Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

53.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason assistance has not been given to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 7, whose ESB supply has been cut off, towards his large ESB bill, by the community welfare section of the Eastern Health Board, as this person lives alone and is only in receipt of a social welfare benefit of £42 per week.

The person concerned is in receipt of unemployment assistance of £42 a week and a fuel allowance of £5 a week from the Department during the heating season. In addition, he receives a weekly diet supplement of £5 a week from the Eastern Health Board under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. The health board have also indicated that payments totalling £110 have been made since September 1987 towards electricity costs in this case and that a gas cooker and gas heater were supplied recently.

The application by the person concerned for a further payment towards his accumulated electricity costs was refused. He has appealed the health board's decision and the appeals officer is examining the case at present. The person will be notified by the health board of the outcome of the appeal.

54.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason payment of disability benefit has not been made to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 22 March 1989. As she had been examined and considered capable of work by a medical referee of the Department in November 1988 and again in February 1989, payment was deferred on her present claim pending examination by another medical referee. This examination is scheduled for 1 May 1989 and the person concerned has been notified of the time and venue fixed for same. The claim will be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report.

55.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if supplementary welfare allowance payments will be made to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford, in view of the fact that this person received no other payment from his Department for six weeks, due to a delay in his Department's informing him that he was not eligible for unemployment assistance.

The person concerned was not entitled to a payment from the Department in respect of the period 19 January 1989 to 4 March 1989. He applied to the South Eastern Health Board for supplementary welfare allowance in January 1989 and was asked by the board to furnish documentary evidence in support of his claim. The board have indicated that he has not been in touch with them since then. If he now wishes to pursue his claim he should contact his local community welfare officer as soon as possible.

56.

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

Following investigation 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 the disallowance on 9 March 1989 and arising from matters raised in connection with the appeal, the papers in his case have been sent to a social welfare officer for further inquiries. On completion of these inquiries his case will be submitted to an appeals officer for determination as early as possible.

57.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Waterford is not being paid disability benefit at the full rate; and if he will give details of amounts paid to the South Eastern Health Baord and to the person concerned.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 7 February 1989. He was paid supplementary welfare allowance of £856.60 by the South Eastern Health Board while awaiting a decision on his claim. £665 was refunded to the health board from arrears of benefit due and the balance of £191.60 is being recovered by weekly deductions of £9 from his current payment of £120.90 per week which is the maximum rate payable to a married man with five dependent children. I am making arrangements that the weekly amount deducted will be reduced to £5.

58.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if his Department will pay disability benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Clare.

The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 6 January 1988. One of the conditions for payment of that benefit is that at least 39 contributions of an appropriate PRSI class must be paid or credited on a claimant's behalf in the contribution year governing the claim.

The person concerned was not qualified for payment as only class K1 contributions, which are not reckonable for disability benefit purposes, are recorded in respect of him for the tax year 1986-87 which governs disability benefit claims made in the 1988 calendar year. He is not entitled to disability benefit either during the 1989 calendar year as his insurance record for the 1987-88 tax year consists of Class K1 contributions and 13 credited contributions.

Credited contributions have been awarded up to 22 March 1989, the date of the latest medical certificate received. These credited contributions, while not entitling him to payment currently, preserve the continuity of his insurance record for the duration of his illness.

Should the person concerned remain incapable of work, and continue to submit weekly medical certificates of incapacity, he would be qualified for payment of disability benefit from 1 January 1990, as he would have 52 credited contributions for the 1988-89 tax year which would then govern his claim.

59.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a person (details supplied) in County Cork has not been awarded a pension; and the reason for the delay in deciding on this person's application.

The person concerned applied for an old age non-contributory pension on 19 September 1988. His claim was examined by the local social welfare officer, who requested details regarding his means. As the applicant failed to give a full and proper explanation of his means to the satisfaction of the investigating officer, his application for pension was disallowed by a deciding officer.

The person concerned re-applied for this pension on 6 March 1989 and his case has been referred to an appeals officer for consideration as soon as possible.

60.

asked the Minister for Social Welfare if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who is a pensioner will be awarded a free telephone rental allowance.

The person concerned was approved for a free telephone rental allowance with effect from 5 April 1989. He was notified accordingly on 24 April 1989. Telecom Éireann is being advised of the decision and requested to apply the allowance to the applicant's telephone account with effect from 5 April 1989.