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Social Welfare Code

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 2 December 2010

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Questions (127, 128, 129)

Richard Bruton

Question:

127 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social Protection if persons on one parent family allowance and disability allowance can retain full payment when taking up community employment. [45749/10]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

One parent family payment and disability allowance are means tested social assistance payments. Income from insurable employment is assessable for social assistance purposes, subject to the various weekly disregards and tapering arrangements which apply to the respective schemes. Where a recipient of either one of these schemes participates in a community employment scheme, the income received from such participation is derived from insurable employment.

Accordingly, the income received as a result of participation in a community employment programme is treated, for means test purposes, in the same way as income from any other employment and is assessed accordingly. The level of means assessed varies depending on the level of income from the community employment programme and the rate of one parent family payment or disability allowance payable is the maximum rate of these payments, appropriate to the given family, less the means assessed.

Richard Bruton

Question:

128 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social Protection if he will detail the circumstances in which mortgage interest supplement can be granted to a family; the maximum amount that can be granted; the maximum duration during which it can be granted and the rules for withdrawal of supplement where a person returns to full-time employment. [45751/10]

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Detailed guidelines in relation to mortgage interest supplement are available on the Departments website (www.welfare.ie). These guidelines set out the type of information the Deputy has requested. I will arrange for a copy of these guidelines to issue to the Deputy.

Richard Bruton

Question:

129 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Social Protection the means test on rent payment that will apply to a person returning to full-time employment who is on rent supplement but who has been accepted for the rental accommodation scheme. [45754/10]

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Rent supplement is calculated to ensure that an eligible person, after the payment of rent, has an income equal to the rate of supplementary welfare allowance appropriate to his or her family circumstances, less a minimum weekly contribution of €24 which each recipient is required to pay from his or her own resources. Many recipients pay more than €24 a week towards their accommodation costs because they are also required to contribute a portion of any additional assessable means that they may have over and above the appropriate basic supplementary welfare allowance rate.

The rent supplement assessment provides for a gradual withdrawal of payment as earnings increase. Those availing of part-time employment and/or training opportunities can continue to receive rent supplement subject to their satisfying the standard means assessment rules. Where a person has additional income in excess of the standard weekly rate of supplementary welfare allowance, the first €75 of such additional income together with 25% of any additional income above €75 is disregarded for means assessment purposes.

Rent supplement is not normally payable where a person or their spouse or partner is in full-time employment, i.e. for 30 hours or more a week. However, a person on rent supplement, who is accepted as eligible for accommodation under the rental accommodation scheme (RAS), may return to full-time work, and be considered for assistance under the rent supplement scheme subject to the means test described above.

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