I confirm that my Department received an application for carer’s allowance (CA) from the person concerned on 23 August 2017.
The application was awarded to the person concerned on 15 January 2018 with effect from 24 August 2017 and the first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 1 February 2018.
It is proposed to withhold arrears of allowance due to the value of €1,776.34 for the period 24 August 2017 to 31 January 2018 as the person concerned has an outstanding one-parent family payment debt owing to my Department of €12,751.80.
My Department is obliged to seek recovery of debts owed to it as quickly as possible, having due regard to the circumstances of the debtor.
My Department’s debt recovery unit wrote to the person concerned on 12 February 2018 advising of the withholding of her arrears and the proposal to recover the balance of the debt owing by deductions of €30.00 per week to commence on or after 8 March 2018.
Before the withholding of arrears and commencement of deductions, the person concerned is being afforded the opportunity within 21 days of the date of the letter dated 12 February 2018 to make any comment on the proposed method of recovery of the debt.
If the person concerned is experiencing difficulties with regards to this proposal, she should state clearly as part of her comments her current weekly income and expenditure. A debt recovery officer will take into consideration her ability to pay and accordingly set an amount to be deducted weekly from her CA payment.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.