Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (176)

Michael Healy-Rae


176. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for 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. [26084/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

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.

Social welfare relevant legislation provides for the continuation of payment of the allowance for up to thirteen weeks in the event that the person being cared for or the carer themselves is hospitalized or admitted to a nursing home.

The person concerned is in receipt of CA in respect of his spouse since 25 January 1996.

The person concerned forwarded my department an application for the Living Alone Allowance on 16 July 2020. On the application the person concerned wrote “wife nursing home” in reply to the question relating to changes which led to his living alone.

Following receipt of the Living Alone Allowance form a Review was instigated. Correspondence issued to the person concerned on 27 July 2020 to advise that his CA payment was under review, the reason for it and the information available to the Deciding Officer (DO). The person concerned was offered the opportunity to furnish any statement of evidence on the matter within 7 days of the date of this correspondence. The person concerned was also notified of the intent to suspend CA should it be deemed necessary by the DO after 7 days had passed.

A response was received from the person concerned on 18 August 2020, confirming that the care recipient was admitted to a nursing home and that he continued to claim CA because he had no other income source.

Correspondence issued to the person concerned on 4 September 2020 to advise that his CA has been suspended with effect from Thursday 13 August 2020 and his CA and Carer’s Support Grant (CSG) payments during the period 14 May 2020 to 16 June 2020 are being reconsidered. The person concerned was also advised that if it is found that he had a reduced entitlement or no entitlement during the above period an overpayment may be assessed against him and he may be liable to refund any monies received by him to which he was not entitled.

The person concerned was also advised to apply for the State Pension Non Contributary (SPNC) and where to apply.

The person concerned has 21 days to respond to this correspondence. If the person concerned does not reply to this correspondence the case will be decided on the basis of the evidence available.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.