Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

176 Mr. Martin asked the Minister for Health the steps, if any, he will take to ensure that individuals who suffer from ME/CFS be deemed medically eligible to receive a disabled person's maintenance allowance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16163/96]

Limerick East): Disabled person's maintenance allowance is the primary income support scheme operated by the health boards for people who, because of their disability, cannot work and are not in a position to maintain themselves in the community.

In order to qualify for disabled person's maintenance allowance, an applicant must satisfy both a means test and a medical assessment. Disabled person's maintenance allowance is not paid in respect of any specified disability. An ME/CFS sufferer could qualify for disabled person's maintenance allowance provided he/she satisfied both the means and medical assessments for the allowance.

I should add that responsibility for the administration of the disabled person's maintenance allowance scheme is transferring to the Department of Social Welfare on 2 October 1996 when it will be known as disability allowance.