Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Tuesday, 16 June 1987

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 373 No. 8

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82.

Mr. Cowen: Information on Brian Cowen  Zoom on Brian Cowen  asked the Minister for [1913] Social Welfare the outcome of the disability benefit appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Offaly.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned was paid disability benefit to 12 December 1986 after which date payment was disallowed following an examination by a medical referee who considered her to be capable of work. She appealed against this decision and was examined by another medical referee on 28 May 1987 who also expressed the opinion that she was capable of work.

She was informed of the result of this examination and was supplied with a form on which to set out the grounds of appeal if she wished to have her case referred to an appeals officer for determination. Her case will be reviewed on receipt of this form.

83.

Mr. Crotty: Information on Kieran Crotty  Zoom on Kieran Crotty  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will receive payment of disability benefit.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 20 March 1987. She is not entitled to benefit as according to the records of the Department she has less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid since entry into insurable employment which was the minimum requirement for claiming this benefit prior to 6 April 1987.

The person concerned worked in Britain from 1972 to 1986. Before the Department can determine the extent of her British record it must first establish where she was last insurably employed. She has been requested to furnish this information but so far she has not responded. The information has been requested again and upon receipt of same her claim to disability benefit will be reviewed.

84.

Mr. Hyland: Information on Liam Hyland  Zoom on Liam Hyland  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange a reexamination by a medical referee for a person (details supplied) in County [1914] Kildare who is awaiting a decision for a transfer from disability benefit to invalidity pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Invalidity pension is payable to insured persons who satisfy the contribution conditions and who are permanently incapable of work.

The person concerned was examined on 14 April 1987 by a medical referee who did not consider him to be permanently incapable of work and asked to have him referred for a further examination in three months. A deciding officer decided that he was not therefore entitled to invalidity pension.

The person concerned appealed against this decision and arrangements are being made to have him examined by a different medical referee in Carlow on 3 July 1987. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of the report of that examination.

85.

Mr. Hyland: Information on Liam Hyland  Zoom on Liam Hyland  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the application of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow for unemployment benefit will be approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Entitlement to unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that a claimant must be available for and genuinely seeking work.

When the person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 23 April 1987 she stated that she had left her employment, which was permanent and full time, to spend some time with her parents before emigrating to take up a post in America in August 1987. Accordingly, following inquiries, her claim has been disallowed on the grounds that she is not available for work. She has appealed against this decision and arrangements are being made to have her case heard at the earliest available opportunity.

86.

Mr. O'Donoghue: Information on John O'Donoghue  Zoom on John O'Donoghue  asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision [1915] will be reached on the appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry against disallowance of disability benefit.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned was paid disability benefit to 11 September 1986 after which date payment was disallowed following an examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

An appeal on his behalf was not lodged until 21 January 1987 following which arrangements were made to have him examined by a different medical referee on 2 April 1987 but he did not attend.

Arrangements have now been made to have him examined on 19 June 1987. His entitlement to benefit will then be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report.

87.

Mr. Begley: Information on Michael Begley  Zoom on Michael Begley  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry is receiving a reduced rate of pension.

[1916]Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned is in receipt of a widow's non-contributory pension at the rate of £36.15 a week. This is the appropriate rate of pension payable to a widow under 66 years with one qualified child whose weekly means exceed £24 but do not exceed £26. Her means derived from a farm holding have been assessed at £24.51 a week.

A social welfare officer has been requested to furnish an up-to-date report on her circumstances. When the report is received, her case will be reviewed and she will be notified of the outcome.

88.

Mr. Kemmy: Information on Jim Kemmy  Zoom on Jim Kemmy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the overall average weekly payment made to persons on the live register in each of the last five years.

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

Year Scheme
Unemployment Assistance Unemployment Benefit Pay-Related Benefit Total
(£Millions)
1982 2.6 3.2 0.9 6.7
1983 3.6 4.2 0.9 8.7
1984 4.9 4.2 0.8 9.9
1985 6.0 4.5 0.8 11.3
1986 6.8 4.6 0.7 12.1

89.

Mr. Molloy: Information on Robert Molloy  Zoom on Robert Molloy  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for the maximum rate of unemployment assistance to be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Following reinvestigation of his unemployment assistance claim, the amount of means assessed against the person concerned was reduced in March of this year from £14 to £7.70 weekly. He has not lodged an appeal against this means assessment. The means are derived from the profit from his holding.

The person concerned is, accordingly, in receipt of unemployment assistance of £72.20 weekly being the appropriate maximum rate payable in his case of £79.90 less means of £7.70.

If there has been a change in his circumstances since the recent means assessment he should apply for a reinvestigation of his case giving details of the changes which have occurred.

90.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the correct rate of [1917] disability benefit is being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 22 March 1987 and was paid at a reduced rate appropriate to a single man who had 37 contributions in the 1985-86 contribution year which governs his claim as this appeared to be the number of contributions paid by him in that year.

Further investigations of his insurance revealed, however, that a further 16 contributions had been paid by him in the year in question which now entitles him to benefit at the maximum rate appropriate to a single man. Arrears amounting to £33.58 have now been issued to him.

91.

Mr. Aylward: Information on Liam Aylward  Zoom on Liam Aylward  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit payment was not made to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny from December 1986 for five weeks.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 27 December 1986 following an examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

He indicated his intention to appeal against the decision and he was examined by a different medical referee who also expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

[1918] He was then issued with the appropriate form, on 23 February last, to enable him to make a formal appeal against the disallowance for submission to an appeals officer. He has not returned the form to the Department.

92.

Mr. J. Fahey: Information on John Fahey  Zoom on John Fahey  asked the Minister for Social Welfare the amount of money, if any, paid to a person (details supplied) in County Waterford who submitted a medical certificate for the period of 7-13 November 1986.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Information on Michael J. Woods  Zoom on Michael J. Woods  The person concerned was certified as unfit for work on Monday, 10 November 1986 and disability benefit was paid from 13 November 1986, fourth day of incapacity, at the weekly rate of £120.65 for the period to 29 November 1986. Total amount paid was £248.59.


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