Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (675)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

675. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) who was self-employed and has been unable to work for a number of years due to ill-health is entitled to the disability allowance or an invalidity pension; if the person's previous PRSI contributions whilst self-employed are sufficient for either payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9458/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

This gentleman was in receipt of Disability Allowance (DA) from 13 December 2006 to 26 March 2013. Following a review it was decided that the person concerned was not entitled to DA from 11 September 2011 due to means in excess of the statutory limit and an overpayment was raised.

Disability Allowance (DA) is a weekly allowance paid to people with a specified disability who are aged 16 or over and under the age of 66. This disability must be expected to last for at least one year and the allowance is subject to a medical examination, a means test and habitual residency conditions.

The weekly rate of DA payment depends on the amount of weekly means assessed. The legislative provisions regarding DA state that means will be assessed from all income which the claimant or claimant’s spouse may reasonably expect to receive during the year following the date of their claim. It is open to the person concerned to re-apply for DA.

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions. To qualify for IP a claimant must, inter-alia, have at least 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance and 48 contributions paid or credited in the last or second last complete contribution year before the date of their claim. Only PRSI classes A, E, H or S contributions are reckonable for IP purposes. Class S contributions are those paid by self-employed people.

A person who applied for Invalidity Pension in 2017 must have the required 260 paid PRSI contributions and also have 48 paid or credited class A, E, H, or S contributions in either 2015 or 2016 to meet the contribution conditions of the scheme. This is a legislative requirement and contributions outside of the reference period cannot be assessed for the purposes of establishing the required 48 paid or credited contributions.

This Department received a claim for IP for the gentleman concerned on the 12 December 2017. He was refused IP on the grounds that the contribution conditions for the scheme are not satisfied. Specifically, he does not have any qualifying contributions paid or credited in the reckonable years 2015 & 2016. He was notified on 2 January 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of his right of review and appeal.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.