Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (100)

Gerry Adams

Question:

100. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure the threshold to access community employment and other job activation schemes and qualification for additional social protection benefits fuel allowance will be reduced in line with the change in jobseeker's benefit scheme which has been reduced from 12 months to nine months. [11368/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The duration of jobseeker's benefit will be reduced by 3 months with effect from 3 April 2013. For people with 260 or more PRSI contributions paid, it will reduce from 12 months to 9 months. For people with fewer than 260 PRSI contributions paid, it will reduce from 9 months to 6 months. Claimants getting jobseeker's benefit for 6 months or more on 3 April 2013 (or 3 months for people with fewer than 260 contributions) will not be affected. The changes to the JB arrangements I have outlined will not impact on the qualifying periods on welfare payments required for access to CE. This qualifying period will remain at 12 months. Time spent on JB will continue to count towards this qualifying period. There are also no changes to the fuel allowance qualifying periods for recipients of JA. This will remain at 15 months and time spent on JB will also continue to count towards this qualifying period.