Thursday, 17 June 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
154. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the assistance that can be offered in the case of a person, details supplied, in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18230/04]
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Subject to certain conditions, the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, which is administered on behalf of my Department by the health boards, provides assistance to eligible people whose means are insufficient to meet their basic needs. In addition to a basic allowance, assistance may be given in the form of supplements which are payable in respect of certain needs such as rent, mortgage interest, diet and special heating requirements. A board may also award a single payment to meet an exceptional need if, in the opinion of the board, the circumstances of the case so warrant.
The South Western Area Health Board was contacted regarding this case and has indicated that the person concerned should contact her local health centre where the community welfare officer will be able to provide her with advice regarding entitlements and also carry out an assessment of her circumstances so as to determine whether or not she qualifies for assistance under the terms of the supplementary welfare allowance scheme.
155. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason, when a person, details supplied, in County Mayo arrived for an appointment with a medical assessor in relation to an application for the disability benefit, the medical assessor did not turn up. [18232/04]
Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): The date for the medical examination of the person concerned had to be changed and unfortunately, due to an administrative error, this information was not communicated to him. The inconvenience caused to him is regretted. The examination has now been re-scheduled and the person concerned has been informed.
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