Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

154 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will qualify for maternity benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17323/03]

The person concerned made a claim for maternity benefit on 12 June 2003 in respect of her maternity leave which commenced on 10 June 2003. To qualify for maternity benefit a person must be in insurable employment covered under the Maternity Protection Act, and certain PRSI contribution conditions must also be satisfied.

Based on her social insurance record and the information supplied with her application form, it appears that the person concerned has insufficient PRSI contributions paid to qualify for maternity benefit. However, my Department has sought further information from her employer in relation to PRSI contributions paid in the past 12 months. On receipt of this information her entitlement to maternity benefit will be appropriately determined. Under social welfare legislation decisions in relation to claims must be made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in making such decisions.