Wednesday, 15 February 1989
Dáil Éireann Debate
Mr. G. Mitchell: asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the appeal of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8 who is in receipt of long-term disability benefit  will be heard, in view of his present medical condition.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Benefit was disallowed from 19 September 1988 following an examination by a medical referee who considered the person concerned to be capable of work. He expressed dissatisfaction with the disallowance and was examined again on 25 October 1988 by a different medical referee who also considered that he was capable of work.
His case has been referred to an appeals officer for determination. That officer may decide the appeal summarily or may hold an oral hearing. The person concerned will be advised of this as soon as possible.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The national fuel scheme applies to persons in receipt of long-term social welfare or health board payments who live alone or only with persons who come within certain categories.
The person concerned is in receipt of invalidity pension. He lives with his brother who is a farmer and who does not come within the categories in question. He is not, therefore, entitled to a fuel allowance under the national fuel scheme.
 The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 7 October 1988. Her claim was disallowed by a deciding officer on 14 November 1988, on the grounds that she was not genuinely seeking employment due to the absence of any efforts on her part to obtain work.
She has appealed against the disallowance and arrangements are being made to have her case heard by an appeals officer at the earliest opportunity. Her entitlement to unemployment benefit will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Following re-investigation the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed with effect from 21 December 1988 on the grounds that his means exceeded the maximum rate of unemployment assistance payable in his case. His means are derived from the profit from his holding.
He appealed against the disallowance on 6 February 1989 and the papers in his case were referred to a social welfare officer to investigate certain points raised by him in support of his appeal. These investigations will be completed as soon as possible and his case will then be submitted to an appeals officer for determination at the earliest available opportunity.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The person concerned is in  receipt of a reduced contributory pension at the rate of £9.50 a week. A social welfare officer investigated her circumstances in order to establish if it would be of financial benefit to her to transfer from this pension to a non-contributory pension.
Her means, derived from a farm holding, pension from the Department of Health and Social Security in Britain and some capital, exceed the weekly limit of £50 applicable in her case. Accordingly, her claim to a non-contributory pension has been refused. The reduced contributory pension will continue in payment to her.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): Payment of benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 11 August 1988 following an examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that she was capable of work. She appealed against the disallowance of benefit and was examined by a different medical referee on 5 October 1988 who also expressed the opinion that she was capable of work. Her appeal has been referred to an appeals officer for determination.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 13 September 1988. She did not qualify for payment as she had less than the minimum of 39 contributions in the 1988-89 contribution year which governed her claim.
She continued to submit medical certificates and was awarded credited contributions which help to preserve the continuity of her insurance record. The  award of credited contributions was discontinued from 9 December 1988 following an examination by a medical referee who considered her to be capable of work. She expressed dissatisfaction with this decision and was examined by a different medical referee on 2 February 1989 who also expressed the opinion that she was capable of work.
A new benefit year commenced on 2 January 1989 and the person concerned would have qualified for payment of benefit from that date on the basis of her insurance record had she been regarded as being incapable of work. She was informed of the result of this second examination and was supplied with a form on which to set out the grounds for appeal if she wished to have the question of her entitlement to disability benefit referred to an appeals officer for determination.
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