Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Questions (98)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

98. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection if it is proposed to pay compensation to the victims of the recent floods in Limerick city; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23841/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government is the lead Department for severe weather emergencies and the Office of Public Works has responsibility for capital flood relief activities.

However, the Department of Social Protection has an important role to play in assisting households in the immediate aftermath of emergency events such as the severe weather conditions earlier this year under the humanitarian assistance scheme. The scheme, which is means tested, is available to assist people whose homes are damaged by flooding and who are not in a position to meet costs for essential needs, household items and in some instances structural repair. Levels of payment under the scheme depend on the relative severity of damage experienced and the household’s ability to meet these costs ensuring that the funding is appropriately targeted. Compensation payments per se are not covered by the scheme. Humanitarian assistance also does not cover risks that are covered by insurance policies or cover business or commercial losses.

As of 26 May 2014, some €430,000 has been paid this year in the Limerick area in respect of over 530 claims under the humanitarian assistance scheme. Any person who is experiencing hardship as a result of the weather events earlier this year should contact the Department’s local representative administering the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme who may be able to offer assistance.