Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (497)

Mark Ward


497. Deputy Mark Ward asked the Minister for Social Protection the provisions in place for persons that are suffering from mental health issues which are affecting their ability to work (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6713/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Disability allowance (DA) is payment for persons between the ages of 16 and 66 with a disability which is expected to last at least one year, and who by reason of that disability, are substantially restricted in undertaking work suitable to their age, qualifications and experience. Applicants must also satisfy a means test and be habitually resident in the State.

Entitlement to DA is not contingent on the nature of the illness or disability itself but on the extent to which a person’s capacity to work is restricted by illness or disability.

In all cases a deciding officer makes a decision in line with the provisions specified in the relevant social welfare legislation and with reference to the supporting medical evidence supplied by the applicant.

The Department administers the Illness Benefit scheme to those customers who cannot work because they are sick or ill. Customers must be covered by the appropriate class of social insurance (PRSI), satisfy the PRSI conditions and provide a Certificate of Incapacity for Work from a medical practitioner. Illness Benefit can be paid for up to two years, depending on the person meeting the requirements in relation to eligibility and ongoing medical certification. Again, entitlement to Illness Benefit is not contingent on the nature of the illness/disability but on the extent to which a particular illness or disability impairs or restricts a person’s capacity to work.

A person who does not satisfy the eligibility for Disability Allowance or Illness Benefit and who is unable to work may apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA). An application for a SWA payment should be made through the Community Welfare Service at the local Intreo Centre.