Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

570.

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

One of the qualifying conditions for the receipt of deserted wife's allowance-benefit is that the claimant must be residing within the State. Following a review of her claim by a local officer of the Department the deciding officer held that this condition was no longer satisfied by the person concerned and consequently her allowance was terminated.

Information has recently come to hand that she has returned to this country and her case has been referred to the local officer for an up-to-date report on her means. When it is received, a decision will be given on the question of the amount of the allowance to which the claimant is now entitled and she will be notified of the decision without delay.

571.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an appeal will be heard in the case of a claim for unemployment assistance by a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.

The person concerned was assessed with means at £7.70 weekly derived from the profit from his holding. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and his case was referred to an appeals officer for determination. Pending the outcome of his appeal payment of unemployment assistance continued to be paid to him as weekly payments became due at the weekly rate of £24.05.

On 1 November 1984, an appeals officer reduced the amount of means assessed against him to £6.50 weekly effective from 22 August 1984. Accordingly he is now entitled to £25.25 weekly being the appropriate rate £31.75 less means £6.50. All arrears due to him will be paid next week and payments of £25.25 weekly will continue to be made as they become due.

572.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment assistance has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Mayo.

The person concerned failed to co-operate with a social welfare officer investigating his means and he refused to reveal the source of his capital which he used to purchase extra land. He was warned of the consequences of not disclosing full details of his means after which his unemployment assistance claim was disallowed on the grounds that by failing to disclose his means he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit.

If he is now willing to furnish full details of his means, it is open to him to notify his local office to this effect. His case would again be referred to a social welfare officer for investigation and his entitlement to unemployment assistance would be reviewed in the light of the means assessed against him.

573.

Mr. Coughlan

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position regarding an application for a free electricity allowance submitted by a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

There is no trace either in the Department or in the district ESB office of the receipt of an application for a free electricity allowance from the person concerned. In any event he is at present in receipt of disability benefit and as this is not a qualifying payment for the allowance, it could not be granted to him.

574.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Mayo is in receipt of the proper amount of old age pension.

It was decided on 11 September 1984 that the person concerned is entitled to a pension at the weekly rate of £32.65 from 3 August 1984 which includes an adult dependant allowance of £4.75 in respect of his wife and £18.60 dependent child allowance in respect of his two children. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means consisting of half the weekly value of income from a holding. The reduction in pension is due to the fact that his son Patrick is no longer a qualified child dependant for old age pension purposes. However, the pensioner has lodged an appeal against the decision and his case has been referred to an appeals officer for decision. The pensioner will be notified of the outcome in due course.

575.

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

A social welfare officer investigated the means of the person concerned and a report on the case was forwarded to a deciding officer at the headquarters of the Department for the assessment of his means. The case papers appear to have gone astray in postal transit as they have not been received at headquarters to date.

Arrangements have been made to have a duplicate report of the case furnished by the social welfare officer following which his means will be assessed and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly. In the meantime he is in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance claim.

576.

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

The person concerned was recently assessed with means at £23 weekly derived from self-employment as a carpenter. He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at £46.65 weekly being the appropriate rate £69.65 less means £23.

He was in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance claim and the amount due for recoupment to his local health board was recovered from arrears of unemployment assistance due to him. Weekly payments of unemployment assistance commenced on 1 November 1984 and further payments will be made as they become due.

577.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a non-contributory widow's pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

The person concerned has been awarded a widow's non-contributory pension at the maximum rate for herself and four children, with effect from 25 May 1984, the Friday following the receipt of her claim. Pension books with orders payable from 31 August 1984 were issued to the designated post office on 5 November 1984 for collection by the claimant and she has been notified accordingly. The arrears of pension for the period from 25 May 1984 to 30 August 1984 will be sent direct to her by payable order shortly.

One of the children reached 18 years on 4 October 1984 and in the absence of evidence to show that she is receiving full time education by day she ceased to be regarded as a qualified child from that date and the rate of pension was reduced accordingly. If this child is still in full time education, the appropriate form which has been sent to the person concerned should be certified by the school authorities and returned to the Department.

578.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit was not paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

The person concerned exhausted his entitlement to unemployment benefit on 13 August 1981. He was, however, in receipt of unemployment assistance from 14 August 1981 to 6 December 1983 after which his unemployment assistance claim was disallowed on the grounds that he failed to show, in the course of a reinvestigation of his case, that his means did not exceed the statutory limit. He appealed against the disallowance and he was subsequently assessed by an appeals officer with means of £55.40 weekly derived from fishing, with effect from 7 December 1983.

During the period 7 December 1983 to 6 March 1984 he was in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance claim and as the total amount of supplementary welfare allowance paid to him during the period exceeded the amount of unemployment assistance due there were no arrears of unemployment assistance payable to him. He re-applied for unemployment assistance from 20 April 1984 to 22 May 1984 after which he ceased to sign as unemployed and he was paid unemployment assistance at £13 weekly being the rate appropriate to him £68.40 less £55.40 means. He has accordingly been paid all unemployment assistance to which he was entitled.

579.

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

The person concerned does not satisfy the contribution condition for unemployment benefit as the class of contributions paid by him do not provide cover against unemployment and his claim was therefore disallowed. He appealed against the disallowance and an appeals officer also decided that the contributions paid by him were not appropriate to a class providing cover against unemployment. He was advised to apply for unemployment assistance but to date he has declined to do so.

580.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason after 11 years on medical certificates, there is now a problem in relation to the disability benefit of a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 3 September 1974 to 17 October 1981. Payment ceased after that date as no further medical evidence of incapacity was received in the Department.

He again claimed benefit on 7 June 1983 and was paid to 7 June 1984. From 8 June 1984 his claim is governed by the 1982-83 contribution year. He is not qualified for payment as he has no contributions paid or credited in that year. He has been requested to submit medical evidence for the period October 1981 to June 1983 but has not done so to date.

581.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will receive the arrears of unemployment assistance owed to him.

The person concerned was paid supplementary welfare allowance pending a decision on his entitlement to unemployment assistance during the period 6 September 1984 to 9 October 1984.

However the amount of supplementary welfare allowance which was advanced to him and is due to be recouped to his local health board exceeded the amount of unemployment assistance due to him and there are accordingly no arrears of unemployment assistance due to be paid to him. He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £31.75.

582.

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

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 20 September 1984. He is a landholder and inquiries had to be made to establish whether the profit from his holding exceeded £2 daily as he did not satisfy the contribution condition of 78 paid contributions in a three year period.

The inquiries have now been completed and his unemployment benefit claim has been authorised at £76.50 weekly and pay-related benefit at £7.52 weekly. He is a postal applicant and arrangements have been made to issue an order for encashment at his local post office paying all arrears due this week. Further payments will be made as they become due.

583.

Mr. Cowen

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

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 10 September 1984 but did not satisfy the contribution conditions and his claim was disallowed.

He then claimed unemployment assistance and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. These investigations have not yet been completed but when they are his means will be assessed and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly.

584.

Mr. Cowen

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

The person concerned claimed disability from 27 September 1983 and was paid to 17 July 1984. Payment was disallowed after that date following examination by a medical referee on 11 July 1984 who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

He appealed against the disallowance and was examined by a different medical referee on 12 September 1984 who found him incapable of work. There was a delay in restoring benefit from 18 July which was caused by an administrative error. However all benefit has now been issued to 2 October 1984, the date of the latest medical certificate received.

585.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will be reassessed for unemployment assistance payments with a view to awarding some level of payment.

The person concerned was assessed with means of £36 weekly derived from the value of board and lodgings on her brother's holding. She is accordingly not entitled to unemployment assistance as the amount of her means exceeds the maximum rate of unemployment assistance payable to her.

She appealed against the amount of means assessed against her on 30 October 1984 and arrangements are being made to have her means determined by an appeals officer. Her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.

586.

Mr. Coughlan

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be given to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal in respect of his appeal against his reduction in unemployment assistance payments.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £45.05 weekly, the appropriate rate £111.40 less means £66.35. His means are derived from the profit from his holding.

He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him. Arising out of contentions made by him in support of his appeal his case was referred to a social welfare officer for further inquiries. When these inquiries are completed, his case will be referred to an appeals officer for determination of his means and his rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.

587.

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

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 10 August 1984 to 5 October 1984, the date of the latest medical certificate received. He is not qualified for payment as according to the records of the Department he has not the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in 1982-1983, the contribution year governing his claim. He has nine contributions only in that year. Arrangements have been made for an officer of the Department to visit the claimant and on receipt of his report, entitlement to disability benefit will be reviewed.

588.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a prescribed relative allowance and all arrears due will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry.

The application of the person concerned to prescribed relative allowance has been referred to the social welfare officer for investigation. When inquiries have been completed the case will be decided on and the pensioner will be notified of the outcome.