Wednesday, 20 October 2004

Questions (133)

Michael Ring

Question:

235 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason the disability allowance of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo was reduced from €134. [25612/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

The person concerned has been in receipt of disability allowance since June 1998. Under the legislative provisions that apply to disability allowance all income, which the claimant and his or her spouse or partner have, is assessable for means purposes.

Following a review, the person concerned was assessed with means derived from his partner's employment. Accordingly, his means have been assessed at €61.37 per week and his weekly rate of disability allowance has been reduced to €74.80 plus €33.60 for dependent children, making a total of €108.40. The revised level of payment was effective from 29 September 2004.

He was notified on 15 September 2004 of his revised entitlement, the reason for it and of his right of appeal to the social welfare appeals office. He lodged an appeal on 4 October 2004. This is being processed and he will be notified directly of the outcome. As part of this process the case will be, reviewed by a deciding officer before being referred to an appeals officer for consideration. If there are grounds for an assessment that is more favourable to the person concerned then the decision will be revised to reflect this.

Under social welfare legislation, decisions on claims must, be made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in regard to making such decisions.