Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Questions (439)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

439. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo has been refused carer's allowance when the person being cared for had been assessed for carer's benefit as being in need of full-time care in August 2012 and has had no improvement in their condition; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8750/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I confirm that the Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person in question on the 23rd November 2012. The application was refused on medical grounds on the 7th February 2013 and the person concerned was notified of the decision.

The person being cared for had been found medically eligible for carer's benefit in August 2012. However medical eligibility does not automatically transfer across to a different scheme. Although the legislation in regard to medical eligibility for carer’s allowance is very similar to that of carer’s benefit, they are not identical. Section 179(4)(b) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005 relating to carer's allowance is significant here. It states that "a relevant person shall be regarded as requiring full-time care and attention where the person has such a disability that he or she is likely to require full-time care and attention for at least 12 consecutive months”.

In carrying out the assessment of the case, the medical assessor considered all evidence presented and expressed an opinion based on findings. The medical assessor expressed the following opinion in regard to this case on the 4th December 2012: “While care recipient clearly needs additional care and attention, however based on all medical reports and evidence available to me at this time, I am of the opinion that the need for continuous care and attention does not comply with the criteria for eligibility for CA”. Taking all material into account, the deciding officer decided to disallow carer’s allowance.