Thursday, 4 November 2004

Questions (119, 120)

Michael Ring

Question:

116 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children the estimated total cost of paying arrears of the blind welfare allowance due to the misinterpretation of the Blind Welfare Allowance Circular 4/79 by the Department of Health and Children; if her Department has held discussions with the Department of Health and Children in this regard; when funding will be provided for; the number of persons that are affected; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27628/04]

View answer

Michael Ring

Question:

118 Mr. Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if she has contacted the Department of Finance in relation to securing funding for the payment of arrears of the blind welfare allowance due to the misinterpretation of the Blind Welfare Allowance Circular 4/79; the estimated cost of the total arrears payment; the number of persons affected nationwide; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27630/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 116 and 118 together.

The Department of Health and Children has received from the health boards an estimation of the cost of implementing the revised methodology of calculating blind welfare allowance. The estimated cost of the arrears is €4.3 million affecting approximately 700 individuals. The matter is under consideration within the Department.