Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (691)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

691. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9816/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

An application for carer's allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 7 December 2018.

CA is a means-tested social assistance payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has a disability such that they require that level of care.

A person can be considered to be providing full-time care and attention where they are engaged in employment, self-employment or on training courses outside the home for a maximum of 15 hours per week, provided that they can show to the satisfaction of a deciding officer that adequate care has been provided for the care recipient in their absence.

It has been decided that this condition has not been satisfied and accordingly the application for CA has been disallowed.

The person concerned was notified on 22 February 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Public Services Card

Ceisteanna (692)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

692. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the information required from persons applying for a public services card; her views on compelled consent in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9861/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

In order to have a Public Services Card (PSC) issued, a person must undergo SAFE registration. During this process, a photograph and signature are captured, and the person’s Public Identity Dataset is verified.

Depending on a person’s nationality, different documentation is requested in order to verify their data. For non-EEA nationals, a current valid passport is required. For EEA nationals (apart from Irish and UK nationals), a current valid passport or national ID card is required. For UK citizens, a passport or driving licence and birth certificate are required. While Irish citizens are requested to provide a passport or driving licence, SAFE registration may proceed where these are not presented. In such cases, a supervisor interview takes place in order to verify their identity using the data already held by the Department.

The legislation governing the PSC is contained in the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, as amended.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Child Benefit Eligibility

Ceisteanna (693)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

693. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to review the position whereby child benefit is terminated on the child's eighteenth birthday; and the status in a case in which the child is still attending school. [9869/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Child Benefit is a monthly payment made to families with children in respect of all qualified children up to the age of 16 years. The payment continues to be paid in respect of children up to their 18th birthday who are in full-time education, or who have a disability. Child Benefit is currently paid to almost 628,788 families in respect of over 1.2 million children, with an estimated expenditure of more than €2 billion in 2018.

Given the universality of Child Benefit it is not a payment which lends itself to a targeted approach, and the considerable costs associated with any adjustment to the payment can result in benefits being spread very thinly, rather than making a difference where there is most need. Therefore, I have no plans to review the position whereby child benefit is terminated on the child's eighteenth birthday.

Families on low incomes can avail of a number of social welfare schemes that support children in full-time education up to the age of 18 (and up to the age of 22 under certain circumstances), including:

- Increase for a Qualified Child (IQCs) with primary social welfare payments;

- the Working Family Payment (formerly Family Income Supplement) for low-paid employees with children;

- the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance for low income families (paid at the full-time second-level education rate).

As part of measures under Budget 2018, the weekly payment for each qualified child will increase from €29.80 to €31.80. This is an increase of 6.7%, and will benefit over 400,000 children.

Also in Budget 2018 earnings thresholds for the Working Family Payment, were increased by €10 per week for families with up to three children. This measure will particularly benefit low-income working families.

All of the schemes described above provide targeted assistance directly linked to household income and thereby support low-income families with older children participating in full-time education.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (694)

Maurice Quinlivan

Ceist:

694. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9902/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that my department received an application for carer’s allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 11 January 2018.

The application was awarded to the person concerned on 22 February 2018 and the first payment will issue to her nominated bank account on 1 March 2018.

Arrears of allowance due from 11 January 2018 to 28 February 2018 have also issued.

The person concerned was notified on 22 February 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Supplementary Welfare Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (695)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

695. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a €70 supplementary payment has ceased in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9915/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

According to the records of this department there was no awarded claim in the name of the person concerned. An officer of the Department will contact the person concerned today in order to discuss her options.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Ceisteanna (696)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

696. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9916/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 23rd February 2018, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

Ceisteanna (697)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

697. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the progress to date in the determination of eligibility for an invalidity pension in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9935/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The lady referred to has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from the 15 February 2018. Payment will issue to her nominated bank account on the 15 March 2018. Any arrears due from 15 February 2018 to 14 March 2018 (less any overlapping social welfare payment) will issue in due course. The lady in question was notified of this decision on the 23 February 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Appeals

Ceisteanna (698)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

698. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9946/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 23rd February 2018, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (699)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

699. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9955/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 23 January 2018. The application is currently being processed and once completed, the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (700)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

700. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a reply will issue to correspondence from a person (details supplied) regarding the calculation of a disability allowance arrears payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9991/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Following a successful appeal, this gentleman has been awarded disability allowance (DA) with effect from 1 March 2017. He has also been awarded living alone allowance (LAA) and free fuel allowance (FFA) from that date. The first payment was made by his chosen payment method on 31 January 2018.

Arrears of payment due, less any necessary adjustment in respect of any overlapping payments for the period issued to the person concerned on 17 February 2018.

Following correspondence from this gentleman regarding the calculation of his DA arrears payment, a reply issued to him on 23 February 2018.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Public Services Card

Ceisteanna (701)

John Curran

Ceist:

701. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person requires a passport to obtain a public services card but then needs a public services card in order to renew a passport; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10003/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

A person does not need a passport to obtain a public services card and, in certain instances, a person may not hold a passport. While Irish citizens are asked to bring their passport or driving licence, a SAFE registration may proceed where these are not presented. In such cases, a supervisor interview takes place in order to verify the person's identity using the data already held by the Department.

Taken individually, neither a passport, nor a driver’s license is enough to validate a person’s identity to SAFE level 2. However, in combination, and with the other data and processes, passports and driving licences can be used in order to verify an identity to SAFE 2 level.

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

Public Services Card

Ceisteanna (702, 703, 704, 705, 706)

John Curran

Ceist:

702. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason, if an adoption certificate does not detail a person's birth or birth mother's or father's identities, it is needed for an adopted person to get the public services card; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10004/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

703. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the gap an adoption certificate fills to deem an adopted person eligible for the public services card; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that adopted persons have to pay an additional €40 for an adoption certificate in order to comply with the public services card application process; her views on whether this is fair; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10005/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

704. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason an adopted person's short form birth certificate is not deemed acceptable with regard to the public services card; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10006/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

705. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of adopted persons who have registered for a public services card with an adoption certificate; the number of such persons who have been denied a card due to not producing such a certificate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10007/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Curran

Ceist:

706. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her views on a situation in which an adopted person who is not aware of his or her adopted status discovers this information when presenting at the local Intreo centre to register for the public services card; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10008/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 702 to 706, inclusive, together.

A Public Services Card (PSC) may be issued to a person who has successfully completed a SAFE 2 identity registration. The person’s Public Service Identity Dataset is verified as part of this process. Adopted people are treated in the same way as other individuals in terms of verification of identity. Name, date of birth, place of birth and mother’s birth surname are generally verified from the birth certificate or, in the case of an adopted person, from an adoption certificate.

Generally, in the case of an adopted person, the details on the birth register will be different to those on the adoption register and are not consistent with their current identity.

As my Department has access to the Irish Birth Register, the above details can be verified without the need for the individual to physically present a birth certificate, providing that the record can be located on the Register.

However, in contrast, my Department does not have access to the Irish Adoption Register. Accordingly, staff would not be aware of a customer’s adoption status. In such circumstances, the individual is asked to bring a copy of their adoption certificate. This requirement is stated clearly in SAFE 2 registration invitation letters and on my Department’s website.

When a person presents for a SAFE 2 appointment without a birth certificate, and their birth registration details cannot be located on the Register, they are asked to contact the General Register Office (GRO) to obtain same. This could be a birth certificate or an adoption certificate. No reference to adoption is made.

Regarding a person, unaware of their adoption status, finding this out as a result of attending for SAFE registration, this situation presents itself for such persons in all instances where they are required to provide their birth details, for example, passport applications. Discussions are ongoing with the Adoption Authority and the GRO with regard to how best to verify such details for adoptive persons.

For persons adopted in Ireland, there are two forms of certificate, a full certificate and an abridged certificate. Both are acceptable for the purposes of SAFE registration. Where persons are requested by the Department to provide a birth or adoption certificate, there is a reduced fee of €1.00.

With regard to the number of adopted persons who have undergone SAFE registration, the Department does not hold information on a person’s adoptive status.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.