Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (499)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

499. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Social Protection if persons that are in receipt of carer’s allowance and had to increase their work hours above 18.5 hours as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic will not be penalised (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6740/21]

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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. The full-time care and attention requirement and the 18.5 hour limitation are contained in the legislative provisions of the Carer’s Allowance scheme.

Any Carer engaged in employment (training and education) outside the home must show that the person they are caring for has adequate care while they are working. Where a carer has commenced employment or increased the hours they are working the onus is on the carer to notify the Department of the change in their circumstances.

I can confirm that the person concerned is in receipt of CA in respect of her daughter since 20 September 2012.

It came to my Department’s attention on 14 January 2021 that the person concerned commenced employment. Following this a review of her claim was initiated.

A letter issued to the person concerned on 22 January 2021 requesting up to date payslips from her employer. Once the information is received a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

My Department is aware that the current crisis may result in some healthcare workers on the front line working above their normal hours in the short term. I want to assure the Deputy that such instances will be looked at on a case by case basis, taking account of the individual's circumstances..

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.