Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Wednesday, 8 February 1984

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 347 No. 10

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312.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway who is aged 19 is in receipt of only £5 unemployment assistance; and if he will authorise an investigation into his circumstances and have his assistance increased to an adequate level.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 28 November 1983 and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. Following the completion of inquiries he was assessed with means of £21.15 per week derived from board and lodging on his father's holding. Weekly payments of unemployment assistance at £6.85 being the maximum rate payable to him £28 less £21.15 means continue to be made as they become due. If he is dissatisfied with the amount of means assessed against him it is open to him to appeal and to have his case determined by an appeals officer. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

313.

Mr. F. Fahey: Information on Frank Fahey  Zoom on Frank Fahey  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for the immediate increase in unemployment [2094] assistance being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway as he is in receipt of only £9.75 per week.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned is in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £9.25, being the maximum rate payable to him £28 less means £18.75. Means in his case are derived from the benefit of board and lodgings on his parent's holding. If he is dissatisfied with the amount of means assessed against him, it is open to him to appeal and to have his means determined by an appeals officer. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

314.

Mr. Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a free electricity allowance was withdrawn from a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The free electricity allowance which applied to the account of the person concerned from January 1980 was terminated in September 1983 as his grandson who is resident with him ceased to come within the excepted categories for satisfying the living alone condition of the scheme when he reached 18 years of age.

315.

Mr. Browne: Information on John Browne  Zoom on John Browne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the reduction in unemployment benefit being 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 rate of unemployment benefit payable to an applicant is reduced after 156 days of benefit if he does not satisfy the contribution condition of having 280 paid contributions in a seven-year period.

The person concerned was in receipt of the maximum rate of unemployment benefit payable to him, £116.10 weekly, when he exhausted 156 days on 14 December 1983. He did not satisfy the contribution condition of 280 paid contributions [2095] in the seven-year period and accordingly the rate of unemployment benefit payable to him was reduced to £99.65 weekly with effect from 15 December 1983. Weekly payments of unemployment benefit at £99.65 continue to be made to him as they become due.

316.

Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn: Information on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  Zoom on Máire Geoghegan-Quinn  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the correct rate of unemployment assistance is being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Following a review of his unemployment assistance claim, the means assessed against the person concerned were increased from £1.40 per week to £7.65 per week from 18 January 1984. These means are derived from land. He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at the rate of £72.65 per week being the maximum rate payable to him £80.30 less means £7.65.

He was given a form for completion to enable him to appeal against the assessment of his means. On return of the completed form, his claim will be sent to an appeals officer for determination and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

317.

Mr. Carey: Information on Donal Carey  Zoom on Donal Carey  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a non-contributory old age pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Clare as he applied some time ago.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The old age pension claim of the person concerned was investigated and forwarded to the local pension committee for decision on 30 November 1983. Payment of pension was not recommended as the assessment of his means, comprising mainly the income from a holding, was in excess of the statutory limit of £42 a week.

The claimant's solicitor has now confirmed that the holding has been transferred. In the circumstances, pension at the maximum rate of £38.60 plus £19.40 [2096] adult dependant allowance is now being recommended and will be put into payment this week on a provisional basis, pending the committee's decision.

318.

Mr. Crotty: Information on Kieran Crotty  Zoom on Kieran Crotty  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an unmarried mother's allowance which was applied for some time ago 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  A claimant is disqualified for receipt of an unmarried mother's allowance as long as she and any person are living together as man and wife. It was held that this disqualification applied to the person concerned and her claim was therefore disallowed. She appealed against the decision and her case was referred back to the local officer for further inquiries. The officer was unable to contact her as she had changed her address and could not be located.

In view, however, of the new address for the claimant which has been supplied by the Deputy the file has again been referred to the officer to interview her. When his report is received the claim will be reviewed. The claimant will be notified of the outcome.

319.

Mr. Crotty: Information on Kieran Crotty  Zoom on Kieran Crotty  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision on an appeal which was lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny against a decision to transfer him from unemployment benefit to assistance will be made.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 7 November 1983 but was disqualified for receiving the benefit for six weeks on the grounds that he voluntarily left his employment without just cause. He appealed against the decision and the appeals officer has referred the case to a social welfare officer for inquiries into the claimant's stated cause for leaving his employment.

His entitlement to unemployment benefit for the six weeks' period of disqualification [2097] will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision in his case.

Following the receipt of disability benefit from 15 December 1983 to 20 December 1983 his claim to unemployment benefit was authorised from 21 December 1983 and he received the maximum entitlement in his case of 390 days on 20 January 1984. He received unemployment assistance from 21 January 1984 until 24 January 1984 and he requalified for unemployment benefit from 25 January 1984 at the maximum weekly rate in his case of £34.80. Any arrears of unemployment benefit due will be paid to him this week. Weekly payments of £34.80 will continue to be made as they become due.

320.

Mr. Crotty: Information on Kieran Crotty  Zoom on Kieran Crotty  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when 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  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 28 November 1983 and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. Following the completion of inquiries he was assessed with nil means. He is, accordingly, entitled to unemployment assistance at the maximum rate of £28.90 weekly with effect from 28 November 1983. All arrears due, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance which he received pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance claim and is due for recoupment to his local health board, were paid on 2 February 1984. Further weekly payments will be made as they become due.

321.

Mr. Crotty: Information on Kieran Crotty  Zoom on Kieran Crotty  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made on an application by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for unemployment assistance.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 14 November 1983, and his case was [2098] referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. Following the completion of inquiries, he was assessed with nil means.

He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at £28.90 weekly and payment will commence this week. The balance of any arrears due will be paid as soon as the amount of supplementary welfare allowance which was paid to him pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance claim is known.

322.

Mr. E. O'Keeffe: Information on Ned O'Keeffe  Zoom on Ned O'Keeffe  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a deserted wife's pension 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 has been awarded deserted wife's allowance for herself and three children with effect from 6 October 1983 at the maximum weekly rate of £69.40. When making her claim, she did not quote any RSI number in respect of herself or her husband and no insurance record has been traced which might entitle her to payment of deserted wife's benefit.

An order book payable from 9 February 1984 has been issued to the designated post office for collection by her and she has been notified accordingly. Arrears for the period from 6 October 1983 to 8 February 1984, less deductions in respect of supplementary welfare allowance paid to her by the Southern Health Board and separate payments of the dependant's portions of her husband's unemployment assistance made to her during that time, will be sent direct to her by payable order shortly.

323.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford in respect of an additional child who was born on 9 October 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned applied for an increase in the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him on 3 November 1983 in respect of a child [2099] born on 9 October 1983. The weekly rate of unemployment assistance payable to him was increased to £80.30 weekly with effect from 10 November 1983. Due to an oversight at the local office dealing with his claim the payment of arrears due from 10 October 1983 to 9 November 1983 was overlooked. The matter has now been rectified and arrangements have been made to issue an order for encashment at his local post office, amounting to £29.04, this week representing the outstanding amount of arrears due.

324.

Mr. H. Byrne: Information on Hugh Byrne  Zoom on Hugh Byrne  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a children's allowance will be paid immediately to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford in respect of a child born on 9 October 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned submitted an application for children's allowance on 7 November 1983 in respect of her fourth child who was born on 9 October 1983.

Children's allowance at the rate of £11.25 per month was awarded in respect of this child from 1 November 1983 and an allowance book payable from that date was issued to the claimant on 13 December 1983. This supplementary book increased the claimant's monthly allowance to £45 which is the correct rate payable in respect of her four qualified children.

In view of the Deputy's question, the person concerned is being contacted with a view to ascertaining whether the supplementary allowance book was received. When a reply is received any necessary action will be taken without delay.

325.

Mr. Kitt: Information on Michael P. Kitt  Zoom on Michael P. Kitt  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the date from which a person (details supplied) in County Galway is entitled to pay-related benefit; and the correct rate of payment.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 23 August 1983. Pay-related benefit was [2100] payable from 13 September 1983 and the amount is £12.62 weekly. Owing to a miscalculation an incorrect amount was paid and a balance of £90 was due. Arrangements have been made to pay the balance with the current weekly payment of flat-rate unemployment benefit and pay-related benefit.

326.

Mr. Yates: Information on Ivan Yates  Zoom on Ivan Yates  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if consideration of a blind pension will be reviewed favourably for a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It was decided by an appeals officer on 13 December 1983 that the person concerned is not entitled to a blind pension as he failed to fulfil the statutory condition as to blindness. An examination by an ophthalmic inspector on 10 October 1983 did not support his claim. If the claimant feels his sight has deteriorated considerably since October 1983 it is open to him to reapply for blind pension and a further medical examination will be arranged.

327.

Mr. McGinley: Information on Dinny McGinley  Zoom on Dinny McGinley  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance at the maximum rate will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

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 the weekly rate of £52.10 being the maximum rate applicable to him as a person with means assessed at £0.95 on the basis of the valuation of his land. His case was referred to a social welfare officer for an investigation of his means and when the inquiries are completed his means will be assessed and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be determined accordingly.


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