Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (514)

Michael Healy-Rae


514. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection if the blind pension is means tested (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7175/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Blind Pension is a means tested payment paid to blind people and certain people with low vision, aged 18 and up to the age of 66 who are habitually resident in the State.

Blind Pension is one of a range of means-tested social assistance payments. Social welfare legislation provides that the means test takes account of the income and assets of the person (and spouse/partner, if applicable) applying for the relevant scheme. The means assessment reflects the fact that there is an expectation that people with reasonable amounts of income or capital are in a position to use these resources to support themselves so that social welfare expenditure can be directed towards those who need it most.

Any changes to means assessments for schemes, including the Blind Pension, can only be considered within an overall budgetary context.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy