Question No. 123 withdrawn.

EU Regulations

Questions (124)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

124. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Social Protection if a determination has been made in relation to the way the receipt of UK winter fuel payment would affect recipients of fuel allowance here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21718/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The United Kingdom winter fuel payment is an annual tax-free payment made to eligible people to help towards their winter heating costs. It is a lump sum and in most cases is paid automatically, but some people need to claim. The total amount of winter fuel payment can vary from £100 - £300 sterling having regard to age and household composition. Most payments are made between mid- November and December in a given year. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that people living outside the UK may be paid the winter fuel payment where they can demonstrate a “genuine and sufficient link” to the UK’s social security system.

My Department pays a fuel allowance of €20 per week to qualified households who are in receipt of long-term social welfare or HSE payments and who are unable to provide for their own heating needs. The allowance represents a contribution towards a person's normal heating expenses. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. The fuel allowance season runs for 26 weeks from October to April each year.

The implications of this ECJ judgment are currently being examined, in particular the implications for eligibility for the fuel allowance in Ireland, which is paid on the basis that an applicant is unable to provide for his or her own heating needs.

Family Income Supplement Appeals

Questions (125)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

125. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection if a decision has been made on an appeal of the rate of family income supplement awarded to a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21726/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that in appeals for family income supplement, where it appears that the reason for the decision may not have been fully understood, the letter of appeal is referred to Family Income Supplement Section requesting that the decision be clarified to the appellant. The person is advised that if s/he is still not satisfied following receipt of this clarification that the appeal will be formally registered and processed. The person concerned was advised by letter of 8th April 2013 that his letter of appeal was being forwarded to Family Income Supplement Section for clarification.

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.

Community Employment Scheme Numbers

Question No. 127 withdrawn.

Questions (126)

Seán Fleming

Question:

126. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in community employment under the part time integration option which is a one year version of community employment; the number of persons on the part-time job option which is a three year version of community employment; the number that are expected to be on each of these options in 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21727/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The following table show the numbers under the two Community Employment (CE) Options as at 29 April 2013. It is exclusive of CE Supervisors (1,381) and other non-PTI/PTJ categories (654) to make up the current overall total of 22,569.

Community Employment

No. of persons employed

Part-time Integration Option (PTI)

14,958

Part-time Job Option (PTJ)

5,576

Grand Total

20,534

Two thousand additional places for the Community Employment (CE) programme were announced in Budget 2013 and will be an ongoing commitment to the programme. It will increase the overall number of CE places to 25,300 inclusive of Supervisor posts. These places are being approved on a phased basis from the end of January to the end of the year, in line with the overall CE budget allocation. Exclusive of the Supervisors and other categories the numbers under each option would be approximately 5,700 PTJ and 17,100 PTI by year-end 2013.

Question No. 127 withdrawn.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (128)

John McGuinness

Question:

128. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a review appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow and if she will expedite a response. [21752/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The claim for disability allowance, by the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer of the Department on the grounds that his means exceeded the statutory limit for entitlement to the allowance.

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer having fully considered all the evidence, including that adduced at oral hearing, disallowed the appeal. The person concerned was notified of the Appeals Officers decision on 15 April 2013.

Under Social Welfare legislation, the decision of the Appeals Officer is final and conclusive and may only be reviewed by the Appeals Officer in the light of new evidence or new facts. Correspondence submitted, by the person concerned, dated 20 April 2013 did not contain any new evidence or new facts that would warranted a review of the Appeals Officers decision.

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