Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

408.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will be awarded a deserted wife's allowance in view of the fact that every effort has been made to locate her husband but unsuccessfully.

The person concerned has now been awarded deserted wife's allowance with effect from 1 March 1984 at the maximum rate of £47.70 per week for herself and one child. An allowance book with orders payable from 28 June 1984 has been sent to the designated post office for collection by her. Arrears for the period from 1 March to 27 June 1984, less deductions for unemployment assistance payments made to her in that period, will be sent direct to her by payable order shortly.

409.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if prescribed relative's allowance payment will be reviewed for a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

An application from the person concerned for a prescribed relative allowance was disallowed on 29 May 1984 as the conditions of the scheme were not satisfied in her case. The condition which provides that, apart from the prescribed relative, the pensioner must be living alone is not satisfied in her case. Neither is the condition which requires that the prescribed relative must not be a married woman maintained by her husband.

410.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the entitlement of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford, to unemployment benefit will be reviewed in view of the fact that she was available for and actively seeking work.

Entitlement to unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that an applicant is available for work and to fulfil this condition an applicant must be capable of, available for and genuinely seeking employment. The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 9 January 1984 and her claim was disallowed on the grounds that she was not available for work. She appealed against the disallowance and attended an oral hearing of her case on 6 April 1984. The appeals officer also decided that she was not available for work. She continued to sign the unemployment register and her claim was again disallowed on the grounds that she was not available for work on and from 7 April 1984. She appealed against this further disallowance and arrangements are being made to have her case heard by an appeals officer at the earliest opportunity.

411.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit assistance has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; if he will detail the total amount of PRSI contributions paid by him since he started working; if he will pay a weekly amount and all arrears due to him while unemployed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Entitlement to unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that an applicant is available for work and to fulfil this condition an applicant must be capable of available for and genuinely seeking employment.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 30 November 1983 and his claim was disallowed on the grounds that he was not available for work. He appealed against the disallowance and attended an oral hearing of his case on 5 June 1984. The appeals officer also disallowed the application.

According to the Department's records the only contributions paid on his behalf were 37 contributions at class A1 during the contribution year 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983.

412.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reasons unemployment benefit/assistance has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; if he will now direct his Department to make immediate payments to him; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 22 May 1984 following exhaustion of his entitlement to unemployment benefit. His case was referred to a social welfare officer who has not yet completed his report on the investigation of his means. When the inquiries are completed entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the means assessed against him.

413.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason an old age pension was not granted to a person (details supplied) in County Galway some time ago; if he will pay this pension immediately; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The repeat old age pension claim of the person concerned has been investigated but payment of pension has not been recommended as her means consisting of half the weekly value of her husband's earnings and income from a holding exceed the statutory limit for pension entitlement. The claimant will be notified of the decision on her claim as soon as possible.

414.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will receive unemployment assistance applied for in January 1984 and who was informed following a means test that he would receive payment within six weeks.

The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 20 February 1984 but he failed to make himself available for interview by a social welfare officer in connection with the assessment of his means. He agreed on 31 May 1984 to make himself available and his case has again been referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the social welfare officer's report.

415.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will receive unemployment assistance.

The person concerned made a number of claims to unemployment assistance since August 1983 but because she proved unemployment for short periods only on each occasion and changed her address without notifying the employment exchange it was not possible to interview her about her means.

She last applied for unemployment assistance on 3 May 1984 and her case has been referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of her means. Her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the social welfare officer's report.

416.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will receive unemployment assistance applied for in February 1984.

The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 7 February 1984. The delay in processing the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was caused by the fact that he changed his address without notifying his local office as a result of which the social welfare officer investigating his means had difficulty in locating him for interview.

These inquiries were recently completed and he was assessed with nil means with effect from 7 February 1984. He is accordingly entitled to £28.90 unemployment assistance which is the appropriate maximum rate in his case. All arrears due will be paid this week and further weekly payments of £28.90 will be made as they become due.

417.

(Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

All disability benefit and pay-related benefit payable to the person concerned was issued on 15 June 1984.

418.

(Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare when payment of unemployment assistance will be restored to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

Following the reinvestigation of his unemployment assistance claim the means of the person concerned were reassessed at £67.45 weekly derived from profit from his land and from capital. He is accordingly in receipt of weekly payments of £6.15 being the appropriate maximum rate in his case of £73.60 less means £67.45.

He appealed on 17 April 1984 against the amount of means assessed against him and requested an oral hearing of his case. On the advice of the appeals officer the applicant was written to and requested to make a written statement of the facts and contentions on which he relied in support of his appeal. He has not replied to the letter to date and the case has been returned to an appeals officer for determination. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.

419.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork is not being paid his old age pension.

The employment of the person concerned was insurable at the reduced rate applicable to permanent and pensionable public servants. These contributions do not provide cover for retirement pension nor for contributory old age pension and, consequently he does not qualify for either of these pensions.

Depending on his means he may qualify for the receipt of non-contributory old age pension. A claim form for that pension has, therefore, been sent to him.

420.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and the reason for the delay.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 12 April 1984. His claim cannot be determined until inquiries about his employment record have been completed. These inquiries are necessary because his employer failed to return details of his contributions during the relevant contribution period 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983.

His entitlement to unemployment benefit will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of these inquiries. He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the appropriate maximum weekly rate in his case of £63.75.

421.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and the reason for the delay.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 4 May 1984 but did not satisfy the contribution condition for entitlement to unemployment benefit on the basis of his Irish contribution record. Inquiries are being made to obtain details of his employment in the UK during the governing contribution period 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983. His entitlement to unemployment benefit will be determined in the light of the outcome of these inquiries. He has been advised to apply for unemployment assistance pending a decision of his claim to unemployment benefit but has declined to do so. He is at present in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance.

422.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has not been paid a death grant on behalf of her husband; and if he will have the death grant paid at an early date and return the death certificate as it is needed urgently.

A death grant was issued to the person concerned and the death certificate was returned on 19 June 1984.

423.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork is not being granted deserted wife's allowance.

One of the conditions for receipt of a deserted wife's payment is that a husband must have left his wife on his own volition.

The deciding officer held that this condition was not satisfied by the person concerned and disallowed her claim. She appealed against the decision and the case has been sent to an appeals officer for determination. She will be notified of the outcome as soon as the appeals officer gives his decision.

424.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a children's allowance book for an extra child will be made available to a person (details supplied) in County Cork as he made an application ten weeks ago.

A claim for children's allowance in respect of the child in question was received on 10 May 1984. An allowance of £11.25 a month has been awarded in respect of him from March 1984 and the appropriate allowance book has been issued to the claimant.

425.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork is not being paid his maximum rate of unemployment benefit; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £46.90 weekly being the appropriate maximum rate in his case of £50.75 less means £3.85 derived from self-employment.

It is open to him to appeal against the amount of means assessed against him and to have his case determined by an appeals officer. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

426.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the circumstances surrounding the refusal of a non-contributory pension to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon.

It was decided by an appeals officer on 15 May 1984 that the person concerned is not entitled to a non-contributory old age pension as he does not fulfil the statutory conditions as to means. His means, consisting of half the weekly value of holdings, the transfer of one of which is not acceptable for pension purposes and capital the disposal of a large part of which has not been satisfactorily accounted for exceed the statutory limit.

427.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the allowances for expenses that are being granted to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick, who has appealed the decision of the Department in his smallholder's unemployment assistance case.

Following reinvestigation of his unemployment assistance claim the means of the person concerned were reassessed and his claim disallowed with effect from 26 October 1983, on the grounds that his means derived from the profit from his holding exceeded the statutory limit. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and his case was referred to an appeals officer for determination. The appeals officer also assessed him with means exceeding the statutory limit. The claimant was informed of this decision on 1 March 1984.

He applied for a reassessment of his means on 29 March 1984 and following further inquiries his net income was assessed at £3,198 per annum (£61.50 weekly) derived from the profit from his farm. The total expenses incurred and allowed in earning this income amounted to £9,652 per annum. He is accordingly entitled with effect from 29 March 1984 to unemployment assistance at £5.40 weekly being the appropriate maximum rate in his case of £66.90 less means £61.50. All arrears due have been paid and weekly payments of £5.40 will continue to be made as they become due. The person concerned has been issued with a further appeal form to enable him to appeal this latest decision but has not returned it to date.

428.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Dublin who lost his employment has not been paid unemployment benefit and pay-related benefit at the maximum rate despite being unemployed since 17 May 1984 and if he will confirm that this matter has now been fully resolved.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 17 May 1984. Inquiries are being made to ascertain the reason for termination of his employment and also to establish whether he is entitled to an increase of benefit in respect of his wife and children who are not residing with him. His entitlement to unemployment benefit and pay-related benefit will be determined in the light of these inquiries.

429.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 has been waiting for two years to have his pay-related benefit paid and if he will confirm that this has now been paid.

The person concerned last claimed unemployment benefit on 19 June 1982 and his claim was allowed from that date at the appropriate maximum flat rate in his case. Due to an oversight at the local office arising from changes in the address of the applicant, the pay-related benefit portion of his unemployment benefit entitlement was not included in his weekly payments. This matter has now been rectified and arrangements made to pay next week all arrears of pay-related benefit for the period 19 June 1982 to 18 July 1983 when his entitlement to unemployment benefit was exhausted.

He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the appropriate weekly maximum rate in his case of £30.33.

430.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will confirm that a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 will be paid an invalidity pension.

The person concerned has been in receipt of disability benefit since 26 October 1982 and payment is made at regular weekly intervals.

Invalidity pension is payable in place of disability benefit to insured persons who satisfy the contribution conditions and who are permanently incapable of work. Arrangements are being made to have him examined by a medical referee. His entitlement to invalidity pension will be reviewed in the light of the report of his examination.

431.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 is no longer in receipt of disability benefit; the steps that are open to her to qualify for other social welfare benefits if she is disqualified from entitlement to disability benefit and the reason that this matter has not been adequately explained.

The person concerned was paid disability benefit from 2 June 1983 to 2 June 1984. Payment ceased at that date as according to the records of the Department she has less than 156 contributions paid on her behalf since her entry into insurance and was therefore only entitled to payment of benefit for 52 weeks.

In order to requalify for disability benefit it will be necessary for her to resume insurable employment for which the appropriate contributions are paid for a minimum period of thirteen weeks.

The person concerned was fully informed of the position by letter on 29 May 1984 and advised that if her means were insufficient for her needs that she should contact her local community welfare officer regarding payment of supplementary welfare allowance, as she does not qualify for payment of unemployment benefit.