Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Questions (1166)

Carol Nolan


1166. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the income trough caused in cases in which the income of a blind or vision impaired person exceeds eligibility for the minimum blind pension rate due to the loss of their fuel allowance, living alone allowance and household benefits package will be re-examined; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4566/20]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

The blind pension is a means-tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people who are habitually resident in Ireland. A person who is in receipt of a blind pension may also qualify for other secondary benefits such as the fuel allowance, living alone increase and the household benefits package (HHB).

Payment of these secondary benefits is directly linked to the payment of the primary payment - the blind pension. There are no circumstances where the payment of these secondary benefits can continue to be paid when the primary payment has ceased for any reason, for example due to the person exceeding the income limit for receipt of the primary payment.

Any decision to allow a person to continue to receive the fuel allowance, living alone increase or HHB after the cessation of a primary payment would have budgetary consequences and would have to be considered in the context of budget negotiations.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.