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Living Alone Allowance

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 3 December 2020

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Questions (40)

Paul Kehoe


40. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Social Protection when the increase to the living alone allowance as announced in budget 2021 will take effect; the number of persons in County Wexford who will benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40002/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Living Alone Allowance is a payment for people aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments, including State pensions, and who are living alone. It is also paid to people aged under 66 who live alone and are in receipt of Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Incapacity Supplement or Blind Pension. This Living Alone Allowance is not means tested and the payment is made as an increase to the recipient’s primary social welfare payment. Budget 2021 provides for a €5 increase to the Living Alone Allowance from €14 to €19 per week giving a total payment of €988 over the course of the year in addition to the recipient's primary social welfare payment. This represents a 36% increase in the value of the Allowance. The overall cost of the increase in 2021 is estimated at €57.5m. The implementation of the increase is scheduled with effect from the week commencing 4th January 2021. It is estimated that there will be 221,700 recipients of this payment in 2021. The increase will require amendment to primary legislation (Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005). The necessary legislative amendment is included in the Bill to implement social welfare provisions of Budget 2021. The current number of recipients of the Living Alone Allowance in Wexford is 7,723. The number of recipients who will benefit during 2021 would therefore be estimated to be similar. It should be noted that estimates are subject to change in the context of emerging trends. I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.