Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1872)

Michael Healy-Rae


1872. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the case of persons (details supplied) will be examined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36350/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

A jobseeker’s payment is paid for days of unemployment where the person is not in receipt of holiday pay from their employer for those days and where they also satisfy the conditions of the scheme.

In general, there is no delay in processing jobseeker benefit claims in Intreo Centres if the relevant claim application forms and supporting documentation are completed by the customer, in a timely manner.

Seasonal workers should apply for jobseeker’s benefit as soon as they become unemployed. Initially, when a person makes an application for jobseeker’s benefit, 3 waiting days apply and payment is made from the 4th day of the claim where there is no accrued holiday entitlement from their employer.

If, however, a person makes a repeat claim for jobseeker’s benefit within 26 weeks of their previous claim, the repeat claim links to the earlier claim and no waiting days apply.

People who are laid off on a temporary basis during the school breaks and who have previously been in contact with the Department, are issued with a repeat jobseeker’s application form and holiday form in advance of the school holiday periods. This advance process facilitates an efficient service to these customers and allows for speedy processing of their claim when the period of unemployment actually arises. It is important that customers complete these forms and bring them with them when they call to their Intreo Centre or Branch Office to make their claim. However, it is important to note that these customers are still required to sign on for each period of unemployment.

There have been some claim processing delays in recent weeks which are due to the seasonal increase in claims over the summer period. These are being worked down at present.

I want to assure the Deputy that prompt processing of all claims remains a priority for my Department. Scheme areas are monitored on an on-going basis and processing procedures are reviewed to ensure that claims are paid to customers as quickly as possible.

If the Deputy could provide the specific details of any such cases my Department can follow up accordingly.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.