Written Answers. - Disability Benefit.


asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will ensure that disability benefit is restored to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 12 who has already been awarded a part disablement pension but who has been now told that in respect of a disability benefit he is "fit for work".

The person concerned claimed disablement benefit under the occupational injuries scheme in respect of back injuries he received in an accident at work on 27 July 1983. He was examined by a medical referee of the Department on 7 February 1986 and on the basis of the results of this examination the extent of his disablement was provisionally assessed at 20 per cent from 19 October 1984 to 24 July 1986.

The assessment of the extent of his disablement at 20 per cent was made by reference to the degree of loss of physical or mental faculty he may have suffered as a result of his accident at work as compared with a person of the same age and sex in normal health. The assessment is not determined by the claimant's capacity to work.

He was re-examined by a medical referee on 3 July 1986 and the extent of his disablement was confirmed at 20 per cent for life from 25 July 1986. He was awarded the appropriate pension of £12.58 weekly and payment will continue to issue to him at four-weekly intervals in advance for life.

He also claimed and was paid disability benefit from 12 December 1985 to 16 March 1987, when payment was disallowed following a separate medical review in connection with his entitlement to disability benefit which was conducted on 3 March 1987. The medical referee who examined him on that date expressed the opinion that he was capable of work, and a deciding officer accordingly revised the decision to allow disability benefit.

He appealed against the disallowance and arrangements are being made to have him examined by a different medical referee at an early date.

His entitlement to further payment of disability benefit will be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report following this examination.