Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (132)

Brian O'Shea

Question:

234 Mr. O’Shea asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his views on whether disability allowance should be granted with associate benefits to a person in their own right in order that when a person a receiving disability allowance and who married a person who is working there be no risk of losing disability allowance and benefit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25593/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

Social assistance payments, such as disability allowance are payable subject to a means test to people who are not qualified for insurance-based payments under the social welfare system.

In assessing means, account is taken of the claimant's own means and, in the case of a couple, the means of the couple are assessed. In addition, the value of any capital is also assessed. In this regard, claimants of disability allowance are treated under the social welfare code in the same way as people who experience other contingencies such as unemployment, old age or widowhood. To depart from current arrangements, in this regard, would have major implications in terms of the cost and financing of the system. There are no plans at present for a change on these lines.