Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (384)

Pat Breen

Question:

384. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue on a carer's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22454/14]

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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 referred to an Appeals Officer on 17 April 2014, 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 in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (385)

Pat Breen

Question:

385. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue on a carer's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22455/14]

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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 2 January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 29 April 2014 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on 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 in relation to social welfare entitlements.

Family Income Supplement Expenditure

Questions (386, 387, 389)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

386. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the cost of increasing family income supplement payments to 70% of the difference between the income limit for family size and the family's assessable income. [22456/14]

View answer

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

387. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of households in receipt of a family income supplement payment; the total number of children this involves; and the size of the average FIS payment. [22457/14]

View answer

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

389. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the cost of increasing the qualified child increase by €5, €7.50 and €10, respectively. [22459/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 386, 387 and 389 together.

The cost of increasing the family income supplement (FIS) multiplier by 10 percentage points, from 60% to 70%, is estimated at approximately €43 million in a full year (costing is based on the estimated number of weekly recipients in 2014). The data requested by the Deputy in relation to the FIS scheme are outlined in the following table (position as at end-April, 2014).

FIS Scheme

Data

No. of households receiving FIS

44,405

No. of children included on FIS claims

98,679

Average weekly payment value

€114.45

The cost of increasing the qualified child increase by €5 per week is €97 million in a full year. Accordingly, the cost of increasing this payment by €7.50 per week or €10 per week is €145 million or €193 million, respectively, in a full year.

Qualified Child Increase Payments

Question No. 389 answered with Question No. 386.

Questions (388)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

388. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of children with respect to whom a qualified child increase is being paid. [22458/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The total number of children with respect to whom a qualified child increase was being paid at the end of April was 494,913 and a further 99,910 children benefited from child related payments other than child benefit. A breakdown of these figures is detailed in the following tabular statement. Payment of child benefit in respect of 1,174,230 children was also made during the month.

Number of Children benefiting from Weekly Social Welfare Payments April 2014

-

-

Qualified Children

-

-

Type of Payment

Full Rate

Half Rate

Other Children

Total Number of Children

State Pension (Non-Contributory)

464

131

0

595

State Pension (Contributory)

1,464

1,291

0

2,755

State Pension (Transition)

82

35

0

117

Widow/er's or Surviving Civil Partner's Contributory Pension

11,465

0

0

11,465

Death Benefit (OIB Widows)

107

0

0

107

Total Number of QCI’s on Pensions

13,582

1,457

0

15,039

Jobseeker's Allowance

126,579

42,949

0

169,528

One Parent Family Payment

131,377

0

0

131,377

Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance

12,002

0

0

12,002

Farm Assist

6,751

1,851

0

8,602

Pre-Retirement Allowance

72

24

0

96

Jobseeker's Benefit

7,310

7,115

0

14,425

Deserted Wife's Benefit

643

0

0

643

Health and Safety Benefit

10

5

0

15

Total Number of QCI’s on Income Supports

284,744

51,944

0

336,688

Community Employment Programme

9,258

6,504

0

15,762

Rural Social Scheme

1,452

351

0

1,803

Tús - Community Work Placement

2,970

1,569

0

4,539

Back To Work Allowance Employee

3

3

0

6

Back To Work Enterprise Allowance

7255

2,162

0

9,417

JobBridge National Internship Scheme

1,367

526

0

1,893

Back To Education Allowance

6,446

2,771

0

9,217

Partial Capacity Benefit

209

279

0

488

Total Number of QCI’s on Employment Supports

28,960

14,165

0

43,125

Disability Allowance

20,545

8,467

0

29,012

Blind Pension

248

124

0

372

Carer's Allowance

2,802

31,394

0

34,196

Illness Benefit

8,385

11,225

0

19,610

Interim Illness Benefit

74

39

0

113

Injury Benefit

142

116

0

258

Invalidity Pension

5,076

10,422

0

15,498

Disablement Benefit

78

120

0

198

Carer's Benefit

86

718

0

804

Total Number of QCI’s on Disability Payments

37,436

62,625

0

100,061

Family Income Supplement

0

0

98,679

98,679

Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)

0

0

366

366

Guardian's Payment (Contributory)

0

0

865

865

Total Child Related Payments

0

0

99,910

99,910

Grand Total

364,722

130,191

99,910

594,823

Question No. 389 answered with Question No. 386.

Community Employment Schemes Funding

Questions (390)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

390. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the total cost of the average community employment place for one year including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred by her Department and the Exchequer generally and to specify same. [22460/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The average cost of a community employment place for one year, including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred is currently €13,500.

Social Welfare Schemes

Questions (391, 393)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

391. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the total cost of the average Tús place for one year including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred by her Department and the Exchequer generally and to specify same. [22461/14]

View answer

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

393. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the total cost of the average Gateway place for one year including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred by her Department and the Exchequer generally and to specify same. [22463/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 391 and 393 together.

Tús and Gateway are part of a suite of initiatives being offered by the Department which are designed to bridge the gap between unemployment and re-entering the workforce. The provision for Tús in 2014 is €119.6 million with an additional €19.1 million being provided for Gateway. An additional €2 million has been provided by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (D/CELG) to support Gateway. The level of placements allocated to Tús and Gateway is 7,500 and 3,000 respectively. Tús is maintaining participation at around 7,500 participants subject to natural throughput due to jobseekers leaving and others being recruited to the scheme. The 3,000 placements on Gateway are to be filled by the end of 2014.

The average annual gross cost to the Department of a participant on Tús is estimated at €15,730. This includes a payment to participants of €12,780 and supervisory, implementing body and other support costs of €2,950. The annual costs of Gateway are estimated at €14,404 per participant made up of pay costs of €13,469 and related costs of €935. The higher pay costs on Gateway result from the higher value in the underlying value of jobseeker payments for those recruited to the scheme of €257 per week against €240 for Tús. These costs are expected to align over time as the level of recruitment expands.

With regard to supervision on Gateway, the D/CELG recently sanctioned 150 acting-up allowances for existing staff to support the scheme, at an additional cost of €125,000. That Department has also provided €2m in funding as a contribution towards once-off costs such as health and safety, training for specified tasks and personal protective equipment.

National Internship Scheme Funding

Question No. 393 answered with Question No. 391.

Questions (392, 398, 471)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

392. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection the total cost of the average JobBridge place for one year including income support and all other costs such as training fees and materials incurred by her Department and the Exchequer generally and to specify same. [22462/14]

View answer

Arthur Spring

Question:

398. Deputy Arthur Spring asked the Minister for Social Protection if there are certain exceptional circumstances, at the request of the applicant and host company, that would permit the applicant to enrol on the JobBridge scheme for second time with the same company. [22511/14]

View answer

Seán Kyne

Question:

471. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Social Protection if, in relation to JobBridge, consideration could be given to introducing a time limit within which applicants with the required jobseeker's and other social welfare criteria could apply for internship but after which other persons with an interest in a particular sector could also apply to participate in the internships as such a new format would eliminate the current situation where a person hoping to work in a particular sector has to leave employment to build up the required three months on a social welfare payment to become eligible for the JobBridge scheme. [23357/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 392, 398 and 471 together.

The average JobBridge placement lasts 9 months. A JobBridge placement costs the Exchequer €50 per week or €1,950 for 9 months (39 weeks). Other Social Welfare payments would be made by the Department irrespective of participation in JobBridge. Training expenses for JobBridge interns are incurred by the host organisation not the Department.

There are no circumstances in which a JobBridge intern will be permitted to undertake a second internship with the same host organisation. This provision, and the provision that the intern may not undertake an internship with a host organisation with which they have had a previous employment relationship, ensure that the intern gains a wide spectrum of experience and new skills from their participation in JobBridge. Host organisations are precluded from filling the same position with an intern for six months after the end of the internship unless the intern moves directly into employment, either with the host organisation or another company. This is to prevent displacement of employees, excessive use of interns, and as an incentive to employ, or improve the employability of, the intern.

JobBridge is targeted at those on the Live Register who can benefit from real workplace experience to increase their employability and move into employment. It is not a general internship scheme. It is not intended for those in employment hoping to work in a particular sector.

The scheme has been launched in this targeted way to allocate scarce exchequer resources to make maximum impact for those at risk of long term unemployment while ensuring that it does not replace or displace the normal operation of the labour market. The Department does not make exceptions to the qualifying criteria.

Question No. 393 answered with Question No. 391.

Social Insurance Yield

Question No. 395 withdrawn.

Questions (394)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

394. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection what was the projected PRSI income for 2014 at the time of the budget day estimates published last October;; what has the PRSI income been in the year to date and the way this compares with the projection. [22473/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Budget Day estimate for the Department of Social Protection was published last October and provides for income of €7,682 million to the Social Insurance Fund in 2014.

The yield from PRSI to the end of April 2014 was €2,597 million or €107 million ahead of profile.

Question No. 395 withdrawn.

Community Welfare Services

Questions (396)

Finian McGrath

Question:

396. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an ESB reconnection in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 3; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22477/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned is in receipt of one parent family payment from this Department and has earnings from employment. On 4 November 2013 she made an application to her Community Welfare Officer for an exceptional needs payment in connection with arrears in her electricity bill from Bord Gáis Energy. As is standard practice in such cases, she was referred to Monetary Advice & Budgetary Service (MABS) and was advised to work with them with a view to making an agreement with Bord Gáis Energy about repaying the arrears.

The person concerned contacted her Community Welfare Officer again on 7 May 2014. It appeared that no significant or sustained effort had been made by her to discharge the debt in connection with the arrears on her electricity bill, which by now had increased further. She provided a letter from MABS confirming that they had attempted to have a pre-payment meter installed in the property but the landlord had refused to allow this.

The Department has been in contact with both MABS and Bord Gáis Energy in an attempt to resolve this matter. The person concerned has been advised to arrange for weekly deductions in favour of Bord Gáis Energy. She has also been advised to sign up for the Household Budgeting Scheme. If she does this and agrees to pay a reasonable amount on a weekly basis to discharge her debt with Bord Gáis Energy, the Department would be prepared to provide assistance to enable her to reduce her arrears.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals

Question No. 398 answered with Question No. 392.

Questions (397)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

397. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Social Protection when a file in respect to a domiciliary care allowance will be forwarded to the Social Welfare Appeals Office in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22494/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received from the person concerned on 21 November 2013. This application was referred to one of the Department's Medical Assessors whose opinion was that the child was not medically eligible for the allowance. A letter issued on 31 January 2014 advising of the decision.

The person concerned subsequently lodged an appeal against this decision. As part of the appeal process, the case was reviewed by a second Medical Assessor who on 13 May 2014 confirmed the opinion that the child was not medically eligible for the allowance. The file was forwarded to the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 14 May 2014 to have the appeal processed.

Question No. 398 answered with Question No. 392.