Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Questions (1323, 1326, 1328)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1323. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to address matters in regard to disability allowance while abroad on an internship (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14050/19]

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John Brassil

Question:

1326. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if correspondence from a person (details supplied) will be examined with a view to allowing for payment of disability allowance to be continued for the term of the traineeship; if the rules and regulations of the disability allowance will be adjusted to include training programmes and opportunities that may arise abroad; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14094/19]

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Brendan Griffin

Question:

1328. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a disability payment for a person (details supplied) can be transferred; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14112/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1323, 1326 and 1328 together.

In order to qualify for disability allowance (DA), a person must be aged between 16 and 66, satisfy a medical and means test and be habitually resident in the state. The EU provides common rules to protect a person’s social security rights when moving within the EU. However, these social security coordination rules do not replace national systems with a single European one. All EU countries are free to decide who is to be insured under their legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions. While the EU rules provide that social security benefits can be exported in certain instances, these exportability rules generally do not apply to non-contributory benefits such as DA.

It is only in specific and exceptional circumstances that the payment of DA may continue on an administrative basis when a person is resident outside of the State. One of these two circumstances is where a person is in receipt of Back to Education Allowance and part of their course of study takes place abroad. The other is where a person is receiving medical treatment abroad which is not available within the State and where that treatment is approved by the Health Services Executive (HSE). The Department, on an administrative basis, may decide to allow payment of DA to continue while a person is outside the State where application is made in advance and the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Department that they satisfy one of the two specified exceptional reasons for absence.