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Social Welfare Payments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 14 December 2021

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Questions (449)

Paul Murphy

Question:

449. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will address a matter in relation to a disability welfare payment (details supplied). [61694/21]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Disability Allowance is one of a range of means-tested social assistance payments operated by my Department. 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. Where an individual is renting part of their family home, the cash value of the rental income is assessed. However, such rental income is reduced by a range of deductions.

These include:

- a proportion of any mortgage interest paid by the claimant on the part of the property rented;

- a 15% deduction for voids (i.e. periods when the accommodation is vacant between lettings); and,

- if the rooms let are furnished, a 5% deduction for wear and tear.

The Deputy will be aware that I have made significant changes to means tests over the last two Budgets. I will continue to keep the issue of means assessments under review, including the issue raised by the Deputy, and will bring forward any further changes in the context of future Budgets.

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