Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1463)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

1463. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of young persons under 26 years of age who are recorded as homeless and who are in receipt of the €112.70, €157.80 and €203 per week rate of jobseeker's allowance payment in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [19690/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

In line with other EU and OECD jurisdictions reduced jobseeker’s allowance (JA) rates for young unemployed people were introduced to deal with high youth unemployment. Receiving the maximum rate of JA without a strong financial incentive to engage in education, training or employment can lead to long-term welfare dependency from a young age. As a result, if a young jobseeker on a reduced JA payment participates on an education or training programme they receive the maximum weekly personal payment of €203.

A breakdown of the total number of people aged 18-25 in receipt of JA payments €112.70, €157.80 and €203.00 is provided in tabular form in Appendix 1.  Statistical information is not available in respect of persons receiving JA who are homeless - this information is not currently recorded by my department. However, CWS staff have extensive engagement with a range of stakeholders and advocacy groups working with vulnerable people, and, for example, engages in local inter-agency responses to homelessness through its work in the Homeless Persons Unit in Dublin and engagement with Homeless Action Teams (HATs) throughout the country.  

 The Youth Employment Support Scheme (YESS) which I launched on 24 September 2018 is a new work experience scheme targeted exclusively at young jobseekers, aged 18 to 24, who are either long-term unemployed or face significant barriers to employment.  All participants will receive a payment of €229.20 per week from my Department. Participants whose underlying entitlement is in excess of that amount will continue to receive their weekly payment with an additional top-up allowance of €22.50 per week.

Age-related reduced rates do not apply to jobseekers with a qualified child, those transferring directly to JA from Disability Allowance or if their claim is linked to a previous JA claim made within the previous 12 months to which the maximum personal rate applied. Jobseekers aged 18-25 years who were in the care of the Child and Family Agency (TUSLA) during the period of 12 months before age 18 are not subject to age-related reduced rates (this also includes young unaccompanied minors who were in the care of TULSA). My Department’s community welfare service (CWS) actively engages with Tusla and non-Government organisations to provide supports to vulnerable young people leaving care on a case by case basis who are experiencing homelessness or are in insecure situations. Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.  ENPs can be paid to assist with rent deposits and the costs of setting up home, including to young persons leaving homeless services and moving into the community.  

I trust that this information is of assistance and if the Deputy is aware of a particular case where a vulnerable young person requires the assistance of my Department, the details should be provided for review.

Appendix 1

Number of persons aged 18-25 years in receipt of reduced rate Jobseekers Allowance

Age

€112.70

€157.80

€203.00

18

1,309

0

58

19

1,968

0

135

20

2,020

0

231

21

1,878

0

281

22

1,674

1

407

23

1,602

2

514

24

1,493

6

609

25

0

1,832

682

Total

11,944

1,841

2,917