Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (131)

Brian O'Shea


233 Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his proposals to extend the bereavement grant to uninsured persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25592/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

The bereavement grant is a payment based on PRSI contributions, designed to assist families in dealing with death and funeral expenses. The grant is payable on the death of an insured person or a family member, including a child under age 18, or under age 22 if in full time education.

In the case of persons over these ages, the grant is paid on the basis of their own PRSI contributions. Where there are insufficient PRSI contributions, assistance may be available under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. Under this scheme, a health board may make a single payment to help meet once-off exceptional expenditure, for example, for funeral expenses, which a family could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their income. Any change to the bereavement grant scheme would have to be considered in a budgetary context.