Rent Supplement Scheme Data

Questions (1786, 1795, 1797, 1895)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1786. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of rent supplement at the end of June in each of the past five years; if persons can continue to be in receipt of the payment if the landlord does not enter the housing assistance payment agreement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34955/19]

View answer

Seán Fleming

Question:

1795. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of families on rent supplement at the end of each year from 2014 to 2018; the number of families in receipt of the scheme at the end of June 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35075/19]

View answer

John Lahart

Question:

1797. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons on long-term rent allowance that have been requested to transfer to the housing assistance payment scheme; the reason for this decision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35124/19]

View answer

Róisín Shortall

Question:

1895. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the expenditure on the rent supplement scheme in each of the past five years; the number of recipients in each of the years; and the projected figures for 2019. [36678/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1786, 1795, 1797 and 1895 together.

Rent supplement plays a vital role in supporting families and individuals in private rented accommodation, with the scheme supporting approximately 18,800 recipients for which the Government has provided €132.4 million for 2019.

The strategic goal of returning rent supplement to its original purpose, that of a short-term income support, has been primarily facilitated by the introduction of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). The “Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (July 2016), reiterated in the “Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018-2021” (September 2018), is to provide 87,000 flexible housing supports through the HAP and Rental Accommodation Scheme between 2016 and 2021.

HAP has been rolled out on incremental basis since 2014 and as of 1st March 2017 is now available in all 31 Local Authorities (completing Action 2.3 of the Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness).

Through HAP, applicants, with long term housing needs assessments will be able to present to their relevant local authority for assessment for social housing, whereupon following confirmation of need, HAP support may be made available; traditionally these would have sought support through rent supplement as a first recourse.

As part of the transfer process to HAP from rent supplement, people currently in receipt of rent supplement for over 18 months are being requested to contact their local authority to have their housing needs assessed, with a view of transferring to HAP.

The target is to complete all transfers initially identified from rent supplement with long term social housing needs to HAP by 2020. This transfer programme remains in line with forecast with some 49,800 active HAP tenancies currently in place. Post 2020, the ongoing transfer to HAP from rent supplement will continue as tenancies are identified as suitable for HAP transfer.

Failure of a landlord to participate in HAP should not affect an existing customer’s entitlement to rent supplement, provided that the tenant has engaged with the local authority and/or Community Welfare Officer. I can assure the Deputies that officials in the Department continue to make every effort to ensure that persons in receipt of rent supplement are supported in the transfer to HAP.

Statistics in relation to rent supplement recipients and expenditure for the periods 2014 to 2018, along with projected figures for 2019, are provided in the attached tabular statement. The 2019 figures are predicated on current trends associated with Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) and the underpinning macroeconomic conditions prevailing throughout the year.

Information on these recipients by family composition and the number of requests made with respect to transfer to HAP are not maintained.

I trust that this clarifies the position for the Deputies.

Tabular Statement:

Rent Supplement Recipient Numbers & Expenditure 2014 to 2019

YEAR

Q2 (End June)

Q4 (End December)

COST €000

2014

75,710

71,533

338,208

2015

67,016

61,247

311,059

2016

54,181

48,041

275,294

2017

41,240

34,378

230,566

2018

28,978

24,303

179,500

2019

20,156

16,213*

132,395**

* Forecast for expected Rent Supplement recipients at the end of the year.

** 2019's Revised Estimate

Social Insurance

Questions (1787)

Peter Fitzpatrick

Question:

1787. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will address a matter regarding PRSI dental check-ups (details supplied). [34973/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Entitlement to treatment benefit is based on having paid PRSI contributions, with customers required to have a certain number of PRSI contributions paid or credited in order to qualify. The number of contributions required varies with age, to take account of the capacity of the person concerned to have paid the required contributions. For example, a customer aged 20 needs a total of 39 qualifying PRSI weeks paid, while someone aged 25 to 59 needs 260, plus 39 in the governing contribution year (which this year is 2017).

The contribution conditions applying to the scheme and the precise age at which the conditions change are kept under review. I wish to assure the Deputy that all PRSI contributions paid are retained on the customer’s record and, even if they are not sufficient to provide treatment benefit cover at present, they will help towards the provision of cover in the future.

I trust this helps clarify the position.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (1788)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1788. 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. [34993/19]

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 on the 1st August 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought.

When these papers have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal 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.

Community Employment Schemes Operation

Questions (1789)

Michael Harty

Question:

1789. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason persons already working on a community employment scheme are only given a limited time in employment when the schemes are not attracting many applicants to fill the places of those that have to leave; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35027/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Community Employment (CE) is a positive initiative that enables the long-term unemployed to make a contribution to their communities whilst up-skilling themselves for prospective future employment. It helps to break the cycle of unemployment and improve a person’s chances of returning to the labour market.

CE participants between 21 and 55 years are entitled to one year on the programme. This can be extended by up to 2 more years if they are engaged in a recognised training or education award that is helping them progress towards employment. All CE participants age 55 and over can avail of 3 consecutive years on a CE scheme. The overall limit of participation on CE is 6 years from 1st January 2007 (7 years if on a disability payment). Persons aged over 62 can remain on the scheme to State Pension age subject to criteria and limitation.

A number of changes to the terms and conditions of participation on CE were introduced in 2017. The main purpose of these changes was to broaden the availability to a greater number of people on the Live Register and to standardise other conditions around the length of time a person can participate on a programme.

While participation on CE is a stepping stone back to employment, these positions are not full-time sustainable jobs. Nevertheless, I am fully committed to the future of community employment schemes, and I want to see them sustained.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Government agreed to establish an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) to explore how social inclusion schemes might best be organised into the future including which Department should hold lead responsibility for sponsoring CE schemes focused on social Inclusion, the Rural Social Scheme and the Job Initiative scheme.

Meetings of the IDG have taken place along with bilateral meetings with appropriate Departments. There has also been a consultative process with relevant Stakeholders and their submissions are being considered as part of the deliberation process. I expect to have a final report shortly.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1790)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1790. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35035/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 26 June 2019. Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds as it was not found that this gentleman was substantially restricted in taking up employment.

The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 27 August 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.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1791)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1791. 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. [35037/19]

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 on the 18th July 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought.

When these papers have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal 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.

Illness Benefit Payments

Questions (1792)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1792. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a payment for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35038/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned was in receipt of Illness Benefit from the 15th June 2011 to the 2nd July 2011.

A cheque issued to her on the 5th July 2011 for €626.70 paying her for the full period of her claim. The person concerned contacted the Department in 2011 to inform officials that the cheque had been mislaid. A replacement cheque issued to her on the 23rd August 2011.

The cheque the person concerned found and returned to the Department in February 2019 was the first cheque issued to her on the 5th July 2019. As this cheque was replaced in August 2011, I am advised that the person is not due any further payment on their claim.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Pensions Reform

Questions (1793)

John Lahart

Question:

1793. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the detail of the general total contributions approach for self-employed persons; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35043/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The introduction of a Total Contributions Approach (TCA) to establishing the level of entitlement for all new state pension contributory claims was signalled by the then Government in the National Pensions Framework in 2010. At that time it set a target date of 2020 for the implementation of TCA. More recently, the Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 targeted implementation of the TCA from Q3 of 2020. This is subject to the necessary legislation being enacted and supporting structures being in place.

Consultation is a very important part of the development and design of the new pension. With this in mind, I launched a public consultation on the design of the TCA on the 28th of May 2018 to which a wide variety of stakeholder groups were invited. A number of workshops were also held on the day to elicit views and feedback.

Shortly afterwards, Oireachtas members were invited to a detailed briefing by my officials in Leinster House. The consultation was open for over three months and the Department received almost 300 responses from individuals and organisations. Those submissions outlined the views of respondents on the issues of most interest to them including how self-employed people and Class S PRSI contributions since 1988 could be treated.

Having carefully examined the outputs of the consultation process, my Department is now designing the scheme and I intend to bring a proposal to Government setting out that design in the near future. When the Government has agreed the approach to be taken, I will initiate the work required to introduce this reform.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Question No. 1795 answered with Question No. 1786.

Questions (1794)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

1794. Deputy Niamh Smyth 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. [35067/19]

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 17 June 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.

Question No. 1795 answered with Question No. 1786.

Invalidity Pension Reviews

Question No. 1797 answered with Question No. 1786.

Questions (1796)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1796. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a review of an application for an invalidity pension by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35123/19]

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 gentleman concerned on 05 April 2019. He was disallowed IP on the grounds that the medical conditions for the scheme were not satisfied. He was notified on 27 May 2019 of this decision, the reasons for it and of his right of review and appeal.

He requested a review of the decision and submitted further medical evidence in support of his request. Following a review of all the information available it has been decided that there is no change to the original decision. He was notified on 22 August 2019 of the outcome of the review.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Question No. 1797 answered with Question No. 1786.

Living Alone Allowance

Questions (1798)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1798. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a living alone allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35144/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

This gentleman's application for living alone allowance (LAA) was refused as he was not found to be living alone. He was notified in writing of this decision on 26 July 2019 and was also notified of his right to request a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent social welfare appeals office (SWAO).

Following a request for a review of his decision, the person concerned was requested to submit further supporting evidence on 19 August 2019. On receipt of this information a decision will be made on his LAA review and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Questions (1799)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1799. 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. [35146/19]

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 increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people.

The person concerned is in receipt of CA for one care recipient since 26 June 2008.

My department received an application for CA for a 2nd care recipient on 13 September 2018.

A natural justice letter was sent to the person concerned on 5 November 2018 in relation to their hours of employment.

Additional information was requested by a deciding officer on 11 May 2019.

A further information request in relation to the person’s application was sent by a deciding officer on 20 August 2019.

Once the information is received the application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Review

Questions (1800)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1800. 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. [35149/19]

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.

It is a condition for receipt of 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 is likely to require that level of care for at least twelve months.

My department received an application for CA from the person concerned on 6 February 2019.

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

The person concerned was notified on 16 May 2019 of this decision, the reasons for it and of his right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and submitted further medical evidence in support of his application on 10 July 2019.

This additional information is currently under consideration by a deciding officer of my Department.

Once the review is complete, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Questions (1801)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1801. 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. [35153/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence including that adduced at the oral hearing, has decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned. The person concerned was notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision on 19 July 2019.

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.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1802)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1802. 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. [35161/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

This lady submitted an application for disability allowance on 8 April 2019.

The application, based upon the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds and this lady was notified in writing of this decision on 31 July 2019. She was also notified the reason for it and of the option to submit further medical evidence in support of her application for review and of her right to appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO).

To date no request for an appeal or review has been received from this lady.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (1803)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1803. 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. [35162/19]

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 on 30 July 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments of 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 have been received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 7 August 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.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1804)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1804. 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. [35163/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I can confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance (DA) from this lady on 10 June 2019.

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

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1805, 1847)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1805. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if additional time to gather medical evidence will be granted to a person (details supplied). [35165/19]

View answer

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1847. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a matter will be addressed regarding a disability allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35691/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1805 and 1847 together.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 21 June 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments of (or on behalf of) the Deciding Officer on the grounds of the appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These papers have been received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 15 July 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.

I wish to advise the Deputy that the person concerned should submit any new evidence he may have in support of his disability allowance application as soon as he receives it. The appeals system is flexible and fair, allowing for further information to be submitted by the appellant up to and including the oral hearing, if the Appeals Officer decides that an oral hearing is appropriate in the case. Any new evidence obtained by the person concerned will be considered by the Appeals Officer.

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.

Disability Allowance Applications

Questions (1806)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1806. 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. [35167/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned has been awarded disability allowance with effect from 13 March 2019. The first payment was made by his chosen payment method on 7 August 2019.

Arrears of payment due issued to the person concerned on 14 August 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Appeals

Questions (1807)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

1807. 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. [35168/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Following a successful appeal, this gentleman has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 19 December 2018. The first payment will be made by his chosen payment method on 28 August 2019.

Arrears of payment due, issued to the person concerned on 21 August 2019.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Overpayments

Questions (1808, 1809, 1810)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1808. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the proactive measures in place to ensure that there is not a build-up of debt owed to her Department by persons who are in receipt of a social welfare payment but who may not have a full entitlement to the payment in view of the fact that her Department regularly contacts persons regarding overpayments that have occurred over a period of years as a result of possible undeclared income; if there can be a more timely exchange of information between the Revenue Commissioners and her Department to ensure these matters are picked up earlier to prevent large debts building up and the consequent issue of the person having to deal with the overpayments; if there is a protocol in place for the earlier exchange of information between the two organisations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35174/19]

View answer

Seán Fleming

Question:

1809. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the breakdown of debts owed to her Department of over €10,000; the number and amount due in respect of each scheme category; the proactive measures in place to prevent the build-up of such debts in respect of schemes in which the highest overpayments tend to arise; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35175/19]

View answer

Seán Fleming

Question:

1810. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the debt owed in respect of debts of over €10,000 for each scheme; the years in which the debt arose; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [35176/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1808 to 1810, inclusive, together.

Overpayments of social welfare assistance and benefit payments arise as a consequence of decisions made under the relevant sections of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005 (as amended). Where an overpayment is raised, the Department is obligated to make every effort to recover sums overpaid.

At the end of July 2019, the Department had almost 11,700 individual customer debts valued at over €10,000, with a total outstanding value of €326.6 million. A breakdown of the debts by scheme and by year raised are set out in tables 1 and 2 respectively below.

My Department has a number of measures in place to detect non-compliance in claims at the earliest possible opportunity, thereby preventing the build-up of large debts by customers of the Department. These measures include:

- reviewing claims on an annual basis across all social welfare schemes and programmes to ensure continued eligibility of customers. Claims are reviewed using a risk-based approach, in addition to random sample checks and specialist investigations. Reviews looking at the medical conditionality underpinning certain schemes are also undertaken;

- verification and validation of information provided by customers in support of an application for payment, including the requirement for original documentation and cross-checking with information already held by my Department and other public bodies;

- data-matching with other Government Departments and public bodies to identify non-compliant claims;

- the use of predictive modelling to detect non-compliant cases and improve non-compliance processes and controls; and

- conducting control surveys of various schemes on an annual basis to identify the risks and address any weaknesses within schemes.

As outlined above, for the past number of years, for control purposes, my Department has been actively engaged in data-matching with other Government Departments and public bodies. The aim of this work is to detect non-compliance as quickly as possible, thereby minimising the build-up of debts to my Department. To this end, there is an extensive legal structure to support the sharing of data for the purpose of controlling the entitlement and payment of benefits.

Notifications received by my Department from the Revenue Commissioners when persons commence employment form one element of this data matching. This information is used to identify, at the earlier opportunity, customers who may be claiming payments from my Department beyond their period of entitlement.

In previous years, these notifications depended on the periodic returns by employers to Revenue. Since the advent of real-time Revenue data earlier this year, this data is now received in a much timelier manner which allows for potential overpayments to be identified and stopped much more quickly.

The legislative provisions that allow for the specific sharing of data with other bodies are contained in section 261 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2006. In exercising these functions, the Department also operates in accordance with the relevant data protection legislation.

A Data Sharing Agreement is in place between my Department and Revenue to govern the transfer of data between the two organisations, in strict accordance with GDPR.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

TABLE 1 - As at end July 2019 - Outstanding customer debts valued over €10,000 - by Scheme

Scheme Overpaid

Number of cases

Value Outstanding

Jobseeker's Allowance

3,093

€84,235,228

One Parent Family Payment

2,798

€71,382,792

Disability Allowance

1,056

€32,375,471

State Pension Non-Contributory

1,035

€40,697,930

Carer's Allowance

789

€22,252,247

State Pension Contributory

432

€12,246,413

Child Benefit

378

€6,557,206

Invalidity Pension

299

€8,186,648

Illness Benefit

298

€6,704,620

Widow(er)'s Pension Contributory

241

€8,327,958

Basic Supplement Welfare

213

€4,567,234

Rent Supplement

167

€3,821,148

Deserted Wife's Benefit

143

€6,316,791

Farm Assist

126

€4,044,291

Family Income Supplement

119

€2,468,202

Widow's Non Contributory Pension

75

€1,997,425

Jobseeker's Benefit

73

€1,120,563

Pre-retirement Allowance

51

€1,093,618

Back To Work Scheme

47

€794,618

Deserted Wife's Allowance

37

€1,491,901

Blind Person's Pension

34

€1,353,537

State Pension Transition

30

€661,073

Back To Work Enterprise Allowance

30

€629,750

Mortgage Interest Supplement

23

€420,410

Disablement Benefit

20

€581,398

Guardian's Payment (Contributory)

15

€540,960

Rent Allowance

15

€504,214

Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)

13

€337,349

Domiciliary Care

10

€154,722

Carer's Benefit

8

€147,461

Third Level Option

5

€108,821

Second Level Option

5

€82,463

Rural Social Scheme

3

€63,737

Part-time Job Incentive

3

€57,998

Diet Supplement

2

€21,148

Death Benefit

1

€112,229

Adoptive Parent Benefit

1

€28,299

Jobs Initiative Scheme

1

€14,738

Magdalen Commission Scheme

1

€14,620

National Internship

1

€12,784

Respite Care

1

€10,925

Partial Capacity Benefit

1

€10,678

Total

11,693

€326,551,618

TABLE 2 - As at end July 2019 - Outstanding customer debts valued over €10,000 - by Year Debt Raised

Year debt raised

Number of cases

Value Outstanding

1984

3

€48,809

1985

2

€28,486

1986

13

€211,670

1987

12

€229,984

1988

26

€449,808

1989

38

€686,644

1990

41

€786,039

1991

36

€680,593

1992

56

€941,465

1993

38

€675,425

1994

74

€1,401,837

1995

82

€1,575,432

1996

94

€1,727,136

1997

117

€2,258,786

1998

108

€2,185,115

1999

129

€2,603,489

2000

121

€2,441,710

2001

119

€2,429,091

2002

100

€2,126,999

2003

290

€5,151,392

2004

626

€11,115,702

2005

406

€9,074,535

2006

314

€6,743,532

2007

248

€5,825,459

2008

288

€6,911,593

2009

414

€11,554,519

2010

518

€13,842,217

2011

618

€16,580,118

2012

649

€19,985,154

2013

910

€27,918,697

2014

824

€23,616,400

2015

848

€27,115,424

2016

770

€25,016,531

2017

982

€31,662,761

2018

1,030

€35,482,957

2019

749

€25,466,111

Total

11,693

€326,551,618