Back to Education Allowance Eligibility

Ceisteanna (135)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

135. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if back to school allowance is payable to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18012/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA) is a one off payment which assists towards the cost of uniforms/footwear in respect of school-going children. An applicant must be in receipt of a Qualified Child Increase with their social welfare payment. The scheme for 2013 is not yet operational. However following receipt of his application in 2012 the customer concerned was paid the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance in respect of all 5 children. The customer should apply in the same way for the BSCFA this year once the scheme is operational.

Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility

Ceisteanna (136)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

136. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which support is available to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18013/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional and unforeseen expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. The ENP scheme is not intended to cover circumstances where responsibility rests with another Government Department or Agency.

The payment of the Local Property Tax (LPT) is not covered under the ENP scheme. The Office of the Revenue Commissioners has provided for a full or partial deferral of the LPT in circumstances where owner-occupiers have an inability to pay.

Public Services Card

Ceisteanna (137)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

137. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Social Protection the requirements for applicants for social welfare payments to complete the safe registration appointment process; the reasons for this; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18025/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Department of Social Protection has developed, in conjunction with a number of other Government Departments, a rules based standard for establishing and authenticating an individual’s identity for the purposes of access to public services.

This programme of work, which is known as the Standard Authentication Framework Environment or SAFE for short, also provided for the introduction of a Public Services Card (PSC) to enable individuals to gain access to public services more efficiently and with a minimum of duplication of effort.

The benefits of the introduction of the PSC can be found in the following areas: Reducing the rate of fraud and errors caused by incorrectly identified and authenticated citizens; improving existing cards (e.g. Social Services Cards and Free Travel), through better security features, considerably reducing the potential for forgery and fraudulent use; removing the duplication caused by multiple agencies each solving the problem of identity and authentication themselves; improving the efficiency of every service delivered by the State. Even an improvement of a few percent represents major cost savings.

A PSC is currently issued following a “face-to-face” registration process which involves the capture of an individual’s photograph and signature, the verification of identity and current address as well as the capture of additional data such as answers to security questions to be used in ensuring the future integrity of customers’ data.

Letters which are issuing from the Department to a number of customers in relation to registration for their PSC ask them to bring proof of identity and evidence of current address with them.

The legislative basis for the SAFE registration process is contained in the 2005 Social Welfare Consolidation Act as amended. Section 15 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act, 2012 amended the Social Welfare Consolidation Act, 2005 to provide that:

i) for any new claim for social welfare payment, the claimant must satisfy the Minister for Social Protection as to his or her identity and

ii) the Minister for Social Protection must be satisfied as to the identity of a person to whom a Public Services Card (as provided for in Section 263 of the 2005 Act) is issued.

Section 15 further provides that, in order satisfy himself or herself as to the identity of a person, the Minister may request him or her to personally attend at a location designated by the Minister, to present documentation supporting authentication of his or her identity and to allow for capture of a photograph and a signature.

National Internship Scheme Placements

Questions Nos. 139 and 140 withdrawn.

Ceisteanna (138)

Andrew Doyle

Ceist:

138. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Minister for Social Protection if exceptions will be made through the jobbridge scheme in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow who previously worked in the company; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18041/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

I understand that in this case the employer concerned has ceased the employment of an existing worker with the intention of recruiting the same worker as an intern to perform the same work duties he performed as an employee.

The JobBridge scheme is intended to encourage employers to increase the size of their workforce and to give opportunities to unemployed people from the live register who might not otherwise be considered for employment.

The rules governing JobBridge were carefully designed to minimise unintended consequences such as displacement of existing jobs and workers.

Accordingly I will not make an exception in the case referred to by the Deputy.

Questions Nos. 139 and 140 withdrawn.

Farm Assist Scheme Payments

Ceisteanna (141)

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

141. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons who are in receipt of a payment (details supplied); if she will publish this information in a county format; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18056/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The information requested by the Deputy is collated by my Department annually for inclusion in the Statistical Information on Social Welfare Services report. The total number of recipients of farm assist at 31 December 2012 is listed by county in the attached tabular statement.

Farm Assist

County

31st December 2012

Carlow

84

Cavan

404

Clare

609

Cork

922

Donegal

1,534

Dublin

37

Galway

1,112

Kerry

818

Kildare

53

Kilkenny

146

Laois

158

Leitrim

394

Limerick

250

Longford

260

Louth

87

Mayo

1,813

Meath

93

Monaghan

504

Offaly

130

Roscommon

424

Sligo

310

Tipperary

404

Waterford

92

Westmeath

197

Wexford

248

Wicklow

79

Others

0

Totals

11,162

Exceptional Needs Payment Eligibility

Ceisteanna (142)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

142. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if an exceptional needs payment will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18063/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The person concerned has not made an application for an exceptional needs payment. However, the local community welfare service office has contacted him and arranged an appointment for him to see a designated officer.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (143)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

143. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the progress made to date in respect of determination of an application for domiciliary care allowance in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18068/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

An application for domiciliary care allowance was received from the person concerned on the 29th January 2013. This application was referred to one of the Department’s Medical assessors who found that the child was medically eligible for the allowance. The person concerned was notified on the 19th March 2013 that her claim was awarded. The first payment including arrears issued to her on the 16th April 2013.

Family Income Supplement Application Numbers

Ceisteanna (144)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

144. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Social Protection the percentage of families in receipt of family income supplement that are public sector workers. [18099/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

There are currently 38,387 people in receipt of a weekly family income supplement. Of these, 3,339 (8.7%) are recorded as public servants.