Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (371)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

371. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for Social Protection further to correspondence dated 10 March 2014, if she will make an exemption to the employment condition in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21193/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The department received an application for carer’s benefit from the person in question on 6 December 2013. The person concerned was refused carer's benefit on the grounds that PRSI conditions and employment conditions were not satisfied as laid down in carer’s benefit legislation. She was notified of this decision on 31 January 2014.

The decision was subsequently reviewed and the date of application was back-dated to the date the department received an application for carer’s allowance i.e. 22December 2011. This back-dating meant that the PRSI condition was satisfied. However the employment condition that the applicant should be engaged in remunerative full-time employment as an employed contributor for not less than 8 weeks in the 26 week period prior to claiming carer's benefit was still not satisfied. The person concerned was notified of this decision on the 10 February 2014, the reason for it and of her right of appeal.

There is no period from 2011 where the person concerned satisfies both the employment and the PRSI conditions. The conditions for receipt of carer's benefit are statutorily based and therefore there is no scope for discretion to be applied. I regret to inform you that it is not possible for an exemption to be made.