Written Answers. - Free Schemes.

Ivan Yates


804 Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if a person (details supplied) in County Wexford will have his eligibility for free fuel, free electricity and free telephone rental approved; and, if so, when. [20693/00]

The application of the person concerned for a fuel allowance was recently approved with effect from the commencement of the annual heating season on 12 October 2000. A payable order book at the rate of £5 per week will be in his local post office by the end of this week for collection by him.

His application for a free electricity allowance has been approved beginning on 1 October 2000. This also entitles him to a free television licence from the next renewal date of his current licence.

One of the conditions for receipt of free telephone rental allowance is that the applicant must reside alone or only with certain excepted categories of people. These categories include a dependent spouse and-or children under age 18, or under age 22 if in full-time education. In addition, medical certification must be provided to verify that either the applicant or the spouse is so incapacitated as to be unable to summon help in an emergency. My Department recently wrote to the person concerned seeking medical evidence in this regard.

If this is provided, his entitlement to free telephone rental allowance will be assessed and he will be notified of the outcome accordingly.