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Social Welfare Payments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (275)

John McGuinness

Question:

275. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection if a working family payment will be reinstated immediately for a person (details supplied) based on the information provided to them by her Department. [58080/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Working Family Payment is an in work, income tested family payment which provides additional financial support to employees on low earnings with children.

Once WFP is awarded, it is payable for 52 weeks at a fixed rate, while a claimant continues to be engaged in fulltime employment as an employee for not less than 38 hours per fortnight, with the same employer. If the claimant ceases employment or changes employer during the WFP 52 week award period, their entitlement to WFP ends on the existing claim and the claimant is subject to a new application. This information is available under the Operational guidelines for WFP on Gov.ie.

The WFP claim for the person concerned was renewed with effect from 22 July 2021 to 20 July 2022.

According to the Department's real time records their employment ceased on 23 August 2021. The person concerned commenced employment with a new employer with effect from 24 August 2021. This employment subsequently ceased on 11 October 2021. The person concerned recommenced employment with their former employer from 28 October 2021 to date.

The person concerned informed the Department on 16 September 2021 regarding their change of employer from 24 August 2021. However due to a Departmental error, the claimant was incorrectly advised that they could opt to continue their existing claim or to close their existing claim and reapply for WFP. On the basis of the incorrect information that was provided by the Department's response of 16 September 2021 to the person concerned, the claimant opted to continue their existing claim and payment continued to 10 November 2021.

Following the further cessation of their employment on 11 October 2021 their entitlement to WFP ended on their existing claim and accordingly the person concerned was subject to a new application in respect of their new employment that commenced from 28 October 2021. The person concerned was advised in writing of above on 5 November 2021.

An application for WFP was received from the person concerned on 18 November 2021 and was awarded from 18 November 2021 to 16 November 2022 based on their family circumstances, and income, including their spouse's earnings that applied at the time of re-application.

As the person concerned was subsequently advised of the required procedure in relation to employment cessation and employer change during a WFP award period, in the Department's written communication of 5 November 2021, there are no grounds to reinstate payment on their former WFP claim as they were subject to a new application from 28 October 2021.

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

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