contributions. His part-time employment is insurable for occupational injuries benefits only.

254.

Mr. Kenny: Information on Enda Kenny  Zoom on Enda Kenny  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is entitled to unemployment assistance.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 25 October 1983 and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation. Following the completion of inquiries he was assessed with means at £8.15 weekly derived from the benefit of board and lodging on his mother's holding and from capital.

He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at £19.85 weekly being the maximum rate payable to him £28.00 less £8.15 and all arrears due were paid to him on 6 December 1983. Weekly payments at £19.85 continue to be made to him as they become due.

255.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Dublin who sought a statement of cumulative disability benefit paid to her during the tax year 1982-83 which she required for a Housing Finance Agency loan was told that it will take six weeks to prepare; and if he will state in view of recent publicity regarding parliamentary questions from Deputies the reason the time of Members is being taken up seeking information which his Department should be in a position to provide directly to taxpayers without delay; and if the information requested will be furnished immediately.

[1244]Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  When the person concerned renewed her claim to unemployment benefit on 10 October 1983, it came to light that she had been paid both unemployment benefit and disability benefit in respect of the period from 9 December 1982 to 18 December 1982. The regulations preclude simultaneous entitlement to unemployment benefit and disability benefit and her claim for unemployment benefit from 9 December 1982 to 18 December 1982 was referred by the employment exchange to headquarters for determination.

The information sought by the person concerned could not have been ascertained until the position about her correct entitlement had been clarified. This aspect has now been regularised and she has been furnished with the information requested in relation to both disability benefit payments and unemployment benefit payments made to her in the income-tax year 1982-83. In normal circimstance, information of the kind in question is furnished to a claimant within a day or two.

The delay in this case occured because the person concerned claimed unemployment benefit and disability benefit in respect of the same period.

256.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 is not being allowed to claim disability benefit as she worked for five years, including the period March to October 1982, with an employer who did not pay the contributions deducted from her wages, if he will now arrange for social welfare payments to be issued; and if he will ensure that his Department deal with such cases in a humane and sympathetic way so that time will not be wasted in tabling parliamentary questions.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 5 January 1984. She is not entitled to payment of benefit because according to the records of the Department she does not have the required minimum of 26 contributions [1245] paid or credited in 1982-83, the contribution year governing her claim. According to the Department's records, there are only 22 credited contributions recorded on her behalf in that year.

Her employment record from March 1982 to October 1982 is being investigated by an outdoor officer of the Department to determine if she is entitled to the award of further contributions for 1982-83. Her claim will be reviewed when the result of this investigation is known. There was no delay in dealing with the claim in this case. The claim was examined on receipt and when it was found that there were insufficient contributions in the relevant period to qualify the person concerned for benefit she was immediately sent a form advising her of the position and requesting details of her employment. This form has not been returned to date.

257.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 10 has been advised by his Department to wait six months before her claim that her long term disability benefit cheque at Christmas was stolen will be processed; why she has been left without payment as she has no other income to live on; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  There is no record in the Department of the person concerned having reported a cheque being stolen from her. On receipt of the Deputy's question she was visited by an inspector of the Department who ascertained that a cheque which was issued on 17 December 1983 was stolen. As this cheque was not endorsed by the payee it will be replaced by the Department on receipt of a completed form of indemninty which has been forwarded to her.

258.

Mr. Taylor: Information on Mervyn Taylor  Zoom on Mervyn Taylor  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the position regarding an application for a disability pension by a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if approval of the pension will be issued urgently.

[1246]Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned has been in receipt of disability benefit since 1 October 1982, and payment is being made at regular weekly intervals.

Invalidity pension is payable in place of disability benefit to insured persons who satisfy the contribution conditions and who are permanently incapable of work. In this connection, arrangements are being made to have him examined by a medical referee on 7 February 1984. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of the report of this examination.

259.

Mr. O'Dea: Information on Willie O'Dea  Zoom on Willie O'Dea  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason benefit was not paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick as he was unemployed during October and November 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 4 October 1983 to 22 November 1983. His entitlement to unemployment benefit could not be determined until inquiries to establish his contribution record were completed as he quoted an incorrect PRSI number when making his claim.

When the inquiries were completed his unemployment benefit claim was authorised at the weekly rate of £32.25 and all arrears due were paid on 12 January 1984. He was not qualified for pay-related benefit with his flat-rate unemployment benefit as the rate of flat-rate unemployment benefit payable to him exceeded the 85 per cent limit, £7.25 weekly applicable in his case.

260.

Mr. Allen: Information on Bernard Allen  Zoom on Bernard Allen  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a printout showing his disability benefit payments from April to July 1982 was not provided for a person (details supplied) in County Cork despite numerous requests to his Department from his solicitor and Deputy Allen also.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned was paid disability benefit from 25 June 1981 to 7 August 1982 under a different RSI [1247] number than that quoted. The claimant, his solicitor and the Deputy quoted this incorrect number in their correspondence with the Department. They were informed of the position and requested to supply the correct RSI number but this was not received. Consequently there was a delay in supplying the information requested. A statement showing details of benefit paid from 5 April 1982 to 7 August 1982 was issued on 27 January 1984.

261.

Mr. Naughten: Information on Liam Anthony Naughten  Zoom on Liam Anthony Naughten  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Availability for work is a condition of entitlement to unemployment benefit and to fulfil this condition an applicant must be capable of, available for, and genuinely seeking employment.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 29 August 1983 and his claim was disallowed on the grounds that he was not available for work. The disallowance of his claim was upheld by an appeals officer after an oral hearing of his appeal which took place on 3 November 1983.

262.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a free electricity allowance will be approved for a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The application for a free electricity allowance has been approved and the ESB have been instructed to apply the allowance to her electricity account from the January/February 1984 billing period onwards.

263.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Medical evidence was [1248] received from the person concerned on 20 September 1983 in respect of an incapacity which commenced on 15 October 1982. He was not qualified for payment as, according to the records of the Department, he had not the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in 1981-82, the contribution year governing his claim. Benefit was issued from 2 January 1984, the commencement of a new benefit year as he had sufficient contributions in the 1982-83 contribution year which governed his claim from that date. All disability benefit due from 2 January 1984 to 28 January 1984, date of latest medical certificate received has been issued.

His claim has been reviewed and details of his insurance record for 1981-82 have now been obtained. In view of the nature of his incapacity it has been decided to award credited contributions from 15 October 1982 to 19 March 1983 and payment from 20 March 1983 — six months prior to the date of his claim. This is the earliest date from which payment can be made under the social welfare regulations.

An adjustment cheque paying benefit from 20 March 1983 to 31 December 1983, less amount of supplementary welfare allowance advanced by the South-Eastern Health Board was issued on 30 January 1984.

264.

Mr. McLaughlin: Information on Frank McLoughlin  Zoom on Frank McLoughlin  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Meath.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 31 October 1983 but her claim was disallowed on the ground that she had insufficient contributions during the governing contribution period 6 April 1981 to 5 April 1982.

A new benefit year commenced on 2 January 1984 and as she fulfils the contribution condition for maximum rate of unemployment benefit from that date her claim was allowed at £30.60 weekly.

A payment of £86.70, which included arrears, has been made to her and the [1249] balance of arrears due amounting to £20.40 will be paid to her with her next weekly payment of £30.60.

265.

Mr. McLaughlin: Information on Frank McLoughlin  Zoom on Frank McLoughlin  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Meath in respect of the period June to September 1983 during which he was employed on a three-day week basis.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned does not satisfy the contribution conditions for entitlement to unemployment benefit. However, in reply to enquiries he stated that he was engaged in employment during the year 1982 but there is no record of contributions for this period in the Department's records.

He has been asked to furnish full details of his employment and when he does so the question of apparent non payment of contributions by his employer will be investigated. If appropriate, consideration will be given to treating the non paid contributions as paid for purposes of his unemployment benefit claim.

266.

Mr. E. O'Keeffe: Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will consider making another free travel ticket available to a person (details supplied) in County Cork, as he was hospitalised for a long period and lost or mislaid his original ticket.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  A form of application for replacement of his free travel pass has been issued to the person concerned. When the completed form is returned to the Department, the question of issuing a replacement pass will be considered and he will be notified of the outcome.

267.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford for the period 26 August to 1 November 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned has [1250] been paid all disability benefit due from 1 September 1983, fourth day of incapacity, to 31 October 1983, after which date he was certified fit to resume work. He was not entitled to pay-related benefit as he had insufficient earnings in 1981-82, the governing tax year.

A list of all cheques issued has been sent to the claimant and he has been requested to state which cheques he did not receive. On receipt of a reply his claim will be reviewed.

268.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid at the maximum rate to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who has been out of work since August 1982.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from self-employment as a joiner exceeded the statutory limit. He appealed against the disallowance of his claim and the appeals officer upheld the assessment of his means as being in excess of the statutory limit. He was notified of this decision on 4 January 1984.

269.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Entitlement to unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that to be available for work a claimant must be genuinely seeking employment.

Following the completion of inquiries the unemployment benefit claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that by reason of not genuinely seeking work she was not available for work from 7 December 1983.

It is open to her to appeal the disallowance of her claim. A form for this purpose may be obtained from her local office.

270.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an invalidity [1251] pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The regulations provide that the claimant, apart from satisfying the contribution conditions, must be regarded as permanently incapable of work in order to qualify for invalidity pension.

The person concerned was examined on 8 November 1983 by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was not permanently incapable of work and asked to have him referred again for a further examination in six months time. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of this further examination. In the meantime he continues to receive disability benefit at the maximum rate of £82.50 appropriate to a married man who has two qualified children.

271.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a telephone rental allowance will be issued to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny as the application has been made for some time.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  In order to qualify for a free telephone rental allowance, an applicant must be living alone or only with persons who are so permanently incapacitated as to be unable to summon aid in an emergency. The person concerned has been requested to furnish medical evidence in respect of his sister, with whom he is residing, in support of his application. When this evidence is received, his entitlement to a free telephone rental allowance will be examined and he will be notified of the outcome.

272.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny, as an appeal has been lodged for some time.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Availability for work is a condition [1252] of entitlement to unemployment assistance and to fulfil this condition an applicant must be capable of, available for and genuinely seeking employment.

The person concerned signed for unemployment assistance on 10 January 1983 and his claim was disallowed by a deciding officer on the grounds that he was not genuinely seeking and unable to obtain suitable employment. An appeals officer upheld the deciding officer's decision at an oral hearing dated 14 April 1983 and the applicant was duly notified of same. He has not been in touch with his local office since 31 May 1983.

273.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Entitlement to unemployment assistance is subject to the applicant being available for, capable of and genuinely seeking employment.

The person concerned signed for unemployment assistance on 24 February 1982. His claim was disallowed on the grounds that he was not genuinely seeking work and not available for work and he was notified accordingly on 25 March 1982. He obtained an appeal application form but did not return it. He has not signed as unemployed since 8 April 1982.

274.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a prescribed relative's allowance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny as the application has been made for some time.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The pensioner concerned claimed a prescribed relative allowance in respect of her grand-daughter, Helen, in May 1983. It was decided by a deciding officer on 8 June 1983 not to allow payment of the allowance as the statutory conditions were not fulfilled. The pensioner's grand-daughter did not reside with the pensioner. This decision was upheld by an appeals officer.

In January 1984 representations from [1253] the Deputy stated that the pensioner's grand-daughter was residing full time with her. The claim has been referred to the social welfare officer for investigation. On completion of these inquiries the matter will be referred to a deciding officer for decision and the pensioner will be notified of the outcome.

275.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if unemployment assistance at the maximum rate is being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £66.90 weekly being the maximum rate payable to him as a married man with two qualified children and a long term recipient of unemployment assistance.

276.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will reinvestigate the application by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for a non-contributory old age pension with a view to granting the pension.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned is in receipt of an old age pension at the maximum rate plus living alone allowance. Her current rate of pension is £38.60 plus £3.00 living alone allowance.

277.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in paying unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny even though he has been signing the unemployment register for some time.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned applied for unemployment assistance and his case was then referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. Inquiries are still being made in the matter as the applicant has not to-date furnished full particulars of when his self-employment ceased as requested by [1254] the social welfare officer. When he does so his means will be assessed in the light of the report and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly.

278.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if disability benefit at the maximum rate will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny as he has been sick since 1981.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Payment of disability benefit was disallowed to the person concerned from 19 November 1983 following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work. He appealed against the disallowance and in this connection was examined by a different medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was incapable of work. All benefit has been paid to date, less a sum in respect of unemployment benefit paid while his case was under review. He is being paid at the maximum rate appropriate to a married couple with three dependent children.

279.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in Kilkenny as the case has been appealed and went before an appeals officer for determination last November.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  On the basis of contentions made by the person concerned in support of her appeal against the disallowance of her unemployment assistance claim the case was again referred to a social welfare officer for additional inquiries at the request of the appeals officer.

These investigations were only recently completed and the papers are at present in postal transit to headquarters for submission to the appeals officer. Her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

280.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a deserted [1255] wife's allowance is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned has been awarded a deserted wife's allowance at the maximum rate from Thursday 22 September 1983, the date on which her application was received.

An order book payable from 2 February 1984 has been sent to the designated post office for collection by her and she has been notified accordingly. A payable order in respect of arrears from 22 September 1983 to 1 February 1984, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance paid to her by the South-Eastern Health Board during that time, will be sent direct to her shortly.

281.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 1 July 1983 to 14 September 1983. Her claim was disallowed for a period of six weeks from 1 July 1983 on the ground that she left her employment voluntarily without just cause. Her claim was allowed from 12 August 1983. Unemployment benefit was authorised at £30.60 weekly and pay-related benefit at £17.36 being the maximum rates appropriate in her case and all benefit due was paid. She again claimed unemployment benefit from 30 December 1983, and weekly payments at the combined rate of £47.96 are being made to her as they become due.

282.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the prescribed relative's allowance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned is in receipt of old age contributory pension since 8 December 1978. He claimed a [1256] prescribed relative allowance in respect of his daughter on 18 November 1983 and following investigation this has been awarded with effect from that date. A supplementary allowance book containing orders from 6 January 1984 has been issued to him. The arrears in respect of the period 18 November 1983 to 5 January 1984 will be issued by payable order within the next few days.

283.

Mr. D. Moynihan: Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 22 December 1983. All disability benefit due from 26 December 1983, fourth day of incapacity, to 21 January 1984, after which date he was certified as fit to resume work, has been issued. He was not entitled to pay-related benefit as the amount of disability benefit payable exceeded 80 per cent of his average reckonable weekly earnings in the 1981-82 tax year which governed his entitlement to pay-related benefit.

284.

Mr. D. Moynihan: Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a free electricity allowance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  A free electricity allowance cannot be granted to the person concerned as the United Kingdom invalidity pension which she is receiving is not a qualifying payment for this benefit. She has been notified accordingly.

285.

Mr. D. Moynihan: Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a free telephone rental allowance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  In order to qualify for a free telephone rental allowance, an applicant must be living alone or only with persons who are so permanently incapacitated as [1257] to be unable to summon aid in an emergency.

The person concerned was requested to furnish medical evidence in respect of his wife who resides with him in support of his application but failed to do so. His application was accordingly disallowed and he was notified to this effect on 4 November 1983.

If this medical evidence is now furnished, his entitlement to a free telephone rental allowance will be reviewed and he will be notified of the outcome.

286.

Mr. Dowling: Information on Richard Dowling  Zoom on Richard Dowling  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the maximum rate of a social welfare assistance allowance has not been paid to date to a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It has not been possible to trace receipt of a claim to unemployment assistance which refers to the person named in the details supplied. Further inquiries in the matter will be made if the Deputy will furnish additional information to enable the person concerned to be identified.

287.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will grant unemployment assistance on appeal to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry having regard to the exceptional circumstances of his case; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Following investigation it was decided that the person concerned was not entitled to unemployment assistance as his yearly income from land exceeded the statutory limit. He appealed against the assessment of his means on 11 November 1983 and an appeals officer afforded him another opportunity to supply any additional information in support of his appeal. He furnished further documentary evidence and the case has been referred to an appeals officer for determination. His entitlement to unemployment [1258] assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.

288.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a free electricity allowance will be granted to persons (details supplied) in County Kerry as the necessary medical certificates have been submitted.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  A free electricity allowance was granted to the person concerned in November 1981. He applied for free telephone rental allowance in November 1983. It is a condition of this scheme that the applicant be living alone or only with persons who are so permanently incapacitated as to be unable to summon aid in an emergency. He has been asked to furnish additional medical evidence in respect of his wife who resides with him, in support of his application. When this evidence is received, his entitlement to a free telephone rental allowance will be examined and he will be notified of the outcome.

289.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 14 November 1983. He is not qualified for benefit as he had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in 1981-82 and 1982-83 the contribution years governing his claim. He applied for supplementary welfare allowance in December 1983 and was requested by the South-Eastern Health Board to submit details of his means and general financial position but has not done so.

290.

Miss M. Barry: Information on Myra Barry  Zoom on Myra Barry  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in paying disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

[1259]Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 31 October 1983 and has been paid to 16 January 1984 the date of the latest medical certificate received. There was a delay however in making the initial payment of benefit as the claimant quoted an incorrect RSI number. Subsequent payments have been made on receipt of medical certification in the Department.


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