I propose to take Questions Nos. 154 and 155 together.
Supplementary welfare allowance is not normally payable to people in full-time employment. However, special arrangements have been in place for a number of years which allow people on approved schemes such as community employment to retain a portion of their rent for up to four years subject to a gross household income limit of €317.43 per week, the supplement being retained at 75% in year one, 50% in year two and 25% in years three and four.
As a participant in community employment a person may opt to be assessed in accordance with the tapered withdrawal system or under standard supplementary welfare allowance rules, whereby up to €50 per week is disregarded, and will be entitled to whichever option is more beneficial.
The South Western Area Health Board was contacted on behalf of the person concerned and has advised that the amount of supplement currently in payment was calculated on the basis of the tapered system outlined above. However, it has now come to light that the standard assessment is more beneficial in this particular case.
The board has further advised that the revised amount of rent supplement, and any arrears due, will be put into payment at the earliest opportunity.