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Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 16 December 2015

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Questions (52)

Michael Ring


52. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she is aware of any discretionary payments being made by local community welfare officers to persons who did not qualify for the Christmas bonus; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45567/15]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

On Budget Day, I was pleased to announce a 75% Christmas Bonus, which has been paid to long-term social welfare beneficiaries, such as pensioners, people with disabilities, and carers. Long-term recipients of jobseeker's allowance (JA) or supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) are eligible for the bonus if they have been in receipt of their payment for 15 months, in recognition of their being wholly or mostly dependent on their social welfare payment for income. Periods of time spent on another qualifying scheme immediately prior to the award of a SWA claim may also be used to establish eligibility, for example which would include time spent on JA. In these cases, an officer will examine eligibility for the bonus and make payment to the individual where the criteria are met. Individuals in this situation who did not receive an automated payment of the Christmas Bonus should attend or contact their local office to establish their eligibility.