Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

33.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he has any plans to increase the level of payment under the free fuel scheme.

Since the value of the fuel allowance was increased to its existing level of £5 in October 1985 there has in fact been a reduction of over 6 per cent in the value of the fuel and light component of the consumer price index. There are no plans at present for a further increase in the value of the allowance.

34.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if the disability benefit of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin can now be approved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 5 September 1986. Benefit was authorised from 9 September 1986, fourth day of incapacity at the weekly rate of £38.

Payment of disability benefit was issued on receipt of medical evidence to 5 February 1987 after which date her claim was closed because it came to light that her claim was proper to Germany where she last worked. Her claim was referred to the German authorities for payment. However, as there has been considerable delay by the German authorities in accepting the claim, this Department has restored payment pending a decision from Germany. All benefit payable in respect of her claim has been issued on receipt of medical evidence to 26 March 1987, the date of the latest medical certificate received.

35.

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

Entitlement to unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that a claimant must be available for and genuinely seeking work.

The person concerned claimed unemployment benefit from 18 February 1987 but his entitlement could not be determined until inquiries had been made to establish that he fulfilled this condition. These inquiries were recently completed and his claim has been disallowed by a deciding officer on the grounds that he is not genuinely seeking work. The claimant is being notified of this decision and of his right to appeal against it. A form on which to appeal may be obtained at his local office.

36.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason the invalidity pension of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny has been reduced.

The person concerned is in receipt of invalidity pension at the weekly rate of £67.10, that is £47.10 personal rate and a special temporary payment of £20.00 per week in respect of his wife.

The wife of the person concerned was in receipt of unemployment benefit to 21 March 1987 when she exhausted her entitlements to this benefit.

The person concerned has now applied for an increase in respect of her as adult dependant on his invalidity pension.

A form on which to claim this increase has been sent to the person concerned. On its return duly completed, an increase in respect of an adult dependant will be awarded from 26 March 1987, the Thursday after her entitlement to unemployment benefit ceased.

37.

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

Following reinvestigation of the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned he was assessed with means of £64.83 weekly, derived from the benefit of his wife's earnings and the value of capital.

He appealed against the means assessment on 9 March 1987 and his case has been submitted to an appeals officer for determination at the earliest available opportunity. His entitlement to unemployment assistance will be reviewed in the light of the outcome of the appeal.

Resulting from the implementation of the second phase of the EC directive on equal treatment for men and women in social welfare matters, as the wife of the person concerned is working and earning more than £50 a week he is no longer entitled to an adult dependant allowance in respect of her. The weekly means assessed in his case are therefore halved at £32.45.

His current entitlement is £31.65 a week which includes, on a transitional basis, the alleviation payments appropriate in his case, that is, £10 plus half the child dependant allowance in respect of two children.

38.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if persons (details supplied) in County Wexford who are both in receipt of social welfare payments are entitled to the EC equality hardship compensatory payments of £20 a week; and if not the reason.

The person concerned was awarded invalidity pension from 15 August 1985. He was paid invalidity pension at the rate of £77.70, that is, £47.10 personal rate, an increase of £30.60 in respect of his wife as an adult dependant and an increase of £10.95 in respect of his son as a child dependant until 19 November 1986.

Since the introduction of the EC equality provision the claimant's invalidity pension is being paid at the rate of £72.35, that is, £47.10 personal rate and an increase of £20 which is the temporary payment for men whose adult dependants are receiving a payment from the Department, and an increase of £5.25 in respect of a qualified child.

His wife is in receipt of disability benefit since February 1985 at the rate of £47.10 and since 17 November 1986 she is entitled to claim an increase in respect of her son. She did not however claim this increase initially but it has now awarded to her in respect of one qualified child with effect from 17 November 1986.

From 30 March 1987 this increase of £4.70 will be included with her weekly payment. Arrears due in respect of the period 17 November 1986 to 28 March 1987, amounting to £88.60, were issued on 1 April 1987.

39.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the basis on which a person (details supplied) in County Offaly had her means assessed for unemployment assistance whose appeal stated that her means are £21.05.

Following investigation of the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned she was assessed with means of £24.05 weekly, derived from the value of board and lodgings in her parent's home.

She appealed against the means assessed against her and an appeals officer on 15 January 1987 reduced the assessment to £21.05 weekly.

She is, accordingly entitled to unemployment assistance of £14.45 weekly being the appropriate maximum rate payable in her case of £35.50 less means of £21.05.

All arrears due to the person concerned have been paid and further payments of £14.45 will continue to be made as they become due.

40.

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

Following investigation of the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned he has been assessed with means of £17 weekly, derived from the value of board and lodgings on his mother's holding and capital.

He is, accordingly, in receipt of unemployment assistance of £18.50 weekly, being the appropriate maximum rate payable in his case of £35.50 less means of £17.

All arrears due to the person concerned were paid on 10 March 1987.