Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

541.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin was disallowed a claim for occupational injury benefit since he was employed until 4.30 p.m. on the date the accident took place but was allowed to leave his place of employment from 4.00 p.m. in order to cash his wages cheque; and if he would agree that it is grossly unfair to disallow this claim on the basis that the accident occurred at 4.05 p.m. when he was crossing the road to cash his cheque, as he was carrying out a function for his employer.

The person concerned claimed injury benefit in respect of an incapacity resulting from an alleged accident at work on 22 December 1983. Pending investigations he was allowed disability benefit from 27 December, the fourth day of certified incapacity. To qualify for injury benefit the claimant is required to satisfy the statutory conditions that the accident arose out of and in the course of insurable employment.

The claimant indicated that he finished work at 4 p.m. on the date of the accident and that he suffered a road accident after leaving his place of employment. The claim to injury benefit was disallowed on the grounds that it was considered that the qualifying condition was not satisfied. The question had been taken as an appeal against the decision of the deciding officer. An appeal form is being issued to the person concerned and when it is returned, the case will be referred to an appeals officer for decision.

542.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will investigate the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry was not granted a non-contributory old age pension.

The person concerned was awarded an old age pension in March 1981, effective from 20 November 1980. He is currently in receipt of a pension of £31.30 a week which is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the latest assessment of his means consisting of the weekly value of a holding. He is also in receipt of a prescribed relative allowance of £23.10 a week.

A recent application of the person concerned for an increase in pension is under investigation at present. It is expected that the social welfare officer's inquiries will be completed shortly and the claim will be forwarded to a deciding officer for decision. The pensioner will be notified of the outcome in due course.

543.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for the payment of unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Galway, when payment of unemployment benefit ceases.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment benefit and subject to him remaining unemployed he is due to exhaust his entitlement to benefit on 14 December 1984 on which date he would have received his full entitlement of 390 days of benefit.

However, he is not at present the holder of a qualification certificate as his certificate was withdrawn on 5 September 1984 on the grounds that by his failure to reveal full details of his means he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit. He appealed against the disallowance and his case has been referred to a social welfare officer for further investigations, in the light of contentions made by him in support of his appeal. When these inquiries are completed his case will be submitted to an appeals officer for assessment of his means.

Subject to him being unemployed from 15 December 1984 his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined from that date in the light of the decision of the appeals officer in the assessment of his means.

544.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Louth.

The person concerned is in continuous receipt of unemployment assistance since his application in February 1982. He was assessed with means of £15.35 weekly derived from the value of board and lodging on his father's holding. He is at present being paid at the weekly rate £16.40 being the appropriate rate £31.75 less £15.35 means. His case has however been referred to a social welfare officer for re-investigation of his means. The assessment of his means will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of the investigations and the rate of unemployment assistance payable will be determined accordingly.

545.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason payment of unemployment assistance has been discontinued in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

The person concerned was paid unemployment assistance from 30 October 1983 to 25 September 1984. Her entitlement to unemployment assistance from 26 September 1984 cannot be determined until inquiries have been made to establish that she fulfils the condition of being available for work. When these inquiries are completed, her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the outcome.

546.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Limerick has received no pay-related benefit from June 1984, when he was out sick and the relevant certificates were sent to his Department.

The person concerned claimed injury benefit in respect of an incapacity resulting from an occupational accident on 20 June 1984. Following completion of investigations, injury benefit was awarded from the date of the accident and was paid to 7 July after which he was certified fit to resume work.

In the absence of an underlying title to disability benefit he did not qualify for pay-related benefit. In order to be entitled to disability benefit the claimant would have required to have at least 26 employment contributions at the appropriate class paid on his behalf in the 1982-1983 contribution year. In that year he had only Class J contributions which provide cover for occupational injury benefit only.

547.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made in relation to an invalidity pension for a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

The person concerned is being paid disability benefit at regular weekly intervals and payment has been made to date. A form on which to claim invalidity pension has been forwarded to him and on its return, duly completed, the claim will be dealt with without delay.

548.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the circumstances under which his Department allowed an overpayment of £2,625.25 by way of an old age pension to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick to occur.

It was decided by an appeals officer that the person concerned was not entitled to any pension from 25 March 1982 to 30 June 1983 as his means exceeded the statutory limits for payment of pension and that he was entitled to a pension of £2.60 a week from 1 July 1983, which increased to £5.30 from 6 July 1984.

The resulting overpayment of £2,625.25 arose because the person concerned failed to disclose his full means at the original investigation of his claim. A subsequent review of his entitlement brought to light undisclosed income from the letting of land. Payment of pension due is being withheld until the amount overpaid is recovered.

549.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a non-contributory old age pension book will be returned to an old age pensioner (details supplied) in County Wexford in view of the fact that there has been no change in her income circumstances.

Following a review of the old age pension entitlements of the person concerned it was found that there had been an increase in her means. Accordingly it was decided on 25 October 1984 that she is entitled to old age pension at the reduced weekly rate of £39.30 from 12 October 1984. This is the rate of pension to which she is entitled having regard to the assessment of her means, consisting of half the weekly value of her husband's pension. The appropriate pension book has been issued.

550.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an old age pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cavan.

The person concerned was awarded an old age pension at the weekly rate of £6.50 from 27 July 1984 which includes a living alone allowance of £3.20. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means, consisting of the weekly value of a British retirement pension.

He was in receipt of an Irish retirement pension at a lower rate and as both payments are not made concurrently, his retirement pension book had to be recalled before payment of old age pension could be made. The appropriate old age pension book payable from 5 October 1984 issued on 30 October 1984 and all arrears due for the period 27 July 1984 to 4 October 1984, less the amount paid on retirement pension for the same period, will issue shortly.

551.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that by failing to furnish particulars of his home circumstances he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit. He appealed against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance claim and the appeals officer requested further information. The additional inquiries were recently completed and the case has been returned to the appeals officer. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

552.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan will receive deserted wife's allowance.

The claim of the person concerned to a deserted wife's payment is at present under investigation by a local officer of the Department. When inquiries are completed a decision will be given and the claimant will be notified of the outcome. In the meantime she is in receipt of unemployment assistance from the Department.

553.

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

The person concerned was assessed with means of £17.75 weekly derived from the value of board and lodging in his parents home. He is at present in receipt of £14 weekly being the appropriate rate £31.75 less means £17.75. He recently appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and his case is being referred to an appeals officer for determination of his means. His rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officers decision.

554.

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

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £14 weekly being the appropriate rate £31.75 less means £17.75. His means are derived from the value of board and lodging in his parents home. He recently appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and his case is at present with an appeals officer for determination. His rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officers decision.

555.

(Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made on an application for an increase in unemployment assistance in respect of an extra dependant for a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

The person concerned is an applicant for unemployment assistance and he is at present in receipt of weekly payments at £29.95 being the maximum personal rate appropriate to him as a married man living apart from his wife. He applied for an increase in respect of a relative of his under the age of 18 years, but his application was disallowed on the grounds that the child is regarded as normally residing with his father and accordingly his relative is not a qualified child and no increase in unemployment assistance is payable in respect of him.

556.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will be awarded continued payments of disability benefit; and, if payment of disabled person's maintenance allowance will be substituted.

The person concerned was paid disability benefit from 30 September 1983, the fourth day of incapacity, to 27 September 1984, based on his insurance record in the 1981-1982 contribution year. From 28 September 1984 his entitlement to benefit depends on his 1982-1983 insurance record and a delay occurred in the issue of benefit while his record for that year was being investigated.

It has now been ascertained, however, that he is qualified for continued payment based on his 1982-1983 contribution record. All disability benefit payable to 22 October 1984, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance advanced has been issued to him.

557.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reasons unemployment assistance of circa £60 per week, which was payable to a person (details supplied) in County Galway, until 16 May 1984, was discontinued thereafter; the reason the result of an appeal lodged in May last has not been made known to the applicant; if he and his staff are aware of the serious financial position of the applicant and of his family responsibilities; if he will now direct his Department to ensure that the unemployment assistance will be payable immediately as heretofore; the dates on which the relevant payments will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed from 16 May 1984 on the grounds that by failing to fully disclose his means from self-employment he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit.

He appealed against the disallowance of his claim in May 1984 and his case was referred again to a social welfare officer to afford him a further opportunity to co-operate in the investigation and to disclose his means. The case, with the report of the social welfare officer was then referred to an appeals officer for determination. The appeals officer however required further information about the applicant's circumstances and the case was again referred to the social welfare officer for inquiries. When these inquiries are completed his case will be returned to the appeals officer for determination and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be decided in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

558.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in the payment of disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned had been in receipt of disability benefit from 21 October 1983 and payments were issued regularly on receipt of medical certification up to 12 May 1984 when he changed for quoting his RSI number on his certificates to a substitute number which had been allocated to him in a different context some time previously. As no connection had been established between the two numbers no further payments were issued as the record held under the substitute number was inadequate for the purposes of establishing title to benefit.

The matter has now been rectified and arrears of benefit payable less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance by the health board has been issued to him. He has been requested to quote his correct RSI Number on all correspondence.

559.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason payment of unemployment assistance has been discontinued in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick.

The person concerned was paid unemployment assistance from 13 June 1984 to 25 September 1984. Her entitlement to unemployment assistance from 26 September 1984 cannot be determined until inquiries have been made to establish that she fulfils the condition of being available for work. When the inquiries are completed, her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the outcome.

560.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a death grant in respect of her husband will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

A claim for death grant was received from the person concerned on 1 October 1984 and payment was issued on 25 October 1984.

561.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment assistance was reduced in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.

The claim of the person concerned was reviewed on 12 September 1984 and he was assessed with means of £39 derived from the benefit of his wife's earnings. He is accordingly in receipt of £20.40 weekly, the appropriate rate £59.40 less means of £39. He recently appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and arrangements are being made to have his case referred to an appeals officer for determination of his means. His rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

562.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit was reduced in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.

The person concerned was paid disability benefit from 5 October 1982 to 5 October 1984. From 6 October 1984 his entitlement to disability benefit depended on his 1982-83 insurance record and a delay occurred while this record was being checked.

Payment at the appropriate full rate, £96.55 a week, has now been resumed and all disability benefit payable to 22 October 1984, the date of the latest medical certificate received, has been issued. A cheque for £64.40 issued on 11 October 1984 was in payment for four days only, from 2 to 5 October 1984, and may have led the claimant to believe that he was being paid at a reduced weekly rate.

563.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Carlow.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that by failing to furnish particulars of his means he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit. He appealed and the case has been returned to the social welfare officer to afford him a further opportunity to co-operate. The officer's inquiries are not yet completed and when they are, the case will be referred to an appeals officer for determination and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be decided accordingly.

564.

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

The person concerned has been paid disability benefit from 13 September 1984 to 24 October 1984, the date of the latest medical certificate received, at the rate applicable to a married man with three dependent children, less deductions in respect of supplementary welfare allowance advanced.

565.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position regarding the unemployment assistance appeal lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned applied to have his means re-investigated. He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £59.10 weekly the appropriate rate £62.95 less means £3.85. His claim was reviewed on 26 October 1984 and he was assessed with means of £7.65 weekly derived from the profit from his holding, effective from 2 November 1984. Accordingly, the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him from 2 November 1984 will be reduced to £55.30 weekly the appropriate rate £62.95 less means £7.65. Payments of £55.30 weekly will continue to be made thereafter as they become due.

566.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position regarding the unemployment assistance appeal lodged by a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

An appeals officer reduced the assessment of the means of the person concerned from £14 weekly to £9.20 weekly. He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at £70.30 weekly being the appropriate rate £79.50 less £9.20 means. All adjusting arrears of unemployment assistance due were paid to him on 16 October 1984. Payments of unemployment assistance at £70.30 weekly continue to be made to him as they become due.

567.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment assistance at the maximum rate has not yet been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned was assessed with means at £7.65 weekly derived from beneficial occupation of his mother's holding. He is accordingly in receipt of unemployment assistance at £44.05 weekly being the maximum rate appropriate to him £51.70 less £7.65 means. He expressed dissatisfaction with the amount of means assessed against him and he was supplied with an appeal application form on 17 May 1984 to enable him to appeal against the decision in his case. He did not however return this form until 26 October 1984. His case was recently referred to an appeals officer for determination and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

568.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position regarding the application for unemployment benefit at the maximum rate from a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

569.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the outstanding amount of unemployment benefit due to a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be paid.

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 568 and 569 together.

The person concerned who is a postal applicant claimed unemployment benefit from 10 September 1984 to 29 September 1984. He satisfied the contribution condition for payment at the maximum rate payable to a married man with one qualified child at £70.25 weekly. No unemployment benefit was payable to him during the three day waiting period from 10 September 1984 to 12 September 1984. All unemployment benefit due from 13 September 1984 to 29 September 1984 inclusive was paid to him as payments became due.

He again claimed unemployment benefit from 22 October 1984 and a payable order will issue to him for encashment at his local post office this week paying all benefit due from that date. Further payments will be made as they become due. His entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit will be determined as soon as current inquiries to establish his average weekly earnings have been completed.

570.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if, when assessing small farmers for unemployment assistance, he will take into account capital repayments as well as interest repayments.

In the calculation of means for unemployment assistance purposes in the case of smallholders allowance is made for all expenses incurred in connection with the running of the farm. Where capital expenditure is incurred in connection with the normal running of the farm as, for example, in the purchase of machinery, the interest repayments arising from this would be allowed as an expense. Repayments of capital would not be allowed but annual depreciation of the capital asset would be allowable. It is considered that the method of assessment where capital expenditure is incurred is reasonable and there are no plans to alter the method of assessment in these cases.

571.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who is signing for the past six weeks.

The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 14 September 1984. His claim was referred to a social welfare officer for inquiries into his means. Extensive inquiries are necessary, and it is expected that they will be completed within the next two weeks. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be decided in the light of the amount of means assessed against him.

572.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry in view of the fact that the overpayment in this case has been recouped from payments of unemployment assistance and disability benefit due to him.

The person concerned was convicted of charges brought against him under the Social Welfare Acts at a District Court on 14 June 1984 and he is accordingly disqualified for receipt of unemployment assistance for six months from 15 June 1984. The amount of the overpayment assessed against him was £584.38 of which the amount of £270 has been recovered by deduction of unemployment assistance and disability benefit due leaving a balance of £314.38 still outstanding.

573.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position with regard to an appeal against the decision to discontinue unemployment assistance payments in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned was assessed with means exceeding the statutory limit on 21 October 1983. His means were derived from the profit from his holding. He appealed against the decision and an appeals officer also assessed him with means exceeding the statutory limit. His case was reviewed recently and following a re-investigation of his case a deciding officer again assessed him with means exceeding the statutory limit on 25 October 1984. His claim to unemployment assistance was disallowed and he has been notified accordingly.

574.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position with regard to an appeal against the decision to cancel unemployment assistance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned did not appeal against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance claim from 19 October 1983. He did however on 5 January 1984 apply to have his means reviewed and following the completion of investigations his claim was again disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from land exceeded the statutory limit. He again requested a further review in August 1984 and his case was referred to the social welfare officer for reinvestigation. When the investigations are completed his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed accordingly.

575.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when arrears of unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Following the completion of inquiries the contribution record of the person concerned was recently established and his claim for unemployment benefit with pay-related benefit has been allowed. He is a postal applicant and arrangements are being made to pay all arrears of benefit due, by way of a paying order issued to him this week for encashment at his local post office. Further combined payments at £33.44 weekly representing flat rate unemployment benefit £30.90 and pay-related benefit £2.54 will be made to him as they become due.

576.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a pension at the maximum rate will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

It was decided by an appeals officer on 24 October 1984 that the person concerned is entitled to an old age pension at the weekly rate of £34.60 from 25 April 1984 which increased to £37.30 from 6 July 1984. This is the rate of pension to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means consisting of half the weekly value of a holding.

577.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when back payment of invalidity pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

A payable order for the amount due will be issued to the person concerned on 31 October 1984.

578.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

The person concerned was an applicant for unemployment benefit and all flat rate benefit at the maximum rate £37.25 to which he was entitled was paid to him as weekly payments became due.

It is presumed that the Deputy's question was intended to refer to the entitlement of the applicant to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit. His entitlement to pay-related benefit could not however be determined until inquiries to establish the amount of his reckonable earnings had been completed. These inquiries were recently completed and pay-related benefit was allowed at £17.66 weekly and all arrears due to him have been paid. He ceased to sign as unemployed after 16 October 1984.

579.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position with regard to a request from a person (details supplied) in County Galway to restore payment of full unemployment assistance.

The person concerned was assessed with means of £23.05 weekly derived from the value of board and lodging on his father-in-law's holding. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and an appeals officer also assessed means of £23.05 weekly against him on 23 October 1984.

He was in receipt of £36.35 weekly, the appropriate rate £59.40 less means £23.05, up to the 9 October 1984 when he ceased to sign at his local office.

580.

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

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from land exceeded the statutory limit.

He appealed and arising from contentions raised in the appeal the case was returned to the social welfare officer for further inquiries. These inquiries were recently completed and the case will be referred to an appeals officer for determination. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

581.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a pension has been reduced from £38.50 to £24.50 in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin and when this matter will be rectified.

The rate of widow's non-contributory pension payable to the person concerned was reduced to £24.50 per week following a reinvestigation of her means. This is the personal rate of pension payable to a person under 66 years whose weekly means exceed £20 but do not exceed £22. Her means derived from voluntary contributions and capital have been assessed at £20.76.

She has appealed against the decision and a social welfare officer has been requested to furnish an up-to-date report on her circumstances. When his report is received her case will be referred to an appeals officer for determination and she will be notified of his decision as soon as it becomes available.

582.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position with regard to a request from a person (details supplied) in County Galway to increase his unemployment assistance.

It has not been possible to trace receipt of a claim to unemployment assistance which refers to the person named in the details supplied. Further inquiries in the matter will be made if the Deputy will furnish additional information to enable the person concerned to be identified.

583.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position with regard to an application for unemployment assistance from a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The entitlement of the person concerned to unemployment assistance cannot be determined until investigations by the social welfare officer to enable her means to be assessed are completed. At the original investigation she failed to supply particulars of her father's holding in which she resides.

Her case was recently referred again to the social welfare officer to afford her a further opportunity of co-operating in the investigation of her case and disclosing details of her parents' holding. When inquiries are completed, her means will be assessed and her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly. She ceased signing as unemployed after 11 September 1984.

584.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will consider renewing the payment of disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in Cork, as his own doctor finds him not capable of returning to work.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 4 October 1983 and payment was issued to 9 September 1984.

Payment was disallowed from that date following an examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

He appealed against the disallowance and was examined by a different medical referee who found him to be incapable of work from that date.

Accordingly payment of benefit was restored from 9 September 1984 and all benefit payable, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance advanced, has been issued.

585.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason an unmarried mother's allowance was terminated in the case of a person (details supplied) in Cork, and if he will investigate the allegation she made that the social welfare officer said they had tried to contact her over a number of months but failed, as she states that this is incorrect.

Following a number of unsuccessful attempts to interview the person concerned in her home in order to confirm her continued entitlement to unmarried mother's allowance her renewal book payable from 4 October 1984 was withheld.

As a result of this the person concerned contacted the Department. She stated that she was out of the house quite a lot during the summer which would explain why she was not available for interview.

It has been arranged therefore that an officer will call again shortly to her address. On receipt of the report of his visit a decision will be made regarding the claimant's continued entitlement to the allowance and she will be notified of the outcome.

586.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will state regarding a person (details supplied) in Dublin who informed his Department of her change of address in January 1984, but due to a computer problem cheques continued to be sent to her former address, the reason that person is now being held liable for the overpayment involved; and if he will review this matter to ensure that the person is not being victimised or held responsible for a situation beyond her control.

The person concerned was living in England up to the end of January 1984 and payment was made to her there each week by cheque. When she returned to Ireland a pension order book was issued to her instead for encashment at her local post office but the weekly cheques also continued to be sent in error to her English address and were also cashed.

An officer of the Department will call upon the person concerned shortly to discuss suitable arrangements for refund of the double payment with her. The circumstances in which the overpayment took place and the circumstances of the person concerned will be taken into account in arriving at these arrangements.

587.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £37.25 being the appropriate rate £62.95 less means £25.70. Means were derived from benefit from his wife's earnings.

On 14 August 1984 he applied for a review of his means as his wife has ceased employment. Following the review, his means were assessed at £1.50 weekly derived from capital.

Arrangements are being made for the re-rating of his unemployment assistance claim at the weekly rate of £61.45 being the appropriate rate £62.95 less means £1.50.

Arrears due will issue to him this week. Weekly payments will continue to be made as they become due.

588.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford is entitled to any British social security payments in view of the fact that he has 33 years' contributions and is not entitled to any Irish welfare benefit or assistance.

There is no record in the Department of a claim to either disability benefit, unemployment benefit or any social assistance payment having been received from the person concerned in his own right. Under the EEC regulations on social security responsibility for a claim to benefit rests with the member state under whose legislation the claimant was last insurably employed. If the person concerned was last insurably employed in Great Britain any claim to benefit would fall to be dealt with by the Department of Health and Social Security, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. These regulations also provide that such a claim must, in the first instance, be made to the designated authority in the country of residence.

The wife of the person concerned is in receipt of unemployment benefit and is in receipt of an allowance in respect of her husband as an invalided person. It is possible, therefore, that the person concerned may have a title to sickness benefit in his own right on foot of his contributions in Great Britain. A claim form for this benefit has accordingly been issued to him and on return this form will, if appropriate, be passed to the Department of Health and Social Security for consideration.

589.

Mr. Coughlan

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when payment of disability benefit will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

There is no record in the Department of any claim to disability benefit by the person concerned. Her husband however claimed disability benefit from 14 September 1984.

He was not qualified for benefit at the commencement of his claim as according to the records of the Department he had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in 1982-83 the governing contribution year.

He was requested on 20 September 1984 to furnish details of his employment during that period and this information was received in the Department on 25 October 1984.

All benefit payable to 19 October 1984, the date of the latest medical certificate received, was issued to him on 25 October 1984.

590.

Mr. Coughlan

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

The entitlement of the person concerned cannot be determined until investigations by the social welfare officer to enable his means to be assessed are completed. Extensive inquiries are necessary and when these are completed the case will be referred to a deciding officer for determination and his entitlement to unemployment assistance decided accordingly.

591.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a non-contributory old age pension book which was recalled five weeks ago will be reissued to a person (details supplied) in County Offaly.

The old age pension books for the person concerned payable from 5 October 1984, did not issue to the local post office due to a clerical error which did not come to light until 23 October 1984. The appropriate pension books have now been issued to the person concerned.

Any inconvenience caused to the pensioner is regretted.

592.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry against the decision to discontinue payment of his unemployment assistance will be decided in view of the fact that it is now four months since he lodged the appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from profit from his holding and capital exceeded the statutory limit.

He appealed against the decision in July 1984 but arising from contentions made by him in support of his appeal his case was referred to a social welfare officer for additional inquiries. These inquiries were recently completed and the case was submitted to an appeals officer who also assessed him with means in excess of the statutory limit.

He was notified accordingly on 26 October 1984.

593.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when social welfare disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Payment of all disability benefit to the person concerned from 30 June 1984, fourth day of incapacity, to 9 October 1984, date of latest medical certificate received was issued on 26 October 1984.

There was a delay in issuing payment caused by an administrative error in completing his insurance record for 1982-83, the contribution year on which his entitlement to benefit depended.

594.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the fact that a person (details supplied) in County Cork was signing on for farmers' dole for a number of years has been taken into account with regard to his claim for a contributory old age pension which he was refused.

The claim by the person concerned to unemployment assistance was not taken into account in deciding his claim for a contributory old age pension. In view of the Deputy's question, the matter is being reviewed and a local officer of the Department will be in touch with him at an early date.

595.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the full rate of old age pension has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

The person concerned is in receipt of old age contributory pension since 17 October 1980. She is being paid the pension at the weekly rate appropriate to her yearly average number of contributions during the required period which, in her case, is from July 1963 to 5 April 1980. She had a total of 477 contributions during this 17 year period which is equal to a yearly average of 28. An average of at least 48 is required to qualify for the pension at the maximum rate.

596.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the full rate of unemployment assistance is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

A person in receipt of unemployment assistance who breaks his claim for more than 20 weeks cannot be regarded as being in a continuous period of unemployment. Accordingly when a person who is in receipt of unemployment assistance payable at a long term rate ceases to claim unemployment assistance for more than 20 weeks he commences a new period of unemployment on resuming his claim for unemployment assistance and he no longer qualifies for payment at the long term rate.

The person concerned was in receipt of unemployment assistance at the long term rate £66.90 weekly up to 14 April 1984 when he took up the enterprise allowance scheme from 16 April 1984. He again claimed unemployment assistance on 17 September 1984 and as he commenced a new period of unemployment his claim was allowed at the appropriate rate £68.15 weekly being the rate payable to a married man with two qualified children. All rates of unemployment assistance were increased from 7 July 1984 in accordance with budget increases.

Weekly payments continue to be made to him as they become due.

597.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to have a living alone allowance paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

The person concerned has been in receipt of retirement pension since 22 September 1977. There is no record of receipt of a claim for a living alone allowance from him.

The local social welfare officer has been asked to investigate his entitlement to a living alone allowance and a decision will be made when the officer's report is received.