Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Benefit.

98.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare why, having regard to the special circumstances of the case, unemployment benefit was not paid to a person in Dublin (name supplied) in respect of the period 7th to 18th January, 1974.

The person in question made a claim to unemployment benefit on 7th January, 1974. He signed the unemployed register for that day and the next day but did not again sign until 18th January, the reason for the nine-day break being his absence in London together with his wife in connection with the illness and death of his wife's mother. On his return he asked to be allowed to sign back for the period of the absence. Failure to sign the unemployed register for a few days owing to family bereavement can be excused. Permission to sign back in this case was however refused because of the length of the absence and the fact that the climant was abroad, and so could not be treated as satisfying the statutory condition for entitlement to unemployment benefit which required him to be available for work.

The effect was that the person was not regarded as unemployed from 9th to 17th January inclusive. His entitlement therefore did not commence until 18th January and he was paid benefit from that date less three waiting days. Having regard to the exceptional circumstances of the case I am having the matter further examined.

I thank the Parliamentary Secretary. In re-examining the matter would he bear in mind that I think this was the first occasion on which this gentleman had occasion to sign for any form of assistance. The circumstances are exactly as the Parliamentary Secretary recorded.