Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Questions (262)

John McGuinness

Question:

262. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a person has been awarded an injury warrant and subsequently takes a successful court case against the State for compensation for their injuries, if the injury warrant will be withdrawn. [1370/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Civil Service Injury Warrants are a series of statutory instruments made under the Superannuation Acts. They provide additional benefits over and above normal pension entitlements, to or in respect of officers who, through no fault of their own, are killed or injured in the performance of their duties. The injury must be attributable to the nature of their duties.

The additional benefits paid under the Injury Warrants consist, in the main, of an annual allowance or, in a limited set of circumstances, payment of a special gratuity.

In non-fatal cases, once eligibility for an Injury Warrant annual allowance is established, the legislation prescribes that the amount of the award is determined by a classification as to the degree of impairment to the officer’s earning capacity caused by the injury. The classifications in the legislation each have a corresponding proportion which is to be applied to the difference between (i) salary and emoluments at time of injury and (ii) other superannuation benefits. The result is the quantum of Injury Warrant annual allowance awarded. The total of the Injury Warrant award, when taken together with any other superannuation pension benefits, as well as any Social Welfare benefits in payment, is limited to 5/6ths of the officer’s salary and emoluments at the date of injury. The Injury Warrant award is reduced, if necessary, to ensure this limit is not breached.

There is no provision in the legislation for withdrawal of an award on the basis of a subsequent successful court action against the State for compensation in respect of the injury that formed the basis of the Injury Warrant award.

However, I would point out that the Injury Warrant award, in addition to being a superannuation benefit, is also a form of compensation paid by the State. Thus, when considering a potential award for damages in a claim against the State, the amount of any Injury Warrant award already being paid by the State would be taken into account by the Court in assessing the level of compensation in the litigation.