Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Ceisteanna (707)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

707. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which a person who is estranged from his or her spouse or partner for reasons of domestic violence can access dental benefit on the basis of his or her spouse's PRSI contributions without having to contact him or her; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10012/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

A person can qualify for treatment benefit in two ways, either using their own PRSI record if they have the required contributions or by using their spouse’s/partner’s record if they are financially dependent on their spouse or partner.

Where a person is applying for the treatment benefit based on their spouse’s/partner’s PRSI record, they are required to complete an eligibility check form DE2, available from the service provider they intend to use or directly from the Department. To ensure data protection compliance (including the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation legislation) the Department seeks the written consent of both parties to their data being used to make the necessary enquires in order to check the applicants entitlement to the benefit.

The “qualified” spouse/partner is not asked to consent to their spouse getting the treatment, but is asked to consent to the use of their PPSN by the Department, so that their PRSI record can be checked to potentially qualify their dependant spouse/partner. Where a dependent spouse/partner indicates to the Department that they do not wish to, or are not in a position to ask their spouse/partner to sign the form the Department can still proceed to determine eligibility. A protocol is in place to cover cases of domestic violence and is in operation in relation to all schemes and services of the Department.