Departmental Schemes

Questions (282)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

282. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the schemes available for persons taking voluntary redundancy in the public sector who wish to start their own business and create employment; if he intends to put any schemes in place as part of the Action Plan for Jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12600/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Anyone interested in starting their own business should in the first instance contact their local County and City Enterprise Board (CEB). The CEBs support the indigenous micro-enterprise sector in the start-up and expansion phases and stimulate enterprise potential at local level. The CEBs are the first port of call in terms of advice, direction, training and grant support for anyone who wishes to start a business. The CEBs will deal with queries from all potential clients (including those who have taken redundancy, whether in the public sector or not). Contact details for the CEBs are available on www.enterpriseboards.ie . They offer a range supports including both financial assistance and non-financial assistance. The forms of financial assistance, which are available subject to certain criteria and conditions, are Priming Grants, Business Expansion Grants and Feasibility/Innovation Grants. The provision of non-financial assistance can take the form of a wide range of business advice and information services, management capability training and development programmes, e-Commerce training initiatives etc. Training courses include such topics as start-your-own-business, taxation for beginners, internet marketing, idea’s generation and negotiation skills.

In addition, Microfinance Ireland is providing support in the form of loans of up to €25,000 available to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 people with viable business propositions that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. The Fund has a significant entrepreneurship focus and is open to anyone with a viable business proposal. Applications for the new Microfinance Fund should be channelled through the local CEB. Contact details for the CEBs are available on www.enterpriseboards.ie .

A Guide, entitled “Financial Support for Irish Business” has been published on my Department’s website at www.djei.ie under “latest publications” and includes information on supports, other than those available from the Enterprise Development Agencies, such as “Revenue Job Assist” and “Back to Work Enterprise Allowance”.

A particularly important action in this year's Action Plan for Jobs 2013 is the launch of the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) which will see the merger of the CEBs with the Business Support and Enterprise Development functions of the Local Authorities. The APJ recognises that the indigenous micro-enterprise and small business sector is central to economic recovery, job creation and the future prosperity of the Irish economy. This merger will ensure that the national enterprise support model for these sectors is a premium model delivering high quality.

Work Permit Applications

Questions (283)

Jim Daly

Question:

283. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding a work permit in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12655/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Two work permit applications were received by my Department in 2011 and 2012 in respect of the person named by the Deputy, both of which were refused. A request for a review in each case resulted in the refusal decisions being upheld.

In relation to the earlier two applications in respect of this person that were refused in 2011 and 2012 both of these were refused on the basis that new Employment Permit applications are normally only considered where it is established that a minimum salary of €30,000 per annum is on offer based on a 39 hour week and where the position on offer is one of the occupations currently eligible for a new employment permit. The annual salary and the nature of employment that formed the basis of both applications did not fall within these guidelines. In addition to this it appeared from the information submitted with the first employment permit application that the proposed employee had already worked in the company without having a valid Employment Permit.

A further application was received in respect of this person on 24 January 2013 which was returned to the applicant as the application form was incomplete and all of the required documentation was not submitted. This application was resubmitted on 6 February 2013. This application was also returned to the applicant as it was still not accompanied by all of the required supporting documentation, in particular the most recent Revenue form P30 confirming the company’s registration as an employer. When the required supporting documentation in respect of this application has been received in my Department the matter will be given further consideration.

Joint Labour Committees Abolition

Questions (284)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

284. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he has considered the recommendation of Retail, Grocery, Dairy and Allied Traders Association to abolish the retail grocery JLC, the assertion that independent grocers should be subject to the same minimum wage rates and employment conditions as all other retailers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12660/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The new Section 41A of Industrial Relations Act 1946 (inserted by Section 11 of the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2012) provides that a review of each Joint Labour Committee (JLC) will be carried out by the Labour Court, as soon as practicable after the commencement of the Act, and at least once every 5 years thereafter.

To this end, the Labour Court is currently undertaking an independent review of the ten existing JLCs, including the Retail Grocery JLC. The aim of the review is to ensure that the range of sectors and enterprises to which they apply remains appropriate, with consequent changes to their Establishment Orders if necessary.

Notices were placed by the Labour Court in the national newspapers seeking submissions from interested parties on the issue. The deadline for submissions was 1 March, 2013. I understand that meetings with relevant stakeholders have also taken place on the matter.

In accordance with the provisions of the 2012 Act, the Court is required to conclude its review within 6 weeks of the date specified for receipt of submissions, i.e. by 12 April next.

The outcome of the reviews will inform the Labour Court as to whether any JLC should be abolished, maintained in its current form, amalgamated with another JLC or its establishment order amended, taking into account specific criteria set out in Section 11 of the 2012 Act. The 2012 Act provides that the Labour Court will then make recommendations to the Minister who, if satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been followed, and where he considers it appropriate to do so, make an order in the terms of the recommendation.

If the Minister is not satisfied that the requirements of the Act have been followed, or he considers that it is not appropriate to make an order in the terms of the Labour Court recommendation, he is required to refuse to make the order and to inform the Labour Court in writing of the reasons for his decision.

Gambling Sector

Questions (285, 286, 287)

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

285. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the reason Enterprise Ireland does not support companies that operate in the gambling sector including high-tech companies that earn their revenues from online betting, betting exchange, gambling, competitive social gaming and tipping markets. [12947/13]

View answer

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

286. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the reason that companies that earn their revenue from supplying products and services that operate in the gambling sector are not supported by Enterprise Ireland. [12948/13]

View answer

Eoghan Murphy

Question:

287. Deputy Eoghan Murphy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will consider changing the remit of Enterprise Ireland to facilitate Irish initiated or Irish based tech companies that operate in online betting, betting exchange, gambling, competitive social gaming and tipping markets or companies that earn their revenue from supplying products and services that operate in the gambling sector. [12949/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 285 to 287, inclusive, together.

The Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and the Betting Act 1931 set out the current legal framework for the operation of gambling or betting operations. It is an offence under section 4 of the 1956 Act to promote or assist in the promotion of any kind of gaming or to provide facilities for any kind of gaming. Separately, it is an offence to operate as a bookmaker, or carry on business of a bookmaker, without a licence under the 1931 Act.

Within that legal framework Enterprise Ireland (EI) is precluded from supporting companies that operate in the gambling sector, which includes all companies that earn their revenues from online betting, betting exchange, gambling, competitive social gaming and tipping markets. EI can provide limited support to Financial Spread-Betting Companies (FSB)/ Contracts for Difference (CFD) providers, only if these companies are regulated by a Financial Services Regulatory Authority. EI does support companies that earn revenue from supplying products or services to companies in the gambling sector (provided the earnings are not directly linked to amounts gambled).

It is anticipated that two legislative proposals will significantly change the legislative and regulatory landscape. The Deputy will be aware that, in July 2012, the Minster for Finance published the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2012 which is designed to ensure a fair and equal treatment of all bookmakers and betting exchanges offering services in Ireland and will bring into the licensing and taxation regime all remote bookmakers and betting intermediaries (betting exchanges). The Minister for Justice and Equality has also announced plans to bring Heads of a Bill, provisionally entitled the Gambling Control Bill, to Government soon. The ‘Gambling Control Bill’ is envisaged to be a comprehensive measure, establishing a transparent regulatory regime to cover betting and gaming, whether by terrestrial or remote means and will include gambling on virtual and actual events.

I am very aware that innovation is a key feature of the gaming, betting and gambling industry; new forms are constantly emerging such as betting exchanges, which permit people to bet amongst themselves, without the need for a bookmaker. Obviously, my Department will review, in conjunction with EI, the current policy on supporting companies that operate in the gambling sector when the above two proposed pieces of legislation have been enacted.

Enterprise Support Schemes

Questions (288, 289)

Arthur Spring

Question:

288. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the level of support that will be provided for Kerry Technology Park's collaborative programmes, Young Entrepreneurial Programme, Junior Entrepreneur Programme, Coder DoJo camps, in view of the disbandment of Shannon Development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13041/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Kerry Technology Park (Tralee, Co Kerry) is currently owned and managed by Shannon Development, in collaboration with IT Tralee. Shannon Development, in conjunction with a number of other public and private sector organisations and individuals, provides programmes that benefit the Park and the wider community, namely the Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP) and the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP).

The Young Entrepreneur Programme (YEP) and the Junior Entrepreneur Programme (JEP) are currently controlled by Nurture Entrepreneurs Ltd, an independent not-for-profit company. Both the YEP and JEP are funded from a combination of public and private sources.

Shannon Development’s commitment to the programmes for the academic year 2012/3 was €50k, in line with the 2011 commitment. Following the government decision regarding the future of company this was reduced pro-rata to €13k to cover the period September-December 2012.

My officials are currently in discussions with Shannon Development and other agencies about the future plans for Kerry Technology Park, including the Youth Entrepreneur Programmes run from the park. I expect to receive a recommendation shortly on the matter.

Arthur Spring

Question:

289. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the level of support that will be provided for Kerry Technology Park's collaborative programmes, Young Entrepreneurial Programme, Junior Entrepreneur Programme, Coder DoJo camps, in view of the disbandment of Shannon Development; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

View answer

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (290)

James Bannon

Question:

290. Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13023/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

This application for carer's allowance was disallowed on the 23rd of July 2012. The person in question has appealed this decision. The submission and other relevant papers are being sent to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) for determination. The SWAO will be in touch with the person directly regarding the progress of the appeal.

Child Benefit Appeals

Questions (291)

Jack Wall

Question:

291. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a child benefit appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12293/13]

View answer

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 28 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

Question No. 292 withdrawn.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (293)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

293. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on an appeal for on disability allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 4; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12301/13]

View answer

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 6 February 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.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (294)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

294. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision on an application for carer's allowance will issue in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12303/13]

View answer

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 5 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. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 1 March 2013 and the case will be referred 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.

Social Welfare Code Issues

Questions (295)

Finian McGrath

Question:

295. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of hours a person on a welfare payment may work per week without losing their benefits. [12312/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The number of hours a person may work to qualify for a social welfare payment varies depending on the particular scheme.

Jobseeker’s Benefit/Allowance

For jobseeker’s benefit/allowance the number of hours a person works is not the determining factor to qualify for a payment, but a person must be unemployed for 4 days within a 7 day period. Other factors also apply e.g. for jobseeker’s allowance a means assessment applies.

One-Parent Family Payment

For One-Parent Family Payment OFP) the number of hours a person works is not the determining factor to qualify for a payment. OFP is a payment for men and women under 66 who are bringing children up without the support of a partner. To get this payment you must meet certain conditions, you must satisfy a means test and you must have earnings of €425 or less per week.

Farm Assist

For farm assist the number of hours a person works is not the determining factor to qualify for a payment. To qualify for it other criteria also applies, one of which is a means assessment.

Part-time Job Incentive

To qualify for Part-time Job Incentive a person must work less than 24 hours per week. Other criteria also apply to qualify for the scheme.

Invalidity Pension

A person may not work while in receipt of invalidity pension. In certain circumstances, exemptions to this rule are given to people who wish to undertake voluntary work or a course of study or training generally for no more than 19.5 hours per week. Those who are in receipt of invalidity pension and who wish to take up or resume open labour market employment are directed to Partial Capacity Benefit, although some recipients are still availing of a finite duration exemption from the "no work" rule for open labour market work of 19.5 hours per week or less. Once the exemption period expires, the recipient is directed to Partial Capacity Benefit if s/he intends to continue working. Invalidity pension recipients may participate in community employment (CE) schemes.

Disability Allowance

A person may work while in receipt of disability allowance and there is no hours limit. However, the income from the employment is assessable as means subject to the regulations for the scheme.

Carer's Allowance

Recipients of carer's allowance must be providing full-time care and attention to a relevant person. However, they may participate in work outside the home for a maximum of 15 hours per week. In such cases, adequate arrangements for the care of the relevant person must be put in place while the carer is working. The income from employment is assessable as means subject to the regulations for the scheme.

Carer's Benefit

Recipients of carer's benefit must be providing full-time care and attention to a relevant person. However, they may participate in work outside the home for a maximum of 15 hours per week. In such cases, adequate arrangements for the care of the relevant person must be put in place while the carer is working. The maximum amount a recipient can earn is €332.50 net per week.

Disablement Benefit/Pension

This is a payment to insured persons who suffer a loss of faculty of more than 15% due to an occupational injury or disease. A person may work for unlimited hours while in receipt of disablement benefit.

Incapacity Supplement

Incapacity Supplement is an increase to Disablement Benefit/Pension where a person is considered to be permanently incapable of work as a result of an occupational accident/disease and does not qualify for another social welfare benefit such as Illness Benefit, Invalidity Pension or Disability Allowance. Recipients are not permitted to do work unless it is work in respect of which his/her earnings do not, on average, exceed €33 per week. However a recipient may, with the prior written permission of the Department, be exempted from the "no work" rule for any period during which s/he is undergoing a course of training with a view to taking up some other occupation or s/he is engaged in part-time work for less than 20 hours a week which is in the nature of rehabilitation or occupational therapy.

Family Income Supplement

This is a support for people working on low wages who have children and who are employed for at least 19 hours per week or 38 hours per fortnight.

Illness Benefit

A person in receipt of illness benefit who wishes to work has the option of applying for the new Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB) scheme, if they have been on Illness Benefit for longer than 6 months. The PCB scheme provides an opportunity for people to have their capacity for work assessed and to receive an on-going income support payment based on this assessment. There is no restriction on earnings or number of hours worked.

A person in receipt of illness benefit may apply for permission to train or attend a course of education. There is no restriction in these instances on the number of hours of attendance. Persons in receipt of illness benefit for more than two years may apply for the Back to Education Allowance to pursue a recognised course of study.

Partial Capacity Benefit

There is no restriction on earnings or number of hours worked.

Occupational Injury Benefit / Medical Care

Persons in receipt of occupational injury benefit or medical care may not work while in receipt of these payments.

Respite Care Grant

Having first cleared it with the Department, the carer may attend an educational or training course or take up voluntary or community work for up to 15 hours a week, or work outside their home for up to 15 hours a week, or a combination of both, provided that the total combined does not exceed 15 hours a week.

State Pension (transition)

It is a social insurance payment payable from age 65 to applicants who have retired from insurable employment, and who satisfy certain contribution conditions. It is not a means tested payment. An applicant need not give up employment completely. They may still be eligible for this pension from age 65 if they earn less than €38 per week from part-time employment (paying PRSI at Class J), irrespective of the number of hours they work per week, or if they earn less than €5,000 per year from self-employment. The retirement condition ceases to apply when they reach age 66 whereupon they are automatically transferred to a State pension contributory.

State Pension (contributory)

It is a social insurance payment payable to applicants aged 66 and over, who satisfy certain contribution conditions (or who had been in receipt of State pension (transition) up to the date of their 66th birthday). From age 66, the earnings conditions outlined above no longer apply, and a person awarded a State pension (contributory) may commence full-time employment/self-employment and be entitled to receive this pension. Their State pension (contributory) entitlement and rate of weekly payment is not affected by the level of their earnings or by the number of hours they work per week.

Widow(er)’s and surviving civil partner’s contributory pension

It is a social insurance payment for people who satisfy certain qualifying conditions. Entitlement is assessed on the basis of the applicant’s PRSI record or that of their late spouse or civil partner. It is not a means tested payment. If a person is awarded this pension, and is employed/self-employed, their weekly rate of pension payment is not affected by the level of their earnings or by the number of hours they work per week.

State Pension Non-Contributory

There is no limit on the number of hours a person may work. The payment is means tested.

Deserted Wives Benefit/Allowance & Widows Non Contributory Pension

There is no limit on the number of hours a person may work. Both Deserted Wives Allowance and Widows Non Contributory pension are means tested payments.

Blind Pension

There is no limit on the number of hours a person may work. This is a means tested payment.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Questions (296)

Seán Kenny

Question:

296. Deputy Seán Kenny asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 had their jobseeker's allowance cut off before Christmas 2012; and when payment will be restored. [12323/13]

View answer

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 allowed the appeal of the person concerned by way of summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officers 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.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (297, 298, 299, 303)

Robert Troy

Question:

297. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the costs of providing hardware and software to her home and the home of Ministers of State in her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12373/13]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

298. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the costs of providing telephone in the homes of Ministers and Ministers of State in her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12391/13]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

299. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the cost of telephones and ICT provided to constituency offices including monthly phone bills of Ministers and Ministers of State in her Department since March 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12410/13]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

303. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of mobile phones in use by her, Ministers of State and politically appointed staff; the total costs of the mobile phones since March 2011; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12446/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 297 to 299, inclusive, and 303 together.

My department has not provided any hardware or software, including telephones, in my home.

Mobile phones have been supplied to me, my advisors Edward Brophy, Paul O’Brien (replacing Kathleen Barrington) and my parliamentary assistant Karen O’ Connell.

Since July 2012 my department has availed of the mobile framework agreement negotiated by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform at a monthly cost of €18.50 for all national calls and texts per customer. Total costs before that date are not immediately available but I will forward them to the Deputy separately.

Separate records are not kept of call costs from individual extensions and the cost of telephones to my constituency office cannot be extracted from the overall cost of telephony in the department. ICT services are also supplied generally and no separate records are held of these costs. My department does avail of The Houses of the Oireachtas managed IT support service for the constituency-based offices of Ministers at an annual cost of €4,256.47, reducing to €3,098.10 next year.

The ICT services, including telephony, supplied to me are the normal communications and productivity services required in any modern business environment and are the minimum requirements for the efficient and effective discharges of my responsibilities as a TD and Minister.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

Questions (300)

Jack Wall

Question:

300. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal against the decision to refuse their application for invalidly in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12414/13]

View answer

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 31st 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.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (301)

Robert Troy

Question:

301. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection if any additional costs other than telephones, ICT and monthly phone bills are being paid to constituency offices by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12428/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I understand from clarification received from the Fianna Fáil Office that the information sought by the Deputy relates to staffing costs for Ministers for Social Protection constituency offices which are set out:

2011 – 2013

Constituency Office

Grade - Salary Scale

Ministerial Appointments

1 Personal Assistant - €43,715 - €56,060

1 Personal Secretary - €23,820 - €47,755

Established civil servants

1 Executive Officer* - €30,516 - €47,975

1 Clerical Officer* - €23,177 - €37,341

*Please see staffing costs for 2009 and 2010 in the Constituency Office

2010

Constituency Office

Grade - Salary Scale - Allowance

Ministerial Appointments

1 Personal Assistant - €43,816 - €55,415

1 Personal Secretary - €45,122 - 10% Attraction Allowance

Established civil servants

1 Executive Officer - €30,516 - €47,975*

2 Clerical Officers - €23,176 - €37,341*

* On 1st January 2010 civil service staff salaries were reduced in accordance with Department of Finance Circular 28/2009: Revision of pay of Civil Servants

2009

Constituency Office

Grade - Salary Scale - Allowance

Ministerial Appointments

1 Personal Assistant - €55,030

1 Personal Secretary - €42,391 - 10% Attraction Allowance

Established civil servants

1 Executive Officer - €32,179 - €51,054*

2 Clerical Officers - €24,397 - €39,558*

1 Clerical Officer - €23,174 - €37,584

* Class A PRSI applies as employment commenced after 6 April 1995

Illness Benefit Eligibility

Questions (302)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

302. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the options available to a person (details supplied) in County Laois at the end of their term of receipt of partial disability payment in the event that they are not in a position to continue in employment; their entitlement to revert to disability and-or invalidity pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12432/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned exhausted their entitlement to illness benefit on 9 January 2013.

The person concerned may re-qualify for illness benefit when they have paid 13 reckonable PRSI contributions after this date, and they are unable to work because they are sick or ill. Alternatively, the person concerned may choose to apply for invalidity pension or disability allowance.

Applications to these schemes are subject to various qualifying conditions including medical eligibility requirements. The person concerned was advised of these options on 17 October 2012.

To date no applications have been received for these schemes. If the person concerned is not able to meet their financial needs, they may be entitled to supplementary welfare allowance which is a means tested scheme. They should contact the local Social Welfare representative at their local health centre.