Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Wednesday, 11 December 1985

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 362 No. 10

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56.

Mr. Enright: Information on Tom Enright  Zoom on Tom Enright  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Laois.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Entitlement to unemployment assistance is dependent on an applicant being the holder of a qualification certificate, and to obtain a qualification certificate an applicant must satisfy certain conditions, including an assessment of means. The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 3 October 1985, following the exhaustion of his entitlement to unemployment benefit. The case was then referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of means.

These inquiries will be completed as soon as possible, and the entitlement of the person concerned to unemployment assistance will then be determined in the light of the amount of means assessed against him.

57.

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be paid his claim for unemployment assistance.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The entitlement of the person concerned to unemployment assistance cannot be determined until extensive inquiries, at present being made by a social welfare officer, are completed. When the inquiries regarding land held in trust are completed, the entitlement of [1937] the person concerned to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the amount of the means assessed against him.

58.

Mr. Sheehan: Information on P. J. Sheehan  Zoom on P. J. Sheehan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork was refused an invalidity pension, when he has medical evidence to prove that owing to his illness, he is not fit for work due to the fact that he is deaf and therefore cannot communicate with other work mates; and in view of the circumstances when a favourable decision will issue in his appeal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Invalidity pension is payable to insured persons who satisfy the contribution conditions and who are permanently incapable of work. The person concerned was examined by a medical referee on 17 July 1985 who did not consider him to be permanently incapable of work. A deciding officer decided that he was not therefore entitled to invalidity pension. He has appealed against this decision and arrangements have been made to have him examined by a different medical referee. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of the report of that examination.

59.

Mr. D. Moynihan: Information on Donal Moynihan  Zoom on Donal Moynihan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will expedite an appeal against a reduction of an old age pension on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It has been decided by an appeals officer that the person concerned is entitled to an old age pension at the weekly rate of £23.40, which includes a living alone allowance of £3.40, from 12 July 1985. This is the rate to which she is entitled having regard to the assessment of her means consisting of the weekly value of capital (which includes the capital value of a house owned but not personally used).

An application for an increase in her [1938] rate of pension is at present under investigation. When these inquiries are completed, the matter will be referred to a deciding officer. The pensioner will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible.

60.

Mr. J. Walsh: Information on Joe Walsh  Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will pay a non-contributory old age pension to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It has been decided that the person concerned is entitled to an old age pension at the weekly rate of £32.40 from 20 September 1985 which includes a living alone allowance of £3.40. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means consisting of the weekly value of capital and a holding. The appropriate pension books payable from 20 September 1985 issued on 20 August 1985.

61.

Dr. McCarthy: Information on Seán McCarthy  Zoom on Seán McCarthy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary is not on invalidity pension and when this will be granted to him.

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 15 July 1982. Invalidity pension is payable to insured persons who satisfy the contribution conditions and who are permenently incapable of work. Arrangements are being made to have him examined by a medical referee. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of the report of that examination.

62.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The unemployment benefit claim of the person concerned has been authorised at £39.50 weekly, which is the [1939] maximum flat rate unemployment benefit payable to a single person. All arrears due will be paid this week and further weekly payments will continue to be made as they become due. The person concerned was requested to furnish a P.45 or a statement of earnings from his employer and when he does so, his entitlement to pay-related benefit will be determined.

63.

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 has not been given fuel vouchers for this year and if he will ensure that these are now issued.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It is understood from the Eastern Health Board, which is responsible for the administration of the national fuel scheme in Dublin, that the person concerned did not make an application for a fuel allowance under the 1985-86 scheme. Application can be made through the community welfare officer at her local health centre. The person concerned is not in receipt of a payment from this Department which would qualify her for automatic entitlement to fuel vouchers under the urban fuel scheme, administered by Dublin Corporation.

64.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he would ensure that fuel vouchers are issued to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It is understood from the Eastern Health Board, which is responsible for the administration of the national fuel scheme in Dublin, that the person concerned did not make an application for a fuel allowance under the 1985-86 scheme. An application form has been issued to her and on return of the completed form to the community welfare officer her case will be fully investigated.

65.

Mr. G. Mitchell: Information on Gay Mitchell  Zoom on Gay Mitchell  asked the Minister or Social Welfare the reason a person [1940] (details supplied) in Dublin 12 has not received fuel vouchers and if he will ensure that these are now issued.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  It is understood from the Eastern Health Board, which is responsible for the administration of the national fuel scheme in the Dublin area, that the application of the person concerned was refused as he is not in a category of persons with eligibility under the scheme. The categories of persons covered by the national fuel scheme are recipients of long term social welfare or analogous payments and recipients of basic supplementary welfare allowance who fulfil certain conditions. The person concerned is in receipt of short term payments from this Department and recipients of short term social welfare payments are generally excluded from the national fuel scheme.

66.

Mr. Durkan: Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason social welfare benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if he will indicate the circumstances surrounding the allowance of an appeal by the employer; 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  One of the conditions for receipt of disability benefit requires that the claimant has at least 26 insurance contributions paid or credited in the governing contribution year.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit for the period from 23 April 1982 to 16 June 1982 but was not qualified as according to the records of the Department she did not have the necessary contributions between 6 April 1980 and 5 April 1981, the contribution year governing her claim.

The correspondence dated 17 August 1984 referred to by the Deputy in the note to his question related to the insurability of this person's employment from April 1981 to April 1982 which however had no bearing on her entitlement to [1941] disability benefit in the period April to June 1982.

She claimed that she had been employed from April 1981 to April 1982 but no contributions had been paid on her behalf for that period. Inquiries were made by the Department into the insurability of the employment and following a deciding officer's decision that it was insurable the person by whom she was held to be employed appealed against the decision.

An oral hearing of the appeal was arranged and although the claimant was notified of the arrangements she did not attend the hearing in Naas on 23 August 1985 or submit any reason for her nonattendance. The appeals officer concerned subsequently reversed the decision of the deciding officer and ruled that the employment involved was not insurable.

An appeals officer's decision is final and conclusive and can only be reviewed in the light of some new facts or fresh evidence brought to his attention. If the person concerned considers that she has any such facts or evidence which were not available to the appeals officer at the time of the hearing of her case she should submit them to the Department and they will be put before the officer for his consideration.

67.

Mr. J. O'Leary: Information on John O'Leary  Zoom on John O'Leary  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the cause of the long delay in deciding favourably on the appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry against the decision to refuse to pay him unemployment assistance; 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 of his unemployment assistance claim, the means of the person concerned were assessed at £34.60 weekly, derived from the value of board and lodging on his brother's holding. His means exceeded the maximum rate of unemployment assistance payable and accordingly he was not entitled to payment.

[1942] He appealed against the disallowance on 30 September 1985, and an appeal officer also assessed his means at £34.60 weekly. He was notified, accordingly, on 26 November 1985. The person concerned recently applied for a review of his means and the case was referred to a social welfare officer for re-investigation. When the inquiries are completed his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the amount of means assessed against him.

68.

Mr. Leyden: Information on Terry Leyden  Zoom on Terry Leyden  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will restore disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 3 September 1984 and payment was issued to 4 September 1985 based on his contribution record in the 1982-83 contribution year.

He was not entitled to payment of benefit from 5 September 1985 as according to the records of the Department he had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in the 1983-84 contribution year which governed his claim from that date.

It has now been established that he is entitled to credited contributions for 1983-84 and is requalified for benefit from 5 September 1985. All arrears of benefit payable to 13 November 1985, the date of the latest medical certificate received, have now been issued to him.


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