Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme

Question No. 1328 answered with Question No. 1323.

Questions (1327)

Clare Daly

Question:

1327. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been waiting for a back to work enterprise allowance for over a year; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14095/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I am happy to advise the Deputy that an appointment for Mr Drury to progress his Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) application is scheduled with Empower on the 27th March 2019 at 9.30am and that his social welfare payments are continuing as usual.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Question No. 1328 answered with Question No. 1323.

JobPath Programme

Questions (1329)

Martin Ferris

Question:

1329. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) who works part-time, is caring for a partner and has completed JobPath less than 12 months ago has been called again to attend on 27 March 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14113/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

All Jobseekers on the live register; including those working part time and in receipt of jobseeker payments must be capable of; available for and actively seeking full time employment, they are also required to engage with the Department’s activation services. The Social Welfare (Consolidated) Act 2005, as amended, specifies that participation in activation meetings is mandatory.

JobPath is an employment activation service that supports people who are long-term unemployed, including those in casual or part time employment. People referred to the JobPath service are chosen by means of a random selection process and protocols for selection currently preclude the selection of anyone who has already completed 52 weeks with the JobPath service within the previous four months.

Customers referred to JobPath who are working part-time have all activities including meetings with their personal advisor scheduled around their work commitments and the JobPath contractors are required to be flexible in the provision of the service in that respect.

The client referenced completed their first period of engagement with the Job Path service a year ago in March 2018 and was randomly selected to return to the service for additional support and assistance to find full time sustainable work. In view of the matters raised by the Deputy in respect of the person mentioned I have asked my officials in the local Intreo Centre to discuss alternative departmental schemes which may be more appropriate for this person.

I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

State Pension (Contributory)

Questions (1330)

John Curran

Question:

1330. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the delay in dealing with contributory pensions of persons receiving them on a reduced basis since 2012; the process and timeline to resolve the matter in full; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14123/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Since late September 2018, my Department has been examining the social insurance records of approximately 90,000 pensioners, born on or after 1 September 1946, who have a reduced rate State pension contributory entitlement based on post Budget 2012 rate-bands. These payments are being reviewed under a new Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to pension calculation which includes provision for homecaring periods.

Wherever possible reviews will be processed using information already held by my Department. In some cases additional information is being requested to ensure people receives the best rate possible. Approximately 25,000 requests for information have issued to date. It is important that prompt responses are received to those requests so that the reviews can be completed as quickly as possible.

Reviews commenced from 13 February 2019, the day after I signed the necessary regulations which together with provisions in the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registrations Act 2018, allows the increased payments to be made. The most recently available figures show that as at week ending 22 March 2019, 8,367 reviews have been completed.

It will take a number of months to complete all the reviews due to the number involved and the individual nature of social insurance records. Over 100 temporary staff have been recruited to help with this work. Outcomes will issue to all pensioners in writing when their review is complete.

Regardless of when a review is conducted, where an increase in payment is due, the person's rate of payment will be adjusted without delay and arrears issued backdated to 30 March 2018, or the pensioner’s 66th birthday if later. Where a person's rate does not increase following a review, the person will continue to receive their existing rate of payment.

Given the scale (90,000 pensioners) involved, the fact that each case requires close individual examination and that some cases are more complex than others, it would not be reasonable to expect all to be processed immediately. While this work will take a number of months to complete, it will continue until all pensioners have been notified of the outcome of their review in writing.

Where possible, reviews will be processed based on information already held by the Department. For the majority of pensioners the next letter they receive from the Department (after the first letter) will be a review outcome letter. Where additional information is required to complete the review, a written request is being sent to the pensioner directly. Almost 24,000 requests for information issued in January and another 11,000 will be issuing to customers in the coming weeks. I would urge anyone who has yet to provide additional requested information to the Department to do so as soon as possible so that their review can be processed.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1331)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1331. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application by a person (details supplied) for a carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14155/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

An application for carer's allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 9 October 2018.

It is a condition for receipt of a CA that the person being cared for must have such disability that they require full-time care and attention.

This is defined as requiring from another person, continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions or continual supervision in order to avoid danger to him or herself and likely to require that level of care for at least twelve months.

The evidence submitted in support of the application was examined and the deciding officer decided that this evidence did not indicate that the requirement for full-time care was satisfied.

The person concerned was notified on 16 January 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of their right of review and appeal.

My department were notified on 5 February 2019 that the person concerned had appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). A submission in support of the decision was prepared and forwarded along with the file on 22 March 2019 to the SWAO for determination.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Exceptional Needs Payment Data

Questions (1332)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1332. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the level and number of exceptional needs payments that have been made in 2018 and to date in 2019, by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14161/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. An urgent needs payment (UNP) may be made to persons who may not normally qualify for SWA but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or where an alternative is not available at that time.

In total €38.8 million has been provided for ENPs and UNPs in 2019. The tabular statement below shows the number of payments and expenditure on ENPs and UNPs per county in 2018 and to date in 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

ENPs and UNPs, Expenditure and Number of Payments 2018-2019 by County

Payments

Payments

Expenditure

Expenditure

County

2018

2019 (end February)

2018

2019 (end February)

CARLOW

1,015

153

€626,436

€276,823

CAVAN

526

122

€228,511

€54,994

CLARE

4,559

599

€1,631,017

€256,754

CORK

14,703

1,705

€6,934,395

€866,945

DONEGAL

2,193

369

€1,136,870

€257,560

DUBLIN

31,777

5,295

€12,175,194

€2,536,177

GALWAY

3,303

446

€1,169,893

€162,183

KERRY

3,206

644

€976,350

€224,902

KILDARE

3,707

618

€1,445,641

€222,654

KILKENNY

1,635

264

€771,069

€164,094

LAOIS

3,803

720

€964,242

€128,771

LEITRIM

819

125

€323,554

€66,989

LIMERICK

8,204

607

€3,180,516

€263,194

LONGFORD

1,348

233

€462,455

€110,414

LOUTH

1,751

290

€1,029,870

€166,426

MAYO

2,936

531

€734,462

€99,034

MEATH

4,556

717

€1,319,082

€278,219

MONAGHAN

1,085

227

€258,170

€62,484

OFFALY

1,261

161

€550,928

€52,174

ROSCOMMON

2,029

262

€916,392

€116,319

SLIGO

2,799

384

€676,920

€122,955

TIPPERARY

4,528

598

€1,529,437

€233,775

WATERFORD

3,530

582

€1,186,372

€283,951

WESTMEATH

3,430

672

€675,867

€143,590

WEXFORD

1,118

161

€760,028

€149,566

WICKLOW

2,693

503

€1,104,825

€195,743

Total

112,514

16,988

€42,768,494

€7,496,691

Note: These figures are taken from the Department's ENP database and represent a snapshot of ENPs as they are approved by an officer rather than when they are paid. The figures do not capture payments that are cancelled, payments that go out of date or overpayments recouped and therefore will not reconcile with the end of month / year outturn figures.

Working Family Payment Applications

Questions (1333)

Robert Troy

Question:

1333. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a working family payment will be awarded to a person (details supplied). [14165/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an in-work weekly payment which provides additional financial support to employees on low earnings with children.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 29 January 2019.

WFP is not payable while an applicant is a Qualified Adult (QA) on their spouse's Jobseeker's Allowance. (JSA) payment.

The applicant is a qualified adult on their spouse's current JSA claim.

It has been established that WFP is more beneficial for the family. The Department wrote to the person concerned on 22 March 2019 advising them to have their spouse's JSA payment adjusted.

Once this has been completed their WFP application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified in writing.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Working Family Payment Applications

Questions (1334)

Robert Troy

Question:

1334. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a working family payment will be awarded to a person (details supplied). [14166/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an in-work weekly payment which provides additional financial support to employees on low earnings with children.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 24 January 2019.

Their application was referred to a local Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for further clarification. The SWI has been asked to prioritise this case.

On receipt of the completed report from the SWI, their WFP application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified of the decision.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Payments

Questions (1335)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1335. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for an invalidity pension by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14191/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The gentleman referred to has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from 27 December 2018. Payment will issue to his nominated bank account on 28 March 2019. Any arrears due from 27 December 2018 to 27 March 2019 (less any overlapping social welfare payment) will issue as soon as possible. The gentleman in question was notified of this decision on 12 March 2019.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1336)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1336. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14193/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 23 January 2019. The first payment will be made by her chosen payment method on 3 April 2019.

Arrears of payment due will issue as soon as possible once any necessary adjustment is calculated and applied in respect of any overlapping payments.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Questions (1337)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1337. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14197/19]

View answer

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 full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 30 January 2019. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1338)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1338. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14198/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I can confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance (DA) from this gentleman on 24 January 2019.

On 22 March 2019 the person concerned was requested to supply supporting documentation required by the deciding officer in order to make a decision on his eligibility. On receipt of this information a decision will be made on his DA application and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1339)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1339. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14199/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's Allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 28 June 2018. This application was disallowed as their weekly means were found to exceed the statutory limit.

The person concerned was notified on 27 November 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

My Department was notified on 24 January 2019 that the person concerned had appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). A submission in support of the decision in this case is being prepared and will shortly be forwarded along with the file to the SWAO for determination.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Questions (1340)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1340. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14200/19]

View answer

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 full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 6 February 2019. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Eligibility

Questions (1341)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1341. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14206/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 28 November 2018. Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was disallowed on the grounds that they were not substantially restricted in taking up employment and that they have means in excess of the statutory limit.

The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 11 March 2019 and was also notified of their right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO).

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

Questions (1342)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1342. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an invalidity pension application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14207/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

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.

The department received a claim for IP for the lady concerned on 05 February 2019. In order to establish medical suitability, forms for completion issued to her on 20 March 2019. On receipt of the completed forms the claim will be processed as quickly as possible and she will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Applications

Questions (1343)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1343. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's benefit application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14208/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 14 January 2019.

The application has been withdrawn by the person concerned as she informed my department on 6 March 2019 that she was returning to work.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1344)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1344. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14209/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who has decided to hold an oral hearing in this case on the 26th March 2019. The person concerned has been notified of the arrangements for the hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Eligibility

Questions (1345)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1345. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14210/19]

View answer

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 full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

As the person concerned was in receipt of illness benefit (IB) Carer's allowance at half rate was awarded on 27 November 2018 with effect from 21 June 2018. The first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 6 December 2018.

Arrears of allowance due from to 21 June 2018 also issued on 6 December 2018. The person concerned was notified of these details on 27 November 2018.

Their carer's allowance entitlement increased from half rate to full rate with effect from 20 December 2018 as their illness benefit ceased at that time.

The person concerned was notified of the increase in rate on 5 February 2019.

Arrears of payment from 20 December 2018 to 13 February 2019 issued to the person concerned on 14 February 2019.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Applications

Questions (1346)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1346. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's benefit application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14211/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 5 February 2019. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1347)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1347. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [14212/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 14 March 2019 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.