Departmental Staff

Ceisteanna (549)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

549. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of staff in her Department assigned solely or primarily to work on North-South issues; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21263/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department in conjunction with our counterparts in Northern Ireland liaise on North- South issues through a number of initiatives.

The Department is a partner in the EURES Ireland/ Northern Ireland Cross Border Partnership which addresses the obstacles that cross border workers, employers and jobseekers face, for example, jobseekers that need information on employment and training opportunities on both sides of the border, providing information on cross border taxation issues, social security benefits and medical services, and by opening up recruitment opportunities in the cross border region. The Partnership aims to assist employers by providing them with access to a larger pool of labour i.e. jobseekers living on both sides of the border. Advice is available to employers on a range of cross-border recruitment issues. The Partnership covers all of Northern Ireland and the border counties of Ireland (Louth, Cavan, Monaghan, Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim).

An annual Summer School is run jointly by my Department and the Department for Communities, (DfC), Northern Ireland. It provides an opportunity for staff to analyse and debate topical social policy issues facing both jurisdictions. It also facilitates an exchange of views and insights between staff from both departments.

Staff are also encouraged to participate in bodies such as the North- South Ministerial Council when posts become available. There are currently two staff members from my Department on secondment to this body.

Given the nature of the work carried out by my Department, staff across all scheme areas are in regular contact with their counterparts in the respective Departments/Agencies in Northern Ireland. With this regular contact and in conjunction with the above mentioned initiatives, my Department is continually engaging with North-South issues.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (550)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

550. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21306/18]

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.

CA was awarded to the person concerned on 24 April 2018 and the first payment issued to her nominated post office on 10 May 2018.

Arrears of allowance due from to 4 January 2018 have also issued. The person concerned was notified of these details on 24 April 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (551)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

551. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21307/18]

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.

My department received an application for CA from the person concerned on 25 September 2017.

The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined and the deciding officer decided that although a certain level of care was being provided the level involved did not amount to full-time care.

The person concerned was notified on 25 January 2018 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal. A review of this decision was sought on 23 February 2018. The outcome of the review is that the original decision remains unchanged.

The person concerned was notified on 7 March 2018 of the outcome and of her right of appeal.

The person concerned appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO). A submission in support of the decision has been forwarded along with the file on 10 May 2018 to the SWAO for determination.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Gender Recognition

Ceisteanna (552)

John Brady

Ceist:

552. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the timeline for the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015; the date she expects the review group’s findings to be released; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21316/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Section 7 of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 provides for the Minister to undertake a review of the Act. The Deputy may be aware that, in November 2017, I established a group to conduct that review.

The group is chaired by Moninne Griffith, Executive Director of BeLonG To, the national organisation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) young people, aged between 14 and 23.

It also includes a child participation expert, a law lecturer and representatives from Transgender Equality Network of Ireland (TENI); IndividualiTy (BeLonG To’s youth group for Transgender young people in Dublin), the Health Services Executive (HSE), the Departments of Employment Affairs and Social Protection; Children and Youth Affairs; Justice and Equality; Education and Skills; and Foreign Affairs and Trade. The secretariat is provided by my Department.

Central to the review is a public consultation process. In early January, I announced a public call for submissions and, I am pleased to say, that it attracted a significant level of response with over 90 submissions received.

I understand that the work of the Review Group is well advanced and I expect to receive its report shortly. Following my consideration of the report, and any recommendations made by the Review Group, I will lay my report before the Oireachtas as provided for in Section 7 of the Act.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (553)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

553. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21331/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 28 March 2018. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 13 April 2018 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.

The request by the person concerned for an oral hearing of this appeal will be brought to the attention of the Appeals Officer who is assigned this case.

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 (554)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

554. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21332/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My department received an application for carer's allowance (CA) from the person concerned on the 29 December 2017.

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.

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.

Following the failure of the applicant to provide requested information on two occasions, the matter was referred to a local social welfare inspector (SWI) on 10 May 2018 to assess the level of care being provided, assess means and confirm that all the conditions for receipt of CA are satisfied. Once the SWI has reported, a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Review

Ceisteanna (555)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

555. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21334/18]

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.

CA was awarded to the person concerned on 10 May 2018 and the first payment will issue to her nominated bank account on 17 May 2018.

Arrears of allowance due from to 09 November 2017 to 16 May 2018 will also issue. The person concerned was notified of these details on 10 May 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (556)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

556. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer's benefit allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21335/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce to care for a person(s) in need of full-time care and attention.

An application for carer's benefit (CARB) was received from the person concerned on 28 February 2018.

The application was awarded to the person concerned on 15 March 2018 and the first payment issued to his nominated bank account on 29 March 2018.

The person concerned was notified of these details on 22 March 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (557)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

557. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21340/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that my department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person concerned on 26 March 2018.

Additional information was requested from the person concerned on 11 May 2018. Once the information is received the application will be processed and she will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Invalidity Pension Applications

Ceisteanna (558)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

558. Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a claim for invalidity pension by a person (details supplied) was unsuccessful; if this claim can be reconsidered; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21347/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

To qualify for IP a claimant must, inter-alia, have at least 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance and 48 contributions paid or credited in the last or second last complete contribution year before the date of their claim. Only PRSI classes A, E, H or S contributions are reckonable for IP purposes. Paid voluntary contributions are not reckonable for IP purposes.

The department received a claim for IP for the lady concerned on the 12 April 2018. She was refused IP on the grounds that the contribution conditions for the scheme were not satisfied. She was notified on the 16 April 2018 of this decision, the reasons for it and of her right of review and appeal.

A person who has an insufficient PRSI contribution record to qualify for a social insurance benefit/pension may apply for the appropriate means-tested social assistance scheme. Disability Allowance (DA) is a weekly allowance paid to people with a specified disability who are aged over 16 and under 66. The disability must be expected to last for at least one year and the allowance is subject to a medical assessment, a means test and a habitual residency test.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (559)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

559. 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. [21359/18]

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.

My department received an application for CA from the person concerned on 6 December 2017.

It is a condition for receipt of CA that every claimant shall furnish such certificates, documents, information and evidence as may be required for the purposes of deciding their claim.

This application was disallowed on the grounds that the carer was not providing full-time care and attention as required and that she failed to furnish information requested by the deciding officer on 28 February 2018.

The person concerned was notified on 9 April 2018 of this decision, the reasons for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (560)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

560. 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. [21360/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision.

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 trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Eligibility

Ceisteanna (561)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

561. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been refused a place on a community employment scheme. [21361/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

As the Deputy is aware, one of the eligibility requirements to participate on Community Employment (CE) is that a person must be in receipt of a qualifying payment from my Department for a minimum period of 12 months. In order to be eligible for Community Employment a person can work up to a maximum of 30 days in a 12 month period prior to application. The person in question is currently working one day per week. He has worked more than 30 days in the 12 month period prior to application and is, therefore, not eligible to participate on the Community Employment scheme at this time.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (562)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

562. 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. [21365/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision.

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 trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Redundancy Payments

Ceisteanna (563)

Mick Barry

Ceist:

563. Deputy Mick Barry asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 210 of 8 May 2018, if a person (details supplied) can seek statutory redundancy from the insolvency fund. [21373/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The purpose of the Redundancy Payments Scheme is to compensate employees for the loss of their job. In the first instance, it is the employer’s responsibility to pay statutory redundancy to the employee should their job become redundant.

If the employer can prove to the satisfaction of my Department that they are unable to make the payment, employees have recourse to the Scheme to gain their statutory entitlement.

Under the terms of the Scheme, the redundancy claim form must be signed by both the employer and the employee. If the employer refuses to engage with an employee and sign their redundancy form, the employee must apply to the Workplace Relations Commission to have them adjudicate on their entitlement under the Redundancy Payments Act 1967, as amended. If an employee receives an award under this Act, they can submit a copy of the award together with a redundancy claim form (RP50) to my Department.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (564)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

564. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an organisation (details supplied) will be contacted to address the outstanding pension issues with the approximately 200 staff who work there. [21408/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Deputy will appreciate that I cannot comment on issues relating to a particular pension scheme. However, generally speaking, trustees of pension schemes have duties and responsibilities under the Pensions Act, under trust law, and under other relevant legislation.

Trustees must administer the trust in accordance with the law and the terms of the trust deed and rules. The provisions of the Pensions Act are enforced by the Pensions Authority so any issues or complaints in relation to a particular scheme should be notified to the Authority for action. The Pensions Authority will assess if there has been a breach of any legal obligations and take any necessary action if such a breach is found.

Although the Pensions Authority is under the aegis of my Department, it regulates pension schemes entirely independently of my Department.

A scheme member may also make a complaint about their pension scheme to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman which is an independent body under the aegis of the Department of Finance.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals Status

Ceisteanna (565)

Timmy Dooley

Ceist:

565. Deputy Timmy Dooley asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when an appeal lodged by a person (details supplied) in November 2017 will be finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21411/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who has decided to hold an oral hearing in this case on 30 May 2018. The person concerned will shortly be notified of the arrangements for the 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 trust this clarifies the matte for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (566)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

566. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision on a carer's allowance application will issue to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21416/18]

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.

CA was awarded to the person concerned on 30 April 2018 and the first payment will issue to his nominated bank account on 17 May 2018.

Arrears of allowance due from 1 March 2018 to 16 May 2018 will issue shortly. The person concerned was notified of these details on 30 April 2018.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.