School Accommodation

Questions (158)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

158. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Education the status of the plans for a new building for a school (details supplied). [26204/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy will be aware, the project to which he refers has been devolved for delivery to Donegal Education and Training Board (DETB).

DETB has informed my Department that the Planning Application has been lodged with the local authority. Subject to any issues arising during the planning process, the project will proceed to tender and construction in due course.

School Accommodation

Questions (159)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

159. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Education the status of the plans for a new building for a school (details supplied). [26205/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

A project to provide a new four classroom building for the school to which the Deputy refers has been approved under my Department's Additional Accommodation Scheme 2018.

I wish to confirm to the Deputy that my Department approved this project to go to planning in July 2020. The school has been informed accordingly.

State Examinations

Questions (160)

Holly Cairns

Question:

160. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education if the technical report from officials in her Department on the calculated grades and standardisation process will be published; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26238/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Technical details of the Calculated Grades model and standardisation process were published on 07 September, the date of issue of the results. The report is available here: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/2ed9b-leaving-certificate-2020-calculated-grades-technical-reports/.

Covid-19 Pandemic

Questions (161)

Holly Cairns

Question:

161. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education her views on implementing flexibilities into the staffing schedule for primary schools to enable schools to retain teachers to ensure that classes can be kept at a small a size as possible during the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26239/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I am acutely aware of the issues faced by many schools in respect of teacher allocations and class sizes. Under the Programme for Government there is a commitment to seek to make further progress in reducing the pupil teacher ratios in primary schools and it is my intention to make progress on this in future budgets.

The key factor for determining the level of staffing resources provided at individual school level is the staffing schedule for the relevant school year and pupil enrolments on the previous 30 September. Primary schools are currently provided with class teachers on the basis of one teacher for every 26 pupils which is at its historically lowest level.

The staffing process also includes an appeals mechanism for schools to submit a staffing appeal under certain criteria and the Primary Staffing Appeals Board are currently accepting staffing appeals from schools. As part of the appeal process the Appeals Board will consider appeals where schools clearly demonstrate how their enrolments were negatively impacted by COVID-19.

My Department has published a suite of helpful guidance for the safe and sustainable reopening of schools including illustrative Primary Classroom Layouts to facilitate physical distancing requirements for primary schools. Each school is also required to have a COVID-19 Response Plan for the safe operation through the prevention, early detection and control of COVID-19 in line with public health advice. This guidance is focused on the practical steps schools must take to minimise the risk of transmission of infection.

Special Educational Needs Staff

Questions (162)

Holly Cairns

Question:

162. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education the number of requests received for additional special needs assistants from schools in County Cork; and the number of requests that have been approved. [26240/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The NCSE has responsibility for planning and coordinating school supports for children with special educational needs including the allocation of SNAs and reviews.

As part of that responsibility, applications for the exceptional review process for SNA support are made directly to the NCSE. I will forward the Deputy’s question to the NCSE for their direct reply.

It is expected that schools will review and reprioritise the deployment of SNAs within mainstream settings and allocate resources to ensure those with the greatest level of need receive the greatest level of support. Providing access to SNA support continues to be based on primary care needs as outlined in DES Circular 0030/2014.

Schools may apply to the NCSE for additionality where they can demonstrate that the current allocation does not meet additional care needs within the mainstream classes in the school. Applications for additionality arising from significant new or emerging additional care needs, which cannot be catered within existing allocations, will be dealt with by way of an exceptional review process.

The exceptional review process for mainstream allocations will be available to schools throughout the 2020/21 school year.

Detailed information on the NCSE exceptional review process is published on the NCSE: website www.ncse.ie.

A school can appeal the outcome of an exceptional review and details of how to do this are here: https://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GuidanceSchoolAppealing-Exceptional-Review-outcome.docx

The NCSE received applications during the lockdown period. These applications were received before and after the 22 May 2020. The NCSE have provided the information below regarding applications received for exceptional review.

The number of applications for exceptional review received by the NCSE at 26 August 2020 was 1080 and over 1060 applications has been processed. The number of schools who had received an increased SNA allocation was over 550. As part of the exceptional review process, SENOs will be making visits to schools which commenced with schools reopening.

School Facilities

Questions (163)

Holly Cairns

Question:

163. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education the number of primary and secondary schools in County Cork without hot water facilities; and the steps taken to rectify such issues in view of the fact children have returned to school. [26241/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The specific information requested by the Deputy regarding the number of primary and post-primary school that have access to hot water in the county in question is not readily available within my Department.

Health guidance states that, while warm running water is preferable for handwashing, cold water is sufficient. In schools which do not have warm running water, a soap that emulsifies easily in cold water will be provided .

It is also recognised that the existing handwashing facilities in schools are not designed for the enhanced level of handwashing envisaged in a post COVID-19 environment without significantly impacting on educational class time including the requirement for a high level of supervision by teachers to ensure pupils wash their hands properly.

The public health guidance also states that hand sanitiser can be used. Hand-sanitisers in key areas in every school in the country, as well as in every classroom, are being provided. To enable the supply of sanitiser fluid for each school, a drawdown framework for use by schools to purchase sanitiser etc. (as well as other potential PPE requirements) is in place and all schools have been advised accordingly.

Minor Works Scheme

Questions (164)

Holly Cairns

Question:

164. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Education the qualifying criteria for schools to be eligible to receive the minor works grant; the schools in receipt of the grant in County Cork; the reason schools were denied a grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26242/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Under Project Ireland 2040 the Minor Works Grant (MWG) is paid to primary schools in either December or January of each school year.

This year, due to the exceptional circumstances arising from COVID-19, €29m was paid under the Minor Works Grant to primary schools in the free scheme in July 2020. There was also an additional funding of €75m under the July Stimulus programme allocated to cover an enhanced Minor Works Grant at Primary and a once off Minor Works Grant at Post-Primary schools. To date approximately €71m of these grants have issued to schools.

Schools outside of the free scheme are not automatically covered by the Minor Works Grant or the enhanced Minor Works Grant. My Department recognises that there might be limited circumstances where fee-charging schools may require some support to implement necessary reconfiguration works envisaged under the ‘Roadmap for the Full Return to Schools’. In all circumstances schools are required to clearly demonstrate their difficulties in implementing necessary control measures and how the provision of additional support will help to overcome those particular difficulties. Schools can contact the Department at reopeningschools@education.gov.ie if they wish to make an application. Each application received by the Department is considered on a case-by-case basis.

A list of the schools in County Cork that have received the Minor Works Grant is set out below:

List of Co. Cork schools in receipt of Minor Works grant

School Transport

Questions (165)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

165. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education if and when concessionary bus places will be offered in respect of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26260/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the 2019/20 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €219m in 2019.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

Under the terms of the Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest school as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

All children who are eligible for school transport and who applied and paid by the deadline have been accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation.

Children who apply for transport and who are not eligible are considered for spare seats that may exist after eligible children have been facilitated; such seats are referred to as concessionary seats.

Bus Éireann, who operate school transport on behalf of my Department, have advised that the child referred to by the Deputy is not eligible for school transport under the terms of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme as she is not attending her nearest school.

Concessionary transport may vary from year to year and cannot be guaranteed for the duration of a child’s Post Primary school education cycle. Where the number of applications for transport on a concessionary basis exceeds the number of seats available, Bus Éireann determines the allocation of the tickets and refunds payments made on behalf of those concessionary applicants for whom no seats remain.

Bus Éireann has advised that the pupil referred to by the Deputy was not successful in obtaining a concessionary seat, and all tickets have been allocated on the service in question and that the service is operating to capacity at present.

A refund was issued to this family on 21 August, 2020.

Schools Building Projects

Questions (166)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

166. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Education the staged timelines for a tender (details supplied). [26264/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The building project referred to by the Deputy is being delivered under my Department’s Design and Build Programme which tenders to pre-established frameworks of D&B contractors.

My Department is currently in the process of establishing a Framework of Design and Build Contractors to which Design and Build projects can be tendered. Once this framework is established, it is intended that this project will be tendered as soon as possible thereafter.

In the interim, my Department and it's Project Management team are liaising with a third party developer to establish a joint programme for the construction of the required road networkj to service the site. This is a condition of the planningpermission and both my Department and the third party developer will be liaising with Cork County Council over the coming months with regard to satisfying those planning conditions. It is envisaged that the construction of the required roads and the construction of the schools will be progressed in tandem.

The ETB and the school authorities will be kept informed as the project progresses.

Schools Building Projects

Questions (167)

Seán Sherlock

Question:

167. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Education the staged timelines for a tender (details supplied). [26265/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The building project referred to by the Deputy is being delivered under my Department’s Design and Build Programme which tenders to pre-established frameworks of D&B contractors.

My Department is currently in the process of establishing a Framework of Design and Build Contractors to which Design and Build projects can be tendered. Once this framework is established, it is intended that this project will be tendered as soon as possible thereafter.

School Transport

Questions (168)

Matt Shanahan

Question:

168. Deputy Matt Shanahan asked the Minister for Education the status of the contracts of private bus operators with respect to public service obligation agreements through Bus Éireann; if contracts have been renewed and agreed with operators; if consideration has been given to supporting private operators running private bus services which may have to reduce to 50% capacity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25993/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the 2019/20 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €219m in 2019.

Based on the public health advice published in early July, my Department has been planning for School Transport Scheme services for the 2020/2021 school year to fully operate, but with additional measures and hygiene requirements in place. The Department has been engaging intensively with Bus Éireann in regard to the logistics for the safe operation of School Transport Scheme services for the 2020/2021 school year. Funding has been provided to private transport providers who are contracted by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department to operate the School Transport Scheme services i n order to meet these requirements.

Updated health advice was received from NPHET on 18 August, which impacts on the operation of post-primary school transport services. This advice stated that for secondary school students on school transport, strict distancing should be ensured in line with that on public transport along with the wearing of face coverings.

The Department is engaging with Bus Éireann in respect of these plans, in order to implement measures so that any services that can operate from the start of the school year at 50% capacity will do so and over the coming period all other post-primary transport services will be re-organised and additional services will be provided as required to allow for physical distancing.

Bus Éireann has recently invited applications from operators who wish to be considered for the provision of additional post-primary services that may be required. These services are required to cater for additional capacity in light of the most recent public health advice and will continue to be required while that advice remains in place. The general terms and conditions for these contracts will be in line with what Bus Éireann currently hold with existing school transport contractors.

Commercial contractors who provide transport for schools on a private hire or commercial basis but who are not contracted by Bus Éireann to operate on the Department’s School Transport Scheme do not fall under the remit of the Department of Education. However, the Department has reminded schools and other stakeholders that public health advice is best practice on these services also.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment

Questions (169)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

169. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection if recipients of the pandemic unemployment payment such as former workers of a company (details supplied) who have no prospect of returning to their previous employment, are entitled to access further education and training courses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26031/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Back to Education Allowance provides income support for jobseekers and certain others in receipt of social welfare payments who pursue courses of education at second or third level. The main focus of the allowance is to assist qualifying applicants to improve their educational qualifications and their prospects of gaining employment. The Back to Education Allowance has recently been extended as part of the July Stimulus in response to Covid-19. Ordinarily a person must be in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment for a minimum period before being eligible to apply for the scheme when pursuing training or education. This condition is now being waived for recipients of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment seeking to return to education. This ensures that those who have lost their employment during the pandemic have immediate access to these supports. A person in receipt of the Pandemic Unemployment Payment is required to apply for a jobseeker payment to access the Back to Education Allowance. I would advise that any person seeking to return to education in the circumstances as referred to by the Deputy contacts the Department to discuss the options available.

Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance Scheme

Questions (170)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

170. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will extend the income limit for back to school allowance to €700 to allow a couple who have both lost their employment and are on Covid-19 payments to qualify; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26047/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The back to school clothing and footwear allowance scheme provides a once-off payment to eligible families to assist with the costs of clothing and footwear when children start or return to school each autumn. The scheme operates from June to September each year. The allowance is payable for eligible children between the ages of 4 and 17 in respect of whom a qualified child increase is being paid. It is also payable to those between the ages of 18 and 22 who are in full-time second level education and in respect of whom a qualified child allowance is being paid.

The allowance paid for each eligible child aged from 4 to 11 years on or before 30 September 2020 is €150 while an allowance of €275 is paid for each eligible child aged over 12 on or before 30 September 2020.

Similar to previous years, the majority of customers are awarded back to school clothing and footwear allowance automatically and notification of the awards issued to these customers in late June. This year 115,000 families have been automatically approved for the back to school clothing and footwear allowance in respect of 211,000 qualified children. Payments amounting to €43m were made to these families in the week commencing 13 July 2020. In addition, payments of €6.7m have already been made to 16,500 families in respect of 33,200 qualified children from the applications received to date.

This year, the eligibility criteria for back to school clothing and footwear allowance has been extended to include the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment as a qualifying payment for the allowance. Recipients of this payment also need to satisfy all the other qualifying conditions in order to qualify which includes satisfying the income limits.

Income Limits for 2020 are:-

Couple with:

Income Limit

Lone Parent with:

Income Limit

1 child

€603.70

1 child

€438.30

2 children

€643.70

2 children

€478.30

3 children

€683.70

3 children

€518.30

4 children

€723.70*

4 children

€558.30*

* Limit is increased by €40 for each additional child.

The COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment rate of €350 has been reduced from 17th September 2020 to the following rates:

- €300.00 where prior earnings exceeded €300 per week

- €250.00 where prior earnings were between €200 and €300 per week;

- €203.00 where prior earnings were up to €200 per week.

There means that a couple who are both in receipt of the COVID-19 pandemic unemployment payment at the maximum rate of €300 per person from 17th September 2020 can qualify for the back to school clothing an footwear allowance providing that they don't have any additional household income.

The closing date for back to school clothing and footwear allowance applications is 30th September 2020.

Community Employment Schemes

Questions (171)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

171. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection if a community employment scheme will be extended for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26062/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I understand that the person concerned had completed 3 years on Community Employment in September 2019, and in view of her particular circumstances was permitted, exceptionally at that time, to continue for a further year.

In order to be eligible again for Community Employment, she will again need to be in a receipt of a qualifying payment for twelve months. She can then apply for appropriate vacancies.

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

Fuel Allowance

Questions (172)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

172. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26064/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Fuel allowance, under the National fuel scheme, may be payable to certain households in receipt of long term Social Welfare payments who are unable to provide for their heating needs. The allowance is subject to a means test and is paid only to those who live alone or with certain exempted people. Full details of the qualifying criteria for the scheme are available on the Department’s website www.welfare.ie.

The department received a claim for fuel allowance for the gentleman concerned on 04 September 2020. A Deciding Officer of the department wrote to him on 11 September 2020 requesting further information relevant to his application for fuel allowance. His claim for fuel allowance will be finalised as quickly as possible on receipt of the requested information.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

Registration of Deaths

Questions (173)

Colm Burke

Question:

173. Deputy Colm Burke asked the Minister for Social Protection if meetings to give personal and sensitive details in relation to the filing of a form for the registration of a death will be undertaken in a private, confidential setting on a one to one basis in a meeting room in each facility during Covid-19; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26074/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The matter raised by the Deputy relates to the registration of a death where a relative sought to register the death in person. Due to Covid-19 public health restrictions, public access to Civil Registration Offices is restricted. Temporary arrangements have been put in place to allow for the registration of births and deaths without having to attend in person before a registrar to submit the necessary paperwork and sign the register. The HSE, which has day-to-day operational responsibility for the Civil Registration Service, has put in place the necessary arrangements to enable deaths to be registered.

I understand that, in this case, the person registering the death was dissatisfied that the public office was closed and that the alternative arrangements were not satisfactory. Registration staff were able to facilitate the death registration in line with their protocols to adhere to Covid-19 public health restrictions.

It is regretted that the person registering the death was not satisfied with the service and I have brought this matter to the attention of the General Register Office and the local Civil Registration Service.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

National Childcare Scheme

Questions (174)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

174. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Social Protection if a NCF payment will be processed for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26080/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the National Childcare Scheme (NCS), which is an initiative under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA). I am advised by that Department that the NCS is the first ever statutory entitlement to financial support for childcare. It establishes an equitable and progressive system of universal and income-related subsidies for children up to the age of 15.

I am further advised that Pobal has been engaged as the scheme administrator to manage the operation of the Scheme on behalf of the DCYA. The case raised by the Deputy has been referred by the DCYA to Pobal, who will contact the guardian in question directly to discuss the specific case and any concerns they may have.

Carer's Allowance

Questions (175)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

175. 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. [26083/20]

View answer

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.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 13 July 2020.

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

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 29 July 2020 of this decision, the reason for it and of his right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and provided further supporting medical evidence to support his review.

Following the review, the decision in relation to the medical remained unchanged.

The person concerned was notified on 16 September 2020 of this decision and the reason for it.

As the department were notified on 14 September 2020 that the person concerned had appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO), the person concerned was also notified that his file would be submitted to the Social Welfare Appeals Office for their consideration.

A submission in support of the decision was prepared and forwarded to the SWAO for their determination on 17 September 2020.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance

Questions (176)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

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]

View answer

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.

Carer's Allowance

Questions (177)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

177. 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. [26086/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 14 April 2020.

Having considered the evidence in this appeal, the Appeals Officer was of the opinion that the case could not be properly determined on a summary basis and in those circumstances decided to convene an oral hearing. However due to the restrictions arising as a result of COVID 19 in person appeal hearings were suspended since mid March 2020 and it had not been possible to schedule an oral hearing in this case prior to that suspension.

The Chief Appeals Officer has advised me that in person oral hearings have resumed recently for some essential cases and the use of video technology for remote hearings is also being examined. The use of video technology will need to ensure the maintenance of fair procedures, confidentiality, compliance with data protection and other legal requirements.

It is the intention of the Appeals Officer to hold an oral hearing in this case as soon as is practicable and the appellant will be given advance notification of the hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for 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

Questions (178)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

178. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26089/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Based on the evidence supplied in support of their application for disability allowance (DA), this person’s application was disallowed on the grounds that the medical qualifying condition was not satisfied. They were notified in writing of this decision on 16 June 2020.

The person concerned requested an appeal of the decision and submitted additional medical evidence for consideration. The Social Welfare Appeals Office decided, based on this additional evidence, that the medical qualifying condition was satisfied.

DA is a means-tested payment. On 15 September 2020 the person concerned was issued with an option letter asking him to confirm if he wished to proceed with his DA claim or stay on his current social welfare payment which is being paid at a higher rate. On receipt of this information a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance

Questions (179)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

179. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26091/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I confirm that an application from this gentleman for disability allowance (DA) was received by this Department on 10 June 2020.

The processing time for individual DA claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying criteria, the person’s circumstances and the information they provide in support of their claim.

The application has been referred to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for a report on the person’s means and circumstances. Once the SWI has submitted his/her report to DA section, a decision will be made on the application and this gentleman will be notified directly of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance

Questions (180)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

180. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26092/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned has been awarded disability allowance with effect from 29 April 2020. He was notified in writing of this decision on 6 July 2020.

The first payment was made by his chosen payment method on 15 July 2020. Arrears of payment due were calculated and issued to the person concerned on 15 July 2020.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance

Questions (181)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

181. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26094/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

I confirm that an application from this gentleman for disability allowance (DA) was received by this Department on 22 May 2020.

The processing time for individual DA claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the three main qualifying criteria, the person’s circumstances and the information they provide in support of their claim.

The application has been referred to a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI) for a report on the person’s means and circumstances. Once the SWI has submitted his/her report to DA section, a decision will be made on the application and this gentleman will be notified directly of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance

Questions (182)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

182. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied) regarding a decision in relation to a disability allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26095/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

Following a successful appeal, this gentleman has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 8 January 2020 when he sent in his application. The first payment was made by his chosen payment method 10 June 2020. The person concerned was informed of this decision on 4 June 2020.

Arrears of payment due were calculated and issued to this gentleman on 10 June 2020.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.