Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

501.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reasons a family income supplement allowance has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway; the criteria used in assessing this application; if he will now direct his Department to grant this income supplement to this person; and if he will make a statement on the situation.

One of the conditions for receipt of family income supplement is that a person must normally be engaged in remunerative employment as an employee for not less than 30 hours a week. The person concerned does not satisfy that condition and his claim to family income supplement had to be disallowed. He was notified of the decision and of his right of appeal against it.

502.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be given a decision in his application for unemployment assistance, as his file went to the investigating officer on 7 November 1984.

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from the profit from his holding and from capital exceeded the rate payable to him.

He made a repeat claim on 1 November 1984 and his case has been referred to a social welfare officer for further inquiries. It is expected that these inquiries will be completed shortly and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the social welfare officer's report.

503.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be given a decision on his application under the family income supplement scheme.

There is no trace in the Department of an application for family income supplement from the person concerned. An application form for the supplement was issued to him on 25 January 1985 for completion. On return of the completed form a decision will be given in his case and he will be notified of the outcome.

504.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the basis of calculation of the benefit being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if any adjustment in the rate of payment is appropriate in this case, as claimed by this person.

The person concerned was paid at the appropriate weekly flat rate unemployment benefit of £88.35 and pay-related benefit of £0.60 until 27 September 1984 when he exhausted 156 days of benefit. He did not satisfy the contribution condition of having 280 contributions in a 7 year period and accordingly his weekly flat rate unemployment benefit was reduced to £76.50. He also entered the second phase of pay-related benefit on 28 September 1984 and pay-related benefit was reduced to £0.48 weekly.

He is at present in receipt of combined payment of £76.98 weekly, being flat rate unemployment benefit £76.50 and pay-related benefit £0.48 and there is accordingly, no adjustment in benefit rate due to him.

505.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Offaly who is signing at the unemployment exchange since September 1984.

The person concerned is a landholder and an applicant for unemployment benefit. He does not satisfy the contribution conditions of having 78 paid contributions in a three year period and his entitlement to unemployment benefit could not be determined until it was ascertained whether the income from his holding exceeded £2 daily. Inquiries were recently completed after which a deciding officer assessed him with an income from his holding in excess of £2 daily and disallowed his unemployment benefit claim. If he is dissatisfied with the decision in his case it is open to him to appeal and to have the matter determined by an appeals officer. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

506.

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

The unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that the means assessed against him, £36 weekly, derived from the value of board and lodging on his mother's holding, exceed the rate of unemployment assistance payable to him.

He appealed against the amount of means assessed against him and in the light of contentions made by him in support of his appeal, his case was referred to the local social welfare officer for further inquiries. These inquiries were recently completed and his case was referred to an appeals officer who will deal with it at the earliest opportunity. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

507.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the progress, if any, which has been made on the application of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny, under the family income supplement scheme.

No application for a family income supplement has been received from the person concerned. A claim form and explanatory leaflet were issued to him on 23 January 1985. When the completed application form has been returned a decision on his entitlement to a supplement will be made.

508.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be given on a claim for a widow's pension made by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny.

The claim of the person concerned to a widow's non-contributory pension was disallowed on 30 November 1984 because her means, assessed at £115.70 a week derived from a farm holding and some capital, exceeded the limit of £44 a week applicable to her as a widow without any qualified children.

Following receipt of your recent letter appealing on her behalf against the decision, a social welfare officer was asked for a further report on the claimant's financial circumstances. When this officer's report is received her case will be submitted to an appeals officer for determination and she will be notified of the outcome.

509.

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 person concerned who is at present in receipt of weekly payments of unemployment assistance at £9.40 applied for a review of his means and the case was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation. These inquiries were recently completed and the case papers are at present in postal transit to a deciding officer for a review of the assessment of his means. The rate of unemployment assistance payable to him will be determined in the light of the outcome.

510.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the present position and final outcome of an appeal by a person (details supplied) in County Galway against a decision to reduce his unemployment assistance.

In the light of contentions made by the person concerned in support of his appeal against the amount of means assessed against him his case was referred to a social welfare officer for further inquiries. These inquiries which were extensive have now been completed and his case has been 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. In the meantime weekly payments of unemployment assistance at £8.50 being the appropriate rate £31.75 less means £23.25 derived from the profit from his holding and from capital will continue to be made as they become due.

511.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the outcome of an appeal from a person (details supplied) in County Galway against a reduction in his old age pension; and if he will give full details of the means assessed against him.

It was decided on 15 November 1984 that the person concerned is entitled to an old age pension at the weekly rate of £33.30 from 16 November 1984. This is the rate to which he is entitled having regard to the assessment of his means at £13.94 weekly consisting of the weekly value of half share in profit from a shop (£13.27) and a sum in respect of capital (£0.67). There is no appeal on hands in relation to this case.

512.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway is only in receipt of £20 unemployment assistance; if he will give details of the means assessed against him in arriving at this figure; and if he will reinvestigate the case with a view to giving the person involved an increase in his assistance.

The person concerned is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £20.40 weekly being the appropriate rate payable to him £64.60 less means £44.20. His means are derived from benefit of his wife's earnings.

He recently applied for a review of his means and following reinvestigation by a social welfare officer his means were increased to £46.80 with effect from 30 January 1985. He will therefore be entitled to unemployment assistance at weekly rate of £17.80 being the appropriate rate £64.60 less means £46.80 derived from benefit of wife's income. Weekly payments will continue to be made as they fall due. If he is dissatisfied with the amount of means assessed against him it is open to him to appeal and to have his means determined by an appeals officer. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

513.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment benefit has been reduced from £51.20 to £33.40 in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Galway who is a 55 year old farmer who has two dependent children and whose total stock amounts to only nine cattle, four calves and three cows; and if he will order an immediate reinvestigation of his case with a view to restoring the assistance payable to £51.20.

The person concerned, who is an applicant for unemployment assistance, was assessed with means at £38.85 weekly, derived from the profit from his holding. He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at £33.40 being the appropriate rate £72.25 less £38.85 means. 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 officers decision.

514.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when social welfare assistance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned was in receipt of unemployment assistance at £1.50 weekly the appropriate rate £31.75 less means £30.25. His means are derived from the profit from his holding and from capital. He appealed against this decision and following a further investigation of his case by a social welfare officer an appeals officer on 6 December 1984 assessed him with means exceeding the statutory limit. Accordingly his claim to unemployment assistance has been disallowed from 23 January 1985.

515.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when social welfare assistance will be granted to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned applied for unemployment assistance on 7 January 1985 and his claim was referred to a social welfare officer for investigation of his means. When the inquiries are completed his means will be assessed and his entitlement to unemployment assistance will be determined accordingly.

516.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will give a breakdown of the number both male and female who failed to qualify for unemployment assistance having drawn unemployment benefit for the statutory periods, and have failed to qualify due to the means test, taking the total household income into account; and the number of people who have been rejected both in the employment offices in Mallow, Fermoy, Youghal, Midleton and Cobh and nationally.

Statistics are not maintained in a way which would enable the information requested by the Deputy to be furnished.

517.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will exempt redundancy payments from assessment of means for people on unemployment benefit who have been paid for the statutory period and are being assessed for unemployment assistance.

The unemployment assistance scheme is designed to cater for people who are in need and the amounts payable are calculated directly in relation to the claimants' financial circumstances. In calculating means for unemployment assistance purposes therefore any capital which the applicant may have is assessed. This includes any amounts arising from lump sum redundancy payments which the applicant may have at the time of the assessment. There are no plans to exempt any particular items from the assessment

518.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if an increased amount of unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Galway.

The person concerned applied for a review of his means on 27 August 1984 and the case was referred to a social welfare officer for reinvestigation. When the report was received by a deciding officer further information was required and it was necessary to return the case to the social welfare officer for additional inquiries.

These inquiries are not yet completed and when they are the case will be decided in the light of the social welfare officer's report. He is at present in receipt of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £54.10 being the appropriate rate £57.85 less means £3.75. Weekly payments continue to be made as they fall due.

519.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason receipts furnished by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry to his Department were never returned.

The receipts furnished by the person concerned in connection with the assessment of his means were associated with the papers of his case. Due to an oversight the return of the receipts to the applicant was overlooked but arrangements have now been made to return all such relevent documents to him this week.

520.

(Limerick West) asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason on oral hearing was not held in respect of an application from a person (details supplied) in County Limerick for unemployment assistance.

The person concerned did not specifically request an oral hearing of his case when he appealed against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance claim on the grounds that his means derived from the profit from land exceeded the statutory limit. The appeals officer determined the case summarily and also decided that his means exceeded the statutory limit and he was notified accordingly on 31 December 1984.

521.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be given a decision on his appeal against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance, as he is now awaiting a decision for the past six months.

The person concerned appealed on 19 October 1984 against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance claim. Arising from contentions raised in his appeal the case was referred to the social welfare officer for further inquiries. These inquiries were recently completed and the case has been referred to an appeals officer who will deal with it at the earliest opportunity. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed accordingly.

522.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork will be given a decision on his appeal against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance, as his appeal is gone to the appeals officer since 23 November 1984; and if it is referred to an oral hearing, the date on which the oral hearing will be heard.

The appeal of the person concerned against the disallowance of his unemployment assistance claim was referred to an appeals officer who has decided to grant him an oral hearing. The date on which the appeal will be heard has not yet been arranged but it will take place at the earliest opportunity. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the decision of the appeals officer.

523.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a claim for unemployment assistance by a person (details supplied) in County Cork was disallowed, as he had supplied the information requested by the social welfare officer; and how long he will have to wait before his appeal will be ruled on.

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 appealed against this decision and his claim is being referred to a social welfare officer who will give him another opportunity to cooperate in the investigation of his case. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the social welfare officer's report. He is at present in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance pending the outcome of his appeal.

524.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Cork, will be given a decision on his application for unemployment benefit as he applied in November 1984.

The entitlement to unemployment benefit from 9 November 1984 to 5 January 1985 of the person concerned cannot be determined until inquiries concerning the non-payment of contributions by his former employers during the contribution period 6 April 1982 to 5 April 1983 have been completed. In the interim, unemployment assistance was allowed at the weekly rate of £29.95 less means of £5.85 which were assessed against him. As he is a postal claimant an order for encashment at his local post office was issued to him on 23 January 1985 paying all unemployment assistance arrears for the period 9 November 1984 to 22 January 1985.

A new benefit year commenced on 7 January 1985 and it has now been established that he is entitled to minimum rate unemployment benefit of £33.35 weekly from that date. Arrangements have been made to issue an adjusting payment this week paying unemployment benefit arrears due from 7 January 1985 to 22 January 1985 less unemployment assistance already paid for this period and also including payment of unemployment benefit for the current week. Further payments of unemployment benefit will be made as they become due.

525.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive her outstanding disability benefit.

All disability benefit payable to 23 January 1985, the date of the latest medical certificate received, has now been issued.

526.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to review urgently the application of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry for a substantial increase in unemployment assistance, in view of the fact that it is his 1984 income, which was nil, that will be taken into account now when assessing his means for unemployment assistance for 1985; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned is currently in receipt of unemployment assistance at £20.15 weekly. This is the appropriate rate £68.15 less means of £48 which are derived from self-employment. He appealed against this decision and an appeals officer also assessed his means at £48. If the person considers that his circumstances have changed since his means were last assessed by the appeals officer it is open to him to have his case reviewed. A form for this purpose may be obtained at his local office.

527.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange to pay unemployment benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Cork.

Following the completion of inquiries to establish the entitlement of the person concerned to unemployment benefit her claim was allowed at the weekly rate of £33.35. Weekly payments of benefit commenced this week and when the amount of supplementary welfare allowance which she received pending a decision on her unemployment benefit claim is known, the balance of any arrears of unemployment benefit due, with effect from 17 December 1984 will be paid to her.

528.

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

One of the conditions for the receipt of a social assistance allowance by an unmarried mother is that the claimant and any other person must not be cohabiting as man and wife.

The deciding officer held that this condition was not satisfied by the person concerned and her entitlement to the allowance was terminated with effect from 24 January 1985. She has been notified of this decision and of her right to appeal within 21 days, if she is dissatisfied with it. In the meantime it is open to her to apply for unemployment assistance at the local exchange/office or for supplementary welfare allowance at the local health centre.

529.

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

A payable order for arrears of deserted wife's allowance for the period from 27 September 1984 to 12 December 1984, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance paid to her by the South-Eastern Health Board during that time was sent to the person concerned on 28 January 1985.

530.

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

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 24 December 1984. All benefit payable has been issued to 12 January 1985 the date of the latest medical certificate received.

531.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange another appeal case for a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath as there is now fresh evidence in relation to his entitlement to disability benefits.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 4 October 1984 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 he was examined on 4 December 1984 by a different medical referee who also considered him to be capable of work. Following the receipt of fresh medical evidence from the claimant arrangements are being made to have him examined again by a different medical referee. His entitlement to further payment of disability benefit will be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report following this examination.

532.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a disability allowance has not been issuing regularly to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he is aware that a sum of back money is also due for some time and that there is extreme hardship in this case as the claimant has 12 children.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 12 September 1984. Payment was issued from 15 September 1984, fourth day of incapacity and all benefit payable has been issued to 21 January 1985, the date of the latest medical certificate received. He applied for supplementary welfare allowance and a total of £50 was advanced to him by the Midland Health Board for the week ending 4 January 1985. This amount is being recovered by weekly deductions of £10 from his weekly disability benefit entitlement of £130.95. There are no arrears payable.

The person concerned was paid at a rate appropriate to ten child dependants up to 14 January 1985. However, the eldest child attained the age of 18 years on 6 October 1984 and consequently there is an overpayment of £93.89. This will be recovered by weekly deductions from benefit when the Health Board has been repaid. Special arrangements were made to issue disability benefit payments over the Christmas period which resulted in payment being issued to him in advance of medical evidence. Future payment of disability benefit will continue to be issued to the person concerned on receipt of weekly medical certificates.

533.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the current position regarding disability payments to a person (details supplied) in County Westmeath.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 14 May 1984 following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

He appealed against the disallowance and was examined on 27 September 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. He will be notified of the time and place of the hearing as soon as the arrangements have been made.

534.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit has not been restored to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary as he is seriously ill and is totally unfit for work; and when this will be paid.

Payment of disability benefit to the person concerned was disallowed from 25 June 1984 following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work. He appealed against the disallowance and arrangements were made to have him examined on 11 October 1984 by a different medical referee but the claimant failed to attend.

A further examination was arranged on 14 December 1984 but again the claimant failed to attend. Arrangements are being made for a further medical referee examination. His entitlement to payment of disability benefit will be reviewed in the light of the medical referees report following this examination.

535.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a deserted wife's allowance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in Dublin who has been deserted since March 1983 and who applied in April 1984.

The appeal of the person concerned against the refusal of her claim to a deserted wife's payment has been referred to an appeals officer for determination. He considers that an oral hearing of the case is required and she will be notified of the date and venue of the hearing as soon as it is arranged.

536.

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

The person concerned was entitled to payment under the general maternity scheme for the 12 week period 16 July 1984 to 6 October 1984. She had however been paid unemployment benefit up to 22 August 1984 in this period. Maternity and unemployment benefit cannot be paid concurrently and she was therefore only due full maternity payments from 23 August to 6 October 1984 together with an adjustment for the period of the overlap. Maternity benefit was paid in full by way of cheques for £233.70 and £140.04 which were issued to her on 22 October 1984 and 23 October 1984 respectively.

537.

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

Following reinvestigation of the amount of means assessed against him the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned was disallowed on the grounds that his means derived from profit from his holding exceeded the statutory limit.

He appealed against the disallowance of his claim and arising from contentions raised in the appeal the case was returned to the social welfare officer for further inquiries. When the inquiries were completed the case was referred to an appeals officer for determination. The appeals officer also decided that his means exceeded the statutory limit and disallowed his unemployment assistance claim. He was notified accordingly.

538.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment and dental benefits will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who made an application eight months ago.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit intermittently during the period 16 April 1984 to 20 August 1984. She did not satisfy the contribution condition for entitlement to unemployment benefit on the basis of her Irish contribution record. However, under the provisions of EC Regulations her French contribution record was invoked for unemployment benefit purposes and as she satisfied the contribution condition her unemployment benefit claim was allowed and all arrears of flat rate benefit was paid to her on 4 January 1985. Inquiries to enable her entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit, to be determined, have not yet been completed.

Her claim to dental benefit was disallowed on the grounds that being an applicant over 23 years of age she did not satisfy the contribution condition of having at least 156 weeks of insurable employment in respect of which reckonable contributions were paid.

539.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary was only paid unemployment assistance to the amount of £63.20 per week from October 1982 to February 1984, as he is married and has three children; if these payments will be made retrospectively, the reason this man who is now on unemployment benefit and now has four children is only getting £88 per week; if these payments will be rectified and when; and the amount which will be paid.

The person concerned was paid unemployment benefit at the maximum rate appropriate to him from 10 July 1982 to 17 October 1983 when he exhausted his entitlement on the completion of 390 days of benefit.

He claimed unemployment assistance from 18 October 1983 and he was paid at the weekly rate of £64.35 being the maximum rate appropriate to him £73.60 less £9.25 means. He was engaged in intermittent employment and following 13 weeks of insurable employment he requalified for unemployment benefit with effect from 4 June 1984 at the weekly flat rate of £90.15 increasing to £96.55 from 5 July 1984 in addition to pay-related benefit at £5.81 weekly. He received 156 days of benefit on 5 December 1984 and following that date he was paid special reduced rate of flat rate unemployment benefit at £83.35 with pay-related benefit at £4.65 pending inquiries to establish whether he satisfied the contribution condition of having 280 paid contributions in a seven year period to enable payments of unemployment benefit to be continued at the maximum rate.

Following the recent completion of inquiries it was established that he satisfied the contribution condition for continuous payment at the maximum flat rate of unemployment benefit with effect from 6 December 1984. He is accordingly entitled to weekly payments of £101.20 being £96.55 unemployment benefit with £4.65 pay-related benefit. Arrangements have been made to pay adjusting arrears of £90.20, in addition to the normal weekly payment, on 31 January 1985 and further weekly payments will continue as they become due.

540.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a disablement benefit originally assessed at 30 per cent has now been cut back to 10 per cent for a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary as he has an inoperable central prolapsed divertible disc which is not amenable to surgical treatment; and when he will be reassessed for future disablement benefit.

541.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a medical referee has deemed a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary as fit for work as he is still under consultant care and is still very severely disabled and has been certified by his own doctor as being unfit for work; when these payments will be resumed, and if payments will be made retrospectively.

It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 540 and 541 together.

The person concerned was awarded disablement benefit from 5 August 1983 in respect of an accident at work on 1 February 1983. Following an examination by a medical referee on 26 November 1984 who expressed the opinion that he was disabled to the extent of 5 per cent the assessment of disablement was reduced from 10 per cent to 5 per cent for a period of 12 months. The claimant was notified accordingly on 4 January 1985 when he was also issued a cheque for £168.90 in respect of the period from 16 December 1984 to 15 December 1985.

A medical report regarding his condition has since been received and a further medical referee examination has been arranged for 11 February. The assessment of disablement will be reviewed in the light of the result of the examination. All disability benefit payable from 24 November 1984, the fourth day of incapacity, to 21 January 1985, the date of the latest medical certificate received, less the amount of supplementary welfare allowance advanced, has been issued.