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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Social Welfare Payments.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will investigate the official delay in making payments to persons who qualify for social welfare benefit.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will ensure that no person is refused or deprived of social welfare payments until non-entitlement has been proved in cases under investigation.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Question Nos. 51 and 52 together.

As the Deputy is aware, there was a full debate on a motion regarding social welfare payments during Private Members' Business on the 6th and 7th May 1980. The position is that generally all social welfare payments are being issued with a minimum of delay where claims are correctly made and the claimant is qualified on his or her insurance record for payment.

Regarding the issue of supplementary pension books to pensioners, as I indicated in reply to a question on 29 May 1980, the position is that all supplementary books which provide for the budget increases have been issued to post offices for collection by the 330,000 pensioners in the country. As I explained in the reply to the question on 29 May 1980, it was not possible, because of the short interval between the date of this year's budget and the dates from which the increases in the pensions had effect, to have pension order books at the increased rates printed and issued to the pensioners before their existing books expired at the end of March 1980.

Payments under the various social insurance and social assistance schemes are governed by statutory conditions. Persons who satisfy the relevant conditions are allowed payment at the appropriate rate and persons who do not satisfy the conditions are so informed and advised of the reasons why they are not qualified for payment. There is no question of persons being refused or deprived of payment while their claims are being investigated.