Employment Support Services

Questions (335)

Paudie Coffey

Question:

335. Deputy Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide a list of the new Intreo offices that are currently operating here and a list of the offices that are due to come on stream by the end of 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9878/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Pathways to Work document states that the introduction of the new Intreo service is a multi-annual project. The first ten Intreo offices went live in 2012. These first ten offices were Sligo, Arklow, Tallaght, Kings Inns, Ballymun, Buncrana, Coolock, Dundalk, Finglas and Killarney. The plans for 2013 are now being finalised and details of the office locations to which the new service will be rolled out will be published in due course.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Questions (336)

Seán Fleming

Question:

336. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal for an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9893/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 17 January 2013, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Fuel Allowance Applications

Questions (337)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

337. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the progress in respect of an application for fuel allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; when payment will issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9904/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned has been awarded fuel allowance with effect from 11 October 2012. Arrears due for the period 11 October 2012 to 6 February 2013 will be issued to her in the next couple of weeks.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (338)

Noel Coonan

Question:

338. Deputy Noel Coonan asked the Minister for Social Protection when an application for a carer's allowance appeal will be finalised in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9905/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 19 November 2012. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When received, the appeal in question will be referred in to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Pension Provisions

Questions (339)

Seán Fleming

Question:

339. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection when an appeal for a widow's non-contributory pension will be granted in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9907/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an oral hearing of the appeal of the person concerned took place on 21 February 2013 and the Appeals Officer is now considering the appeal in the light of all the evidence submitted, including that adduced at the hearing. The person concerned will be notified of the Appeals Officer decision when the appeal has been determined.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Illness Benefit Appeals

Questions (340)

Emmet Stagg

Question:

340. Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason for the delay in dealing with an appeal against disallowance of illness benefit with specific reference to an appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare. [9929/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer having fully considered all the available evidence disallowed the appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer decision.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Question No. 342 withdrawn.

Questions (341)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

341. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will re-examine entitlement to rent allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9930/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Rent allowance for the person concerned has been reinstated following a review of her means. She has been notified in writing of the decision.

Question No. 342 withdrawn.

Jobs Initiative

Questions (343)

Jack Wall

Question:

343. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection her views on a submission (details supplied); the plans she or the sector has to address the concerns raised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9934/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am happy to inform Deputy Wall that the Department facilitated the Craft Council of Ireland in making a presentation to the JobBridge National Internship Steering Committee on 29 January last in respect of this proposal. Officials of the Department have had detailed discussions with representatives of the Craft Council of Ireland in the interim.

The proposal is under active consideration by the Department, with a number of alternative and possible solutions on how best to proceed and I have been advised that Officials of the Department will revert to the Craft Council of Ireland directly on this matter over the coming weeks.

Garda Vetting Applications

Questions (344)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

344. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the lengthy delays persons on community employment schemes are experiencing in having Garda vetting applications processed; the total number of persons who have not been able to participate on a community employment scheme due to the failure of vetting to be completed in a timely manner; if she has highlighted such problems to her colleagues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9940/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department of Social Protection is committed to the protection and welfare of children and vulnerable adults. Approval to work, or train to work, with children and/or vulnerable adults is granted upon successful completion of the recruitment and selection process which must include vetting checks with the Garda Central Vetting Unit. No individual may work or train with children and/or vulnerable adults pending the outcome of the Garda vetting process.

I am advised that there is an increase in the time taken to process applications in recent months. There are approximately 1,100 DSP applications for Garda vetting currently with the Garda Central Vetting Unit. Of these applications, circa 20% are there over 14 weeks. I understand that this is due to the volume of applications. In response to these demands I understand that additional resources have been allocated to address this matter.

Every effort is being made to ensure that applicants to CE schemes where Garda vetting is required, once a satisfactory outcome is achieved that the applicant can proceed to take up the place.

Child Benefit Eligibility

Questions (345)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

345. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Social Protection if child benefit is paid in respect of children of asylum seekers; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9959/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

An asylum seeker is a person who has applied to the Minister for Justice and Equality for recognition as a refugee in accordance with the Refugee Act 1996, and whose application has not yet been determined.

Section 246(7) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 provides that such a person shall not be regarded as habitually resident and consequently is not eligible for payment of Child Benefit.