Invalidity Pension Appeals

Questions (324)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Question:

324. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure that an oral hearing is given in respect of an appeal against a decision to refuse an application for an invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12668/13]

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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 24 August 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.

Social Welfare Code Issues

Questions (325)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

325. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a myriad of self-employed people are deemed to have underpaid in respect of their PRSI and social welfare contributions between 1988 and 1991; if she will outline any particular reason these years should be deemed problematic as accountants have been advising their clients of this period; if she will clarify the position; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12674/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

There is no specific group of self-employed people who fit into the above category, as each case is examined on an individual basis. If a person has not fully discharged their liabilities to the Revenue Commissioners under self-assessment, PRSI may be incorrectly returned and in such circumstances underpayments can occur.

It should be noted that all outstanding PRSI liabilities in relation to any tax year must be fully paid before any benefit or pension payment can be processed by my Department.

Family Income Supplement Appeals

Question No. 327 answered with Question No. 311.

Questions (326)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

326. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal for family income supplement in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12713/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing on 26th March 2013. The person concerned has been notified of the arrangements.

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.

Question No. 327 answered with Question No. 311.

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Questions (328)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

328. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection the basis on which the imputed annual income has been determined in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the applicant disputes this figure and has provided evidence of this to her Department; and if she will instruct her Department to take action so that the two figures are reconciled and the case is properly reviewed. [12720/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned appealed the decision to disallow his claim for jobseeker’s allowance on the basis that his means were in excess of the permitted amount. As a result of this the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office recommended that a review of his means be carried out by the Social Welfare Local Office. Additional documentation was received from the person concerned and a review of his means was carried out. However the outcome of this review was that his means are still in excess of the permitted amount. He is entitled to appeal this new decision.

The following information was provided under Standing Order 40A

The position in the case of the person concerned is that their means from self-employment were initially assessed at €25,000.

The applicant submitted from his accountant documentary evidence stating that his recent annual earnings from self employment were €10,000.

My reply of 12 March 2013 stated that the applicant had provided evidence to dispute the assessment made. I wish to clarify that the assessment was based, inter alia, on the documentary evidence provided by the applicant. I regret if it was not clear in the reply that the most recent documentary evidence submitted by the applicant actually formed the basis of the assessment of self-employment income in this case.

On the basis of the documentary evidence provided a revised decision issued to the applicant on 14 February 2013. This revised decision reduced the amount of self-employment earnings assessable in the case but the applicant's total means remained in excess of the relevant statutory limit.

Subsequent to my reply of 12 March Deputy Shortall provided additional information to the Social Welfare Local Office. This information resulted in a further revised decision. Total means assessed are now €287.00 which means that a weekly payment of €25.80 has been awarded. This decision, communicated to the person concerned on 15 April, can again be appealed within 21 days of 15 April.

Household Benefits Scheme

Questions (329)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

329. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Social Protection if the new broadcasting charge will be covered under the household benefits package in the same way that the TV licence currently is; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12728/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The household benefits package comprises the electricity/gas allowance, the telephone allowance and the free television licence. In 2013, my Department will spend an estimated €284 million on this scheme, providing some 410,000 customers with a package worth almost €700 per year. The estimated expenditure on the television licence element of the household benefits package for 2013 is €59 million.

The introduction of a household broadcasting charge in place of the current television licence funding regime is being considered by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. Officials from my Department are liaising with that Department with regard to this issue. No decisions have been made at this time in relation to the household benefits package.

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Questions (330)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

330. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a claim for jobseeker's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 9 was suspended; and the reason this person was not notified prior to this action. [12735/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned is employed casually and each week is paid a jobseeker's payment, by cheque, in respect of days on which she is unemployed. She should submit dockets on a weekly basis upon which the number of days worked is stated. Cheques are then issued when the docket is received from the client. However, if the docket is not received or is late in arriving at the Local Office, the payment is then suspended. This client has been on casual payments since 28 August 2008 and since then has had payment suspended nine times due to late submission of dockets. This includes the most recent suspension referred to in the Question.

This system of payment is explained in full to clients when they commence signing and also when a suspension occurs due to non-submission, or late submission, of dockets.

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Questions (331)

Paschal Donohoe

Question:

331. Deputy Paschal Donohoe asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will give consideration to a proposal whereby persons on the live register and in receipt of jobseeker's payments can avail of a social welfare holiday for a time limited period in order to allow them seek employment overseas and whereby on their return they would still have the same benefits available to them; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12752/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

An unemployed person may qualify for jobseeker’s benefit or jobseeker’s allowance. Jobseeker’s benefit is based on a person’s social insurance record and jobseeker’s allowance is based on weekly means. A fundamental qualifying condition for a jobseeker’s payment is that a person must be available for full-time work.

Under EU Regulations, in certain circumstances a person on jobseeker’s benefit may retain payment for a period of up to 13 weeks, while seeking work in another EU Member State. However, it is not possible to transfer jobseeker’s allowance in the same way.

Jobseeker’s allowance is listed by EU Regulation 883/2004 as a special non-contributory cash benefit and, as a result, it is paid “exclusively in the Member State in which the persons concerned reside, in accordance with its legislation”. A jobseeker’s allowance customer, to retain his or her payment, is therefore required to remain in the State. Locally, however, arrangements may be made between a local office and a person on jobseeker’s allowance, permitting the person to travel abroad for a job interview or a short holiday.

There are no plans to introduce changes to these arrangements.

Invalidity Pension Payments

Questions (332)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

332. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Social Protection when arrears in relation to invalidity pension will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Monaghan. [12762/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Invalidity pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions.

The person concerned has been awarded an invalidity pension with effect from 4 August 2011. Her pension went into payment on 10 January 2013. Arrears due, less any benefit or assistance paid for the period, will be in the claimant’s nominated bank account on 14 March 2013.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Question No. 334 withdrawn.

Questions (333)

John McGuinness

Question:

333. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection if an application for a domiciliary care allowance now under appeal will be expedited and approved in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny. [12774/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received on the 24th April 2012. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical Assessors who found that the child was not medically eligible for the allowance. A letter issued on the 12th June 2012 advising of the decision.

The person concerned requested a review of the decision and the case has been forwarded to another of the Department’s Medical Assessors for further consideration. The person concerned will be notified of the outcome of this review.

Question No. 334 withdrawn.

Social Welfare Offices

Questions (335)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

335. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection her plans regarding the establishment of 62 social welfare offices around the country; in view of the fact that there are in place a network of offices in most towns, if it is her intention to duplicate those offices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12822/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

As the Deputy will be aware 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 Intreo Services will be rolled out to all of the Department’s existing Local Offices by the end of 2014.

The Department is currently considering how the Intreo Service can best be applied in the situation where a location is serviced by a Branch Office. This consideration will include discussion with Branch Managers, as appropriate.

Community Employment Schemes Eligibility

Questions Nos. 337 and 338 answered with Question No. 311.

Questions (336)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

336. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection if a person who has been a community employment supervisor is eligible to apply for CE. [12826/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Any person who meets the eligibility criteria for Community Employment (CE) is free to apply for a CE placement. The general requirement is for a person to have been in receipt of a CE-qualifying payment, such as jobseeker's allowance, for 12 months or more and be between 25 and 65 years of age. Another perhaps more appropriate option given that the person maybe job ready is to consider the internship programme JobBridge which offers up to 9 months work experience in a wide range of specific areas.

Questions Nos. 337 and 338 answered with Question No. 311.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Questions (339)

Dan Neville

Question:

339. Deputy Dan Neville asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a domiciliary care allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [12833/13]

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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 17th January 2013. 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 13th February 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.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (340)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

340. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection if a decision has been made on an appeal for a disability allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12862/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case on 27 March 2012. The person concerned has been notified of the arrangements for the 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 Applications

Question No. 342 withdrawn.

Questions (341)

Jim Daly

Question:

341. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for carer's allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12876/13]

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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 9th February 2012. The application is currently with a social welfare investigative officer for a means assessment and confirmation that all the conditions for receipt of carer’s allowance are satisfied. Once the investigative officer has completed and submitted the report a deciding officer will make a full decision. The application will be processed as quickly as possible and when a decision is made the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

Question No. 342 withdrawn.

Rent Supplement Scheme Applications

Questions (343)

Patrick Nulty

Question:

343. Deputy Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Social Protection if an application for rent supplement will be expedited in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; the reason for the delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12899/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

A new application for rent supplement was received by my Department from the person concerned on 14 February 2013. It is being examined and assessed at present and a decision will issue shortly. It should be noted that on 21 February he was paid rent supplement for the period until 28 February 2013, after he had moved house. This payment of €211.30 can be used to offset his first rent payment at his new accommodation.

Live Register Numbers

Questions (344)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

344. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of non-Irish citizens on the live register; the total amount of expenditure in her Department associated with these persons; if she will provide a breakdown of the nationalities of persons on the live register; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12925/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am informed that at the end of February the live register stood at 428,876 of which 76,829 (17.9%) were non-Irish nationals. A breakdown of the non-Irish nationals into European Union nationals and the largest represented Non-European Union Nationals is in the tabular statement.

With regard to the total amount of expenditure in my Department associated with non-Irish nationals on the live register this is not segregated from the total amount of monies disbursed to registrants on the live register.

Non-Irish Nationals on the Live Register by Country of Origin at 22 nd February 2013

UK and EU 13

EU15 to EU27 States

Non-EU countries

United Kingdom

16,799

Poland

22,746

Nigeria

2,943

Germany

757

Lithuania

7,750

USA

653

Italy

633

Latvia

4,124

Congo

578

Spain

615

Romania

2,433

Ukraine

536

France

599

Slovakia

2,202

South Africa

468

Portugal

453

Hungary

1,234

Pakistan

451

Netherlands

339

Czech republic

1,192

Philippines

449

Sweden

106

Estonia

508

Somalia

413

Belgium

101

Bulgaria

288

Russia

405

Austria

82

Malta

50

Moldova

354

Greece

61

Slovenia

25

Brazil

348

Denmark

53

Cyprus

9

Algeria

313

Finland

48

Other non-EU

5,705

Luxembourg

6

Total UK and EU

20,652

Total EU15 to EU27 States

42,561

Total Non-EU

13,616