Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ceisteanna (133, 134)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

133. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason the criteria for invalidity pension requires an applicant to have been incapable of work for at least 12 months and be likely to be incapable of work for at least another 12 months, or be permanently incapable of work, and the reason applicants are not just assessed on the permanently incapable of work condition, as seems to be the case for many applicants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29600/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

134. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding invalidity pension decisions, the number of decisions that were made on the grounds of being incapable of work for at least 12 months and be likely to be incapable of work for at least another 12 months; the number of decisions that were made on the grounds of being permanently incapable of work for the years 2012 and for the period January to May 2013; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29601/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 134 together.

Invalidity Pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions. Permanently incapable of work is defined as an incapacity for work of such a nature that the likelihood is that the claimant will be incapable of work for life or an incapacity which has existed for 12 months prior to the date of claim and where the Deciding Officer or Appeals Officer is satisfied that the claimant is likely to be unable to work for 1 year from the date of the claim.

On receipt of an Invalidity Pension Claim the Deciding Officer checks if the applicant may already have been medically assessed. If there is no suitable medical result for the applicant a diagnostic report issues to the applicant for completion by their G.P. Once this diagnostic report is returned it is viewed by a medical assessor who provides an opinion regarding the medical eligibility of the Invalidity Pension applicant. The Deciding Officer then utilises this opinion to establish if the client is medically suitable by either being incapable of work for life or by having an incapacity which has existed for 12 months prior to the date of claim and is likely to continue for 1 year. If the client is considered medically suitable and satisfies the other qualifying conditions for Invalidity Pension the claim is awarded. Applicants are not just assessed on the permanently incapable of work condition.

When a claim is awarded that applicant satisfied all the qualifying conditions for the Invalidity Pension scheme therefore the medical eligibility conditions as outlined above were satisfied. It is not possible to provide statistics broken down by those who were considered to be permanently incapable of work or incapable of work for at least another 12 months. But the following outlines the numbers awarded in 2012 and 2013 to date.

Year

Scheme

Number of awards

2012

Invalidity Pension

6,352

2013 to date

Invalidity Pension

3,233