Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Questions (139)

Dominic Hannigan


139. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Social Protection the steps a person has to take to be included in a community employment scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35629/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

A person interested in participating on a Community Employment Scheme should contact their local DSP Employment Services/Intreo Office which is the sole access and referral point for entry onto Community Employment. An Employment Services Officer will then ensure the referral of eligible and suitable clients to Community Employment schemes. The criteria for participating on the Community Employment Programme are based on age and length of time in receipt of various qualifying social welfare payments. The qualifying social welfare payments include:

- Jobseekers Benefit;

- Jobseekers Allowance;

- One Parent Family Payment;

- Widows/Widowers Contributory Pension;

- Widows/Widowers Non-Contributory Pension;

- Deserted Wife's Benefit; and

- Farm Assist.

The Community Employment Programme has two options:

- Part-Time Integration Option (PTI);

- Part-Time Job Option (PTJ).

In general, the Part-time Integration Option is for people of 25 years or over who are receiving social welfare payments for 1 year or more, and people of 18 years or over in receipt of disability-related payments. The Part-time Job Option is for people who are 35 years or over and in receipt of social welfare payments for 3 years or longer. Specific groups such as travellers and refugees aged 18 or over are eligible for both options. In addition, certain eligibility requirements are waived for participants referred for drugs rehabilitation training.

Eligibility to participate on the Community Employment Programme is linked to those in receipt of an Irish social welfare payment. Those persons not meeting the criteria under the Part-time Integration or Part-time Job Options, or who are signing for credits, or are receiving social welfare benefits from a different country, are not eligible to participate on Community Employment.

In addition to the above criteria it is important to note that time spent on Tús, Rural Social Scheme, Springboard, JobBridge or Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) will not count towards the qualifying period for eligibility to CE. The only exceptions to this rule are if the BTEA was being received for second-level education purposes. Tús participants who have completed 52 weeks on that programme can progress onto CE for a maximum of one year where it is considered appropriate within the context of an agreed progression plan mediated by Intreo/DSP Employment Services.