Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (496)

John Lahart


496. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of applications and refusals from 2015 to date for an exceptional needs payment on the grounds of parents incurring additional costs as a result of having a child in hospital; the average timeframe for a decision on same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8533/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, my Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. The ENP scheme is demand led and payments are made at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme, taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case in order to ensure that the payments target those most in need of assistance.

Statistics are maintained on the number of applications awarded under the ENP scheme, but it is not possible to identify payments made to parents to meet additional costs arising as a result of having a child in hospital.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.