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Social Welfare Eligibility

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 March 2022

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Questions (516)

Holly Cairns


516. Deputy Holly Cairns asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will examine a situation in which a person (details supplied) has been denied maternity benefit and has received less illness benefit than they are entitled to. [11465/22]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

Maternity Benefit is a payment made for 26 weeks to employed and self-employed women who satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions on their own insurance record.

For the person concerned to qualify for payment of Maternity Benefit, in addition to having met the PRSI contributions for the tax year relevant to her claim, she must also be in insurable employment that is covered by the Maternity Protection Act, 1994 which must be within 16 weeks prior to the end of the week in which her baby was due. 

The  person concerned was due to give birth on 06/10/21, while according to the Department's records her employment closed on 03/06/21.  

Maternity Benefit is paid to a person who takes maternity leave from work. As the person concerned was not in insurable employment within 16 weeks of the end of the week in which her baby was due her maternity leave could not be certified and her claim was disallowed.

The Illness Benefit claim of the person concerned was awarded on 20/12/21. She was awarded a rate of €159.00 based on her average weekly earnings in the 2019 income tax year.  

The Illness Benefit decision letter advised the person concerned that the decision could be reviewed if she felt the decision was incorrect. The letter also advised the person concerned that she may have further entitlements such as to Supplementary Welfare Allowance and she could make enquiries at her local Intreo Office about her entitlements. 

I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy