Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

440.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the means that were assessed against a person (details supplied) in County Kerry in view of the fact that he was granted only £5.60 per week in unemployment assistance and that he cannot afford to pay £20 per week towards his maintenance.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £5.60 the appropriate rate £29.95 less means of £24.35. His means were derived from the value of board and lodgings in his father's home. He appealed against this decision on 23 January 1985 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 appeals officer's decision.

441.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if approval can now be given for the deserted wife's benefit application of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 24 having regard to the urgent need of the applicant.

The claim of the person concerned to a deserted wife's payment, received on 11 December 1984, is at present with a local officer of the Department for investigation. He will be calling on her shortly. When inquiries are completed and a report on the case received, a decision will be given and the claimant will be notified.

442.

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

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £44.20 the appropriate rate £117.20 less means £73. His means are derived from the beneficial occupation of his uncle's holding. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and 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.

443.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a free fuel allowance was refused to a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon who is in receipt of an invalidity pension.

It is understood from the Western Health Board, which administers the national fuel scheme in County Roscommon, that the application by the person concerned for an allowance under the national fuel scheme has been disallowed on the ground that he is not living alone or only with certain specified persons as required under the conditions of the scheme. It is understood that he lives with a son who is gainfully employed.

444.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork is not receiving pay-related benefit.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 22 October 1984 and all benefit payable has been issued to 14 January 1985 the date of the latest medical certificate received. He is not entitled to pay-related benefit as the amount of disability benefit payable in his case exceeds 75 per cent of his average reckonable weekly earnings in the 1982-83 tax year which governs his claim.

445.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reasons for the non payment of social welfare disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Laois; if he is aware that this man who has a number of unemployed members of his family is only receiving £58 per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 7 October 1983 and payment was issued to 8 October 1984 based on his contributions record in the 1981-82 contribution year. He was not entitled to payment of benefit from 9 October 1984 as according to the records of the Department he had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in the 1982-83 contribution year which governed his claim from that date.

He has 45 credited contributions in the 1983-84 contribution year which governs his claim from 7 January 1985 and accordingly he is requalified for payment of benefit from that date. Payment was not issued however as he has not submitted medical evidence of incapacity for work since 28 December 1984. He is currently in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance from the Midland Health Board. If he has been incapable of work since 7 January 1985 he should forward medical certificates to the Department where his claim will be dealt with without delay.

446.

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

The person concerned is a postal applicant for unemployment assistance. No certificate of unemployment was received from him in respect of the week which ended on 1 January 1985 and consequently no payment was issued to him. However, he got in touch with his local office and following the making of inquiries it was established that he remained unemployed and that the certificate of unemployment went astray in transit and was not received at the local office. The matter has now been rectified and arrears of unemployment assistance due were issued to him on 17 January 1985 and further weekly payments are being made as they become due.

447.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the full rate of non-contributory old age pension is not being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork as he is unemployed, has no other income or capital.

It has been decided by an appeals officer that the person concerned is entitled to an old age pension at the weekly rate of £16.50 from 6 July 1984 which includes a living alone allowance of £3.20. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the last assessment of his means, consisting of the weekly value of capital and income from self employment.

In the light of the information provided, the Deputy's representations have been accepted as a claim to increased old age pension on his behalf. The case is being referred to the social welfare officer for investigation. When the inquiries are completed a decision will be made and the pensioner will be notified of the outcome in due course.

448.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will expedite a claim for disability benefit payments from 13 November 1983 to September 1984, for a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 3 November 1983 following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work. He appealed against the disallowance and in connection with his appeal arrangements were made to have him examined by a different medical referee on 21 December 1983 who also considered him to be capable of work.

His case was referred to an appeals officer for determination. The appeals officer decided that the claimant was not incapable of work during the period 3 November 1983 to 5 April 1984 (the date of the latest medical certificate before him) and is not entitled to be paid benefit in respect of that period. The claimant continued to submit medical evidence of incapacity and he was again examined by a medical referee on 3 September 1984 who also considered him to be capable of work. His case was then referred to an appeals officer who decided that the claimant was not incapable of work during the period from 6 April 1984 to 6 September 1984 (after which date he was certified as fit to resume work) and is not entitled to be paid disability benefit for that period.

449.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a living alone allowance has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

The living alone allowance application on behalf of the person concerned has been referred to the social welfare officer for investigation. It is expected that the inquiries will be completed shortly. A decision will then be given and the pensioner will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible.

450.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will expedite an appeal for an increase in unemployment assistance on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

The appeal of the person concerned was referred to an appeals officer for determination of his means. The appeals officer has requested further information on the matter, and it has been referred to a social welfare officer for further inquiries.

When these inquiries are completed his case will again be referred to an appeals officer for decision and his rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision.

In the meantime weekly payments of unemployment assistance at £38.45 being the maximum rate appropriate to him £54.80 less £16.35 means continue to be made to him as they become due.

451.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will expedite an appeal for unemployment assistance on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

The person concerned recently appealed against the amount of means assessed against him on 14 December 1984 and the case was referred to an appeals officer for determination. The appeals officer will deal with the case at the earliest opportunity and his claim will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

In the meantime payments of unemployment assistance at £18.65 weekly being the appropriate rate £54.80 less £36.15 means, continue to be made as they become due.

452.

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

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from the value of board and lodging on his brother's holding and from the value of capital, exceeded the rate payable to him. He appealed against this decision and an appeals officer on 17 October 1984 also assessed him with means exceeding the rate payable to him.

He has however been supplied with an application form to apply for a reinvestigation of his means. When he completes and returns the form his case will be referred to a social welfare officer after which the assessment of his means in respect of the period following the decision of the appeals officer will be reviewed and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly.

453.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit for the period from 1 September 1984 to 15 October 1984, will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

During the period 3 June 1981 to 7 July 1981 the person concerned concurrently claimed unemployment benefit and disability benefit. When he resumed claiming unemployment benefit the arrears due to him in respect of the period 13 September 1984 to 13 October 1984 were held awaiting the completion of inquiries to clarify the amount of benefit overpaid to him by reason of his concurrent claiming in the year 1981.

Following the recent completion of the inquiries an amount of £102 was withheld against the amount overpaid to him leaving a balance of £65.63 due to the applicant. Arrangements have been made to pay him this amount this week.

454.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when arrears of an old age pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; and if an increased rate of pension will be awarded to this person.

455.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason an old age pensioner (details supplied) in County Galway has only received £26 pension; and if he will have this application reconsidered with a view to granting the full amount of old age pension to this person.

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 454 and 455 together.

It has been decided that the person concerned is entitled to old age pension at the weekly rate of £38.05, including £12.75 adult dependent allowance, from 26 October 1984. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means consisting of half the weekly value of a holding in respect of which a deed of transfer has not been produced.

The appropriate pension book was issued on 20 December 1984 and a payable order in respect of arrears of pension due has now been issued. An appeal against the decision on his claim has been referred to an appeals officer for determination and the pensioner will be notified of the outcome in due course.

456.

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

The person concerned was paid disability benefit to which he was not entitled and the amount overpaid which now stands at just over £220 is being recovered by weekly, deductions of £5 from current unemployment assistance payments. He is accordingly being paid unemployment assistance at £26.75 being the maximum rate appropriate to him £31.75 less weekly deductions of £5.

457.

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

The person concerned is in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £30.10 being the appropriate rate payable £54.80 less means £23.70. A deduction of £1 weekly is being withheld to offset a previously assessed overpayment in his case.

On 5 November 1984 he reapplied for a review of his means and the case was referred to a social welfare officer for reinvestigation. Inquiries are still being made in the case and when they are completed the assessment of his means will be reviewed and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be determined accordingly.

458.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the maximum rate of unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford whose wife works on and off through the year and is not taking home a steady income.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £49.05 being the appropriate rate payable £101.45 less means £52.40 weekly derived from benefit from his wife's earnings.

He recently appealed and arising from contentions raised in his appeal the case has been returned to the social welfare officer for further inquiries regarding the number of weeks his wife was in employment. When these inquiries are completed his case will be referred to the appeals officer and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be reviewed in the light of his decision.

459.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made on an application for invalidity pension by a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who is very sick and will never work again.

The regulations provide that the claimant apart from satisfying the contribution conditions, must be regarded as permanently incapable of work in order to qualify for invalidity pension. To establish this, it will be necessary to have the person concerned examined by a medical referee of the Department.

The person was due to attend for an examination by a medical referee on 6 December 1984 but was unable to attend. Arrangements have been made to have him examined on 8 February 1985. The question of entitlement to invalidity pension will be considered after that examination. In the meantime he continues to receive disability benefit at the rate of £37.25 per week, the rate appropriate to a single man.

460.

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

The person concerned has not signed as unemployed at his local office and accordingly he has not proved unemployment for unemployment assistance purposes.

He did however apply for a qualification certificate to enable him to claim unemployment assistance. His case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation after which a deciding officer will assess his means in accordance with the provisions of the Social Welfare Acts and Regulations. His entitlement to unemployment assistance in respect of any claim which he may make in the future will be determined in the light of the amount of means assessed against him.

461.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when pay-related benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who applied for this benefit a year ago.

Entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat-rate unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that the weekly sum of pay-related benefit, flat-rate unemployment benefit and income tax rebate may not exceed 85 per cent of the net average weekly earnings of an applicant.

The 85 per cent limit applicable to the person concerned was £100.19 and as the flat-rate unemployment benefit payable from 16 January 1984 was £103.90 increased to £111.30 per week from 5 July 1984 pay-related benefit is not payable in this case.

462.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the maximum rate of unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford whose assistance has been reduced by £10 recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned is currently in receipt of unemployment assistance at £71.85 weekly the appropriate rate £81.85 less £10 means. His means are derived from self-employment as a bricklayer.

He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him on 10 January 1985 and arrangements are being made to have his means determined by an appeals officer.

His rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the appeals officer's decision and he will be informed of the outcome.

463.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan is not receiving unemployment benefit.

The person concerned is a landholder who claimed unemployment benefit during the periods 5 November 1984 to 1 December 1984 and 17 December 1984 to 5 January 1985. Inquiries had to be made to establish if he fulfilled the contribution conditions of having 78 paid contributions in a three year period. Pending the outcome of inquiries he was paid unemployment assistance of £7.70, being £75 less means of £67.30 which were assessed against him.

The inquiries were recently completed and it has been established that the person concerned does fulfil the contribution conditions for receipt of unemployment benefit from 5 November 1984 at the weekly rate of £88.35. Arrangements have been made to pay all arrears less the amount of unemployment assistance paid this week. The person ceased to prove unemployment from 6 January 1985.

464.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan was refused unemployment assistance.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that her means, derived from intestacy share of holding and benefit of board and lodgings on her mother's holding, exceeded the statutory limit.

She appealed against the disallowance of her claim, and her case was submitted to an appeals officer. The appeals officer required further information and the additional inquiries were recently completed. Her case was returned to the appeals officer and her entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of his decision.

465.

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

The entitlement to unemployment benefit of the person concerned could not be determined until inquiries had been made to establish that her employment during the relevant contribution period 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983 was insurable in a contribution class which provides cover against unemployment. The investigations were recently completed and it was established that she did not satisfy the contribution condition for unemployment benefit and her claim was disallowed. She was notified of this decision on 25 January 1985.

She claimed unemployment assistance pending the determination of her entitlement to unemployment benefit but her claim was disallowed on the grounds that the means assessed against her £36 weekly exceeded the maximum rate of unemployment assistance appropriate to her claim.

466.

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

A repeat claim to old age pension from the person concerned has been partially investigated, by the social welfare officer. It is expected that the inquiries will be completed shortly and the claim will be referred to a deciding officer for decision. The pensioner will be notified of the outcome in due course.

467.

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

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that by failing to furnish details of his means he failed to show that his means did not exceed the statutory limit. He did not appeal against this decision.

He made a repeat claim on 10 December 1984 and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation into his means. These inquiries were completed recently and arrangements are being made to have his means reviewed by a deciding officer. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the means assessed against him, and he will be informed of the outcome.

468.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will investigate a decision made in Cork which allows only £11.85 unemployment assistance per week to a person (details supplied) in County Cork for himself and his wife; and if he will ensure that this person gets his proper entitlements under the Social Welfare Acts until his appeal is heard.

The person concerned was entitled to unemployment assistance at £11.85 weekly the appropriate rate £56.45 less means £44.60. His means were derived from the benefit of his wife's earnings and from capital.

He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and following reinvestigation by a social welfare officer, a deciding officer in a revised decision reduced his means to £38.25 weekly derived from the benefit of his wife's earnings. He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £18.20 the appropriate rate £56.45 less means £38.25, effective from 26 December the day following that on which he exhausted his entitlement to unemployment benefit. He has been advised of his right to appeal against this decision.

All arrears due to him will be paid this week and weekly payments of £18.20 will continue to be made as they become due.

469.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be given on the application of a person (details supplied) in County Cork for deserted wife's allowance, who made the application over four months ago.

The claim of the person concerned to deserted wife's allowance/benefit was received on 9 November 1984. It is at present with a local officer of the Department for investigation and he expects to call on her within the next week of so. It may also be necessary to have her husband interviewed.

As soon as the reports of these interviews are received, a decision will be given in the case without delay and the claimant will be notified.

470.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork who has submitted five certificates to date.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 20 December 1984 and all benefit payable from 24 December 1984, the fourth day of incapacity to 16 January 1985, after which date she was certified fit to resume work, has been issued to her.

471.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reasons the full rate of PRSI was not allowed in unemployment benefits paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway over the past few months; if he will direct his Department to make proper and complete payments to this person immediately; the date on which all arrears and the proper weekly amount will be paid to this person; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned received the maximum rate of flat rate unemployment benefit to which he was entitled during two periods of unemployment from 8 October 1984 to 23 October 1984 and from 5 November 1984 to 1 December 1984 after which he ceased to sign as unemployed.

His entitlement to pay-related benefit with his flat rate unemployment benefit from 9 November 1984 to 1 December 1984 was calculated at £3.15 weekly. It was subsequently ascertained that he had additional reckonable earnings during the relevant income tax period and the rate of pay-related benefit payable was increased to £14.61. A paying order for encashment at his local post office in respect of adjusting arrears of pay-related benefit amounting to £45.56 issued to him on 25 January 1985.

472.

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

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 29 November 1984 and was paid unemployment benefit at the appropriate flat rate of £37.25 weekly from that date.

Inquiries had to be made to ascertain his earnings up to the date of his claim for the purpose of calculating the rate of pay-related benefit payable. These inquiries were recently completed and pay-related benefit at the appropriate weekly rate of £12.11 has been allowed in his case. The person concerned is a postal applicant and arrangements have been made to issue a payable order this week for encashment at his local post office paying all arrears of pay-related benefit due. Further combined weekly payments of £49.36 will continue to be made as they become due.

473.

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

Entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that the weekly sum of pay-related benefit, flat rate unemployment benefit and income tax rebate may not exceed 85 per cent of the net average weekly earnings of a claimant. Inquiries had to be made to establish the person's earnings in the current income tax period, in order to ascertain whether he satisfied the 85 per cent limitation applicable to his case. These inquiries have now been completed and his entitlement to pay-related benefit has been determined at £15.85 weekly. Arrangements have been made to pay all arrears due next week. Further combined payments at £53.10, being flat rate unemployment benefit £37.25 and pay-related benefit £15.85 will be made as they become due.

474.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick in view of the fact that he submitted 48 certificates between July 1983 and June 1984.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 25 July 1983 following examination by a medical referee who considered him to be capable of work. He appealed against the disallowance and he was examined on 1 November 1983 by a different medical referee who also considered him to be capable of work.

A form of appeal which should be completed by the claimant if he wished his case to be referred to an appeals officer was sent on 4 November 1983. Four further forms were issued from the Department but a reply was not received. The claimant continued to submit medical certificates and he was examined on 5 June 1984 by a medical referee who considered him to be capable of work.

He appealed against this decision and he again was examined on 13 August 1984 by a different medical referee who also considered him to be capable of work. His case has been referred to an appeals officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing as soon as possible. The claimant will be notified of the time and place of the hearing when the arrangements have been made.

475.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit was refused to a person (details supplied) in County Limerick who was out sick from 15 August 1984, to 23 October 1984 and who started work in 1982.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 15 August 1984 but was not qualified for payment as she had less than the required minimum of 26 contributions recorded for the 1982-83 year on which her entitlement to payment was based. She was requested, on 29 August 1984, to supply details of her employment record for 1982-83 but failed to do so.

It has now been confirmed that she first entered insurable employment on 10 November 1982 and pre-entry credits have been awarded which qualify her for payment. All benefit payable to 10 October 1984, date of the latest medical certificate received has been issued.

476.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry cannot get unemployment assistance at the maximum rate in view of the fact that he is 20 years of age and has no other means of income; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned was assessed with means of £15.85 derived from the value of sheep farming and from the value of board and lodging in his father's home. He did not appeal against this decision. His case was recently referred to a social welfare officer for reinvestigation of his means and it is expected that these inquiries will be completed shortly. The assessment of his means will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of the investigations and the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be determined accordingly.

477.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will expedite the appeal for unemployment assistance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Roscommon.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £38.60 weekly the appropriate rate £81.85 less means £43.25. His means are derived from the profit from his holding and from cattle dealing. He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and an appeals officer on 21 August 1984 also assessed him with means of £43.25 weekly. He has been informed accordingly. If he considers that his circumstances have changed since his means were assessed by the appeals officer it is open to him to apply for a further investigation of his case. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

478.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in providing an oral hearing for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who is now four months waiting for his disability benefit appeal; and when the appeal will be heard.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 15 October 1984, following examination by a medical referee who considered him to be capable of work. He appealed against the disallowance and in connection with his appeal arrangements have been made to have him examined by a different medical referee on 6 February 1985. His entitlement to further payment of disability benefit will be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report following this examination. The delay in dealing with the claimant's appeal was due to an administrative error.

479.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the delay in the payment of unemployment assistance to a person (details supplied) in County Laois who has been signing since October 1984.

Entitlement to unemployment assistance is subject to the condition that an applicant be available for work and to fulfil this condition an applicant must be capable of, available for and genuinely seeking work. The person concerned applied for unemployment assistance from 19 October 1984 but his claim was disallowed on the grounds that he was not available for employment. Full details of the case are not at hand as the papers are in postal transit between the local office and the Department's headquarters. When they are to hand, the Deputy will be written to with further details of the case.

480.

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

A payable order for the arrears in question for the period from 19 October 1984 to 13 December 1984, amounting to £211.10, was sent to the person concerned on 16 January 1985. The actual amount of arrears due to her was £495.90 but a deduction of £284.80 was made in respect of supplementary welfare allowance which the South Eastern Health Board paid to her during the period.

481.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will be paid any maternity benefit or allowance in view of her contribution record and the hardship of her circumstances.

The person concerned claimed maternity benefit in respect of a confinement expected on 20 March 1985. In order to qualify she would have required 26 contributions paid or credited in the 1983-84 year. As she has no contributions in this year, she is not entitled to maternity benefit. She might, however, qualify for some assistance from her local health board. Any query in this regard should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, South Eastern Health Board, Lacken, Dublin Road, Kilkenny.

482.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford is receiving the correct rate of pay-related benefit.

Pay-related benefit is calculated on the basis of average reckonable weekly earnings in excess of £43 during the relevant income-tax year.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit on 1 October 1984. The relevant income tax year in his case was the period 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983 and his average reckonable weekly earnings during this period were £87.14. Accordingly his weekly entitlement to pay-related was £11.04, being 25 per cent of the difference between £87.14 and £43. He is in receipt of combined payments of £48.29 weekly, comprised of £37.25 flat rate unemployment benefit and £11.04 pay-related benefit.

483.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the number of women who will benefit from the social welfare equalisation legislation; and the proportion of the estimated cost of equalisation which will be paid to women on unemployment benefit and disability benefit respectively.

It is estimated that about 46,000 married women will benefit under the measures proposed in the Social Welfare (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 1984. It is estimated that about 90 per cent of the benefit to women will arise under the unemployment and disability benefit schemes, divided in roughly equal proportions between the two.

484.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kerry is getting only £9.50 per week unemployment assistance in view of the fact that she has no other income; and if he has reports indicating that she has other means, if he will state what the other means are.

The person concerned was assessed with means of £20.60 weekly derived from the value of board and lodging on her father's holding. It is open to her to appeal against this decision if she is dissatisfied with the amount of means assessed against her. A form for this purpose can be obtained from her local office. She is at present in receipt of £9.35 weekly, being the appropriate rate £29.95 less means £20.60.

485.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a free electricity allowance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

It is understood from the ESB that an application for a free electricity allowance from the person concerned is on its way to the Department from the District ESB Office. When this application is received, her entitlement to an allowance will be considered and she will be notified of the outcome as soon as possible.

486.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny has received no decision on his claim for unemployment assistance; and the reason for the delay.

The entitlement of the person concerned to unemployment assistance cannot be determined until all inquiries which are at present being made by a social welfare officer about his means have been completed. It is expected, however, that the inquiries will be completed shortly after which his means will be assessed and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly.

487.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will grant unemployment assistance at the full rate to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry who is married with four children and has no other income or means other than £20 supplementary welfare allowance per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Following investigation of his unemployment assistance claim the means of the person concerned were assessed at £28.80 weekly derived from self-employment. He is therefore entitled to unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £40.85 being the appropriate rate payable £69.65 less means £28.80.

He appealed against the means assessment and arising from contentions raised in the appeal the case was returned to the social welfare officer for additional inquiries. These inquiries are not yet completed and when they are his case will be 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.

488.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for all cases of persons who were self-employed in 1983 and who were refused unemployment assistance or granted unemployment assistance at a reduced rate in 1984 and who are still registered as unemployed in 1985 to be specially reinvestigated urgently in view of the fact that they were not self-employed in 1984; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

A record is not maintained of persons formerly engaged in self-employment who are refused unemployment assistance or granted unemployment assistance at reduced rates because of means assessed against them. It is however open to any applicant to unemployment assistance to apply at any time for a reassessment of his means.

489.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when arrears of old age pension will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and when a free television licence will be granted to her.

A payable order covering arrears of pension due for the period 5 October 1984 to 17 January 1985 was issued on 25 January 1985. A free television licence (or a free electricity allowance) cannot be granted to the person concerned until her husband who resides with her reaches age 66 in May next. It will be open to her at that stage to apply for a free electricity allowance and if this is granted she will automatically qualify for a free television licence.

490.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment assistance has not yet been granted to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry, who has been signing for the past ten weeks; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit but as he did not satisfy the contribution conditions his claim was disallowed. His case has however been referred to a social welfare officer to investigate apparent non-payment of contributions in respect of employment and when these investigations are completed his entitlement to unemployment benefit will be reviewed in the light of the outcome. He was advised of his right to claim unemployment assistance pending the outcome of the inquiries about his unemployment benefit claim but he has declined to do so. He is at present in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance.

491.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a decision has yet been made on the application of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for unemployment benefit.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit and his claim was disallowed from 30 October 1984 to 6 December 1984 on the grounds that he lost his employment through circumstances within his own control. Payment of unemployment benefit at £88.35 was however allowed from 7 December 1984 and these payments are continuing as they become due. He appealed against the disallowance and attended an oral hearing of his case on 15 January 1985. His claim was allowed by an appeals officer and arrangements have been made to pay all arrears due this week.

492.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a claim for unemployment benefit by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny, which was made on 10 December 1984, has been processed.

When the person concerned made his claim for unemployment benefit on 11 December 1984 inquiries had to be made to ascertain the reason for the termination of his employment. These inquiries have been completed and his claim has been allowed at the weekly rate of £37.25, being the appropriate rate payable in his case. All arrears due have been paid and further weekly payments will be made as they become due.

493.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will reinvestigate immediately the claim of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow for disability benefit in view of the fact that the claimant is adamant that he has sufficient contributions to qualify for same.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 7 January 1985 but was not entitled to payment, as he had not the required minimum of 26 contributions paid or credited in 1983-84, the contribution year governing his claim.

It has since been established that the claimant had sufficient contributions in 1983-84 to qualify him for payment from January 1985. All disability benefit payable from 10 January 1985, fourth day of incapacity, to 22 January 1985, the date of the latest medical certificate received has been issued. The claimant indicated that he is married and he was issued with a claim form on 11 January 1985 but there is no trace of the completed form having been returned. A further claim form has been issued and on receipt of the completed form, his claim well be reviewed.

494.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for the payment of pay-related benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny to whom payment was discontinued in view of the fact that the income tax rebate due to him will not increase his income sufficiently to disqualify him for such benefit.

Entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that the weekly sum of pay-related benefit, flat rate unemployment benefit and income tax rebate may not exceed 85 per cent of the net average weekly earnings of a claimant. The person concerned is in receipt of £96.55 weekly flat rate unemployment benefit and he is entitled to income tax rebate of £124.05 weekly from 7 December 1984. The 85 per cent limit applicable to him is £197.03 and as the combined total of £220.60 flat rate unemployment benefit and income tax rebate exceeds the appropriate 85 per cent limit, pay-related benefit is not payable in his case.

495.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a reduced amount of unemployment assistance is being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if he will arrange to have his case reinvestigated with a view to having the full amount paid.

The person concerned made a repeat claim to unemployment assistance on 21 November 1984 and on the basis of an old qualification certificate he is being paid at £4.85 weekly the appropriate rate £29.95 less means £25.10. His claim has been reinvestigated by a social welfare officer and arrangements are being made to have his means re-assessed by a deciding officer when the inquiries have been completed. His rate of unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the means assessed against him.

496.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to have unemployment assistance paid to a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny who has no income whatsoever.

To be entitled to unemployment assistance an applicant must be the holder of a qualification certificate and to obtain a qualification certificate an applicant must fulfil certain conditions which include an assessment of his means. The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 27 December 1984 and his case was referred to a social welfare officer for reinvestigation of his means. When these investigations are completed his means will be assessed in accordance with the provisions of the Social Welfare Acts and Regulations and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly. In the meantime he is in receipt of weekly supplementary welfare allowance pending the outcome of his unemployment assistance application.

497.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to have the claim of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for unemployment assistance investigated and the full rate of assistance paid.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that the means assessed against him £46.40 weekly derived from capital and the value of board and lodging on his brother's holdings, exceeded the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him.

He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and an appeals officer reduced the assessment of his means to £20 weekly with effect from 3 May 1984. He is accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance at £11.75 (the appropriate rate £31.75 less means of £20) from 3 May 1984 and all arrears due were paid to him. Weekly payments at £11.75 continue to be made to him as they become due.

498.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when an appeal by a person (details supplied) in County Galway will be decided.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned 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.

He appealed against the disallowance of his claim and the case was returned to the social welfare officer to afford the applicant a further opportunity to cooperate. When inquiries are completed his case will be submitted to an appeals officer and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

499.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made on an appeal by a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

In the light of contentions made by the person concerned in support of his appeal, dated 10 July 1984, against the amount of means assessed against him, his case was referred to a social welfare officer for further inquiries. When these inquiries were completed his case was referred to an appeals officer. The appeals officer sought further information from the social welfare officer. When the social welfare officer's inquiries were completed the case was referred to an appeals officer for determination.

The appeals officer assessed his means at £7.70 weekly derived from beneficial occupation of a holding. He is therefore entitled to unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £22.25 being the appropriate rate payable £29.95 less means £7.70 and he was notified accordingly. Weekly payments are continuing to be made as they fall due.