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Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 16 Apr 1969

Vol. 239 No. 10

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Assistance.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will state in respect of a married man who is in receipt of unemployment assistance and who goes sick whether such assistance is stopped, thus leaving his wife without any means.

A statutory condition for entitlement to unemployment assistance is that applicants be capable of work. If therefore a recipient becomes incapacitated through illness his entitlement to unemployment assistance ceases, in which event he may apply for disability benefit under the Social Welfare Acts if he is insured thereunder. If his application for this benefit should be unsuccessful because of his failure to satisfy the required conditions it is open to him to apply to the public assistance authority for his area for assistance under the Public Assistance Act, 1939.

Great hardship is caused when husbands are suddenly taken to hospital and the wives are left with no means other than 35s or £2 a week, just for the sake of a couple of weeks.

Disability assistance is the answer to it.

Unfortunately the law would have to be amended to provide for cases where people are not capable of working. They must attend at the employment office themselves or at some other centre to certify they are capable and genuinely seeking work. An amendment of the law would be necessary to excuse them even for a short time.

A Deputy

Well, amend the law.


Is the Minister for Social Welfare going to take the advice of the Minister for Industry and Commerce to amend the law?

No, I am just whispering to him that if he has the money——


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he is aware that a person (name supplied) in County Donegal applied for a qualification certificate on the 29th January, 1969 and has proved unemployment since that date; and, if so, when he will be paid the arrears of unemployment assistance due to him.

The difficulty in determining the rateable value of the applicant's holding was the cause of the delay in dealing with this application. I am informed by the Department of Labour that payment of all outstanding unemployment assistance has now been made.