Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (912)

Bernard Durkan


912. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the entitlement to carer's allowance of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23836/19]

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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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

Once claims are in payment, the Department periodically reviews them to ensure that there is continued entitlement. Depending on the circumstances in each case and to make best use of resources, a review may only concentrate on a specific condition of entitlement.

During the course of a review of their entitlement to CA, it was determined that the person concerned had not notified the Department of changes in their financial circumstances. When Department officials requested documentation pertaining to these changes, the person concerned failed to supply them.

On 13 November 2018, the person concerned was notified that their entitlement to CA from 22 May 2014 to date, was under review and that should a Deciding Officer decide that she was not entitled to CA during that period or that she was entitled to a lower rate than was paid, she would be liable to refund any monies paid to which she was not entitled. She was offered the opportunity to furnish any statement or evidence she wanted to supply in the matter.

On 7 February 2019, a Deciding Officer reviewed all the evidence and decided that the person concerned was no longer entitled to CA as she had failed to show that her means were not less than the statutory limit and had failed to supply documentation that was requested from her. In addition it was decided that she was not entitled to CA from 1 December 2016 to 13 February 2019 for the same reasons.

As a result, it was further decided that she had been overpaid an amount of money which she is liable to refund to the Department. My Department will engage with the customer regarding an appropriate debt recovery plan.

The person concerned was notified on 7 February 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal. To date, no request for a further review or appeal has been received from the person concerned.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.