Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (295)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh


295. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied) will be addressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7788/18]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's allowance, CA, is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing fulltime care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

A person can be considered to be providing fulltime care and attention where they are engaged in employment, self-employment or on training courses outside the home for a maximum of 15 hours per week, provided that they can show to the satisfaction of a deciding officer that adequate care has been provided for the care recipient in their absence.

Although the person concerned may not qualify for a Springboard course at present due to her caring requirements, it is still appropriate for my department to bring notice of these courses to the attention of lone parents in case their circumstances are due to change soon.

However all recipients of social welfare payments must abide by the conditions that attach to each scheme and recipients of carer's allowance cannot engage in employment, self-employment or training and education courses outside their home in excess of 15 hours per week.

Any increase in the hours allowed for engaging in these activities would dilute the definition of full-time care and attention which is integral to the scheme and my Department has no plans to do that at present.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.