Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (425)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

425. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for an oral hearing appeal for domiciliary care allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28632/19]

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 3rd June 2019 with a request for an oral hearing of the appeal.

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.

Jobseeker's Payments

Ceisteanna (426, 427)

John Brady

Ceist:

426. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of a jobseeker's payment that are under 26 years of age. [28645/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

427. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of a jobseeker's payment that are under 26 years of age, by county. [28646/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 426 and 427 together.

The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following tabular statement.

The number of recipients* of a jobseeker's payment that are under 26 years of age by scheme and county at the 30th of June 2016

County

Jobseeker's Allowance

Jobseeker's Benefit

Carlow

476

33

Cavan

402

30

Clare

434

51

Cork

1,230

178

Donegal

1,073

102

Dublin

4,344

741

Galway

793

125

Kerry

551

77

Kildare

696

94

Kilkenny

295

38

Laois

434

43

Leitrim

153

27

Limerick

915

76

Longford

352

32

Louth

890

90

Mayo

522

48

Meath

451

60

Monaghan

237

37

Offaly

496

47

Roscommon

216

20

Sligo

267

20

Tipperary

946

83

Waterford

784

80

Westmeath

529

76

Wexford

943

111

Wicklow

487

60

Total

18,916

2,379

* Recipients are persons who have been awarded a jobseeker's payment and is currently in receipt of a weekly payment and does not reflect the number of persons on the live register.

Youth Unemployment

Ceisteanna (428)

John Brady

Ceist:

428. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the breakdown of youth unemployment in the 18 to 25 years of age cohort in County Wicklow by data, in tabular form. [28647/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The measurement of unemployment throughout the country is the responsibility of the Central Statistics Office which is under the auspices of my colleagues in the Department of the Taoiseach.

I am however informed that at the end of June there were 547 recipients of a jobseeker's payment in the 18 to 25 years of age cohort in County Wicklow.

Treatment Benefit Scheme Applications Data

Ceisteanna (429)

John Brady

Ceist:

429. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons paying PRSI and eligible for benefits under the treatment benefit scheme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28652/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Figures for 2017 show that approximately 2,176,000 employees are entitled, subject to normal qualifying conditions, for the treatment benefit scheme. In March 2017 entitlement was also extended to approximately 450,000 self-employed contributors and their dependent partners.

It should be noted that not all employees who pay PRSI contributions are eligible for treatment benefit. Modified rate contributors (pre-1995 civil and public servants) do not have entitlement to treatment benefit and class J contributors are insured for occupational injuries benefits only.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (430)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

430. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be finalised on a carer’s allowance claim in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [28678/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

An application for CARB was received from the person concerned on 13 March 2019.

The application was awarded to the person concerned with effect from 16 May 2019 when her carer’s leave commenced. The first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 27 June 2019.

Arrears of benefit due from 16 May 2019 to 3 July 2019 also issued to her bank on 27 June 2019.

The person concerned was notified on 24 June 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (431)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

431. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a review will be undertaken of the case of a person (details supplied) with a view to backdating payment of a jobseeker's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28679/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

In this instance it would not be appropriate for my Department to undertake a review as the matter raised by the Deputy is for the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) to consider. The SWAO operates independently of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

The person concerned can request the SWAO to review the decision of her appeal which relates to the decisions in respect of Jobseekers Allowance applications registered on 20th January 2017 and 20th April 2017.

I trust that this clarifies the position.

Departmental Offices

Ceisteanna (432)

John Lahart

Ceist:

432. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the availability of bike parking spaces and lockers in all buildings used by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28695/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Department, through the Office of Public Works, provides dedicated bike parking spaces in buildings where this is feasible and where the demand exists from staff. Individual lockable space is also provided to staff. Bike parking may also be provided by landlords of shared buildings in which Departmental offices are located.

In addition, where the OPW provides new build fit-outs, the Department seeks to make provision for bike parking spaces where this is feasible.

I am advised that it is not currently possible to detail how many of our more than 270 buildings currently have dedicated bike parking spaces. I have asked my officials to collate this information and to provide it to the Deputy as soon it is available.

My Department has been actively supporting and promoting the Cycle To Work scheme since it came into operation on 1 January 2009.

Ministerial Transport

Ceisteanna (433)

John Lahart

Ceist:

433. Deputy John Lahart asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the model of the car or cars used by her in the performance of her official duties; and if it is a diesel, petrol or electric engine. [28711/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The car I use in the performance of my official duties is a diesel Peugeot-2008.

Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (434)

Eamon Scanlon

Ceist:

434. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a domiciliary care allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28740/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

An application for Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) was received from the person concerned on the 6th March 2019. The application was not allowed as the child was not considered to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the allowance. A letter issued on the 8th May 2019 setting out the decision of the deciding officer to refuse the allowance.

An appeal was registered by the Social Welfare Appeals Office on the 27th May 2019. Further medical evidence submitted with the appeal has been forwarded to the Department's Medical Assessor for their medical opinion. As part of the appeals process, the application will be re-examined by a deciding officer and a revised decision will be made if warranted. Alternatively, the case will be referred for consideration by the Social Welfare Appeals Office. The person concerned will be notified of the outcome of the deciding officer's review as soon as possible.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (435)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

435. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28741/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I can confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance (DA) from this lady on 30 April 2019.

On 01 July 2019 the person concerned was requested to supply supporting documentation required by the deciding officer in order to make a decision on her eligibility. On receipt of this information a decision will be made on her DA application and the person concerned will be notified of the outcome.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Jobseeker's Allowance Appeals

Ceisteanna (436)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

436. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28747/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned lodged a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance on 19 March 2019. The claim was disallowed as the person concerned failed to furnish all the documentation requested by the Social Welfare Inspector in order to determine the means.

A letter of disallowance issued on the 10 May 2019. Subsequently an appeal application was received on 17 June 2019 and is currently with the Social Welfare Inspector. I am advised that the details put forward by the appellant will be examined to determine if the decision should be revised or confirmed, in advance of a submission to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

The person concerned is in receipt of Supplementary Welfare Allowance since 09 May 2019 .

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Review

Ceisteanna (437)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

437. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the figures used to calculate means for a carer's allowance review in the case of a person (details supplied) will be clarified; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28773/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

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

It is a condition for receipt of CA that the applicant’s means are less than the statutory limit which in this case is €247.60 weekly.

The application for CA was disallowed as her means were determined to exceed the statutory limit.

Means are any income belonging to the carer and their spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant, property, (except their own home) or an asset that could bring in money or provide them with an income, for example occupational pensions, or pensions or benefits from another country.

The person concerned was notified on 23 May 2019 of this decision the reason for it and her right of review and appeal.

A review of this decision was requested on 5 June 2019.

The evidence before the deciding officer for the review included a payslip from the person concerned dated 21 April 2019 which showed a gross income of €5,870.92 for eighteen insurable weeks, averaging €326.16 per week. When allowable deductions of €36.79 were applied, the weekly assessable income was €289.37.

Also before the deciding officer was a payslip from the husband of the person concerned dated 9 May 2019 which showed a gross income of €26,039.47 for nineteen insurable weeks, averaging €1,370.50 per week. When allowable deductions of €224.95 were applied, the weekly assessable income was €1,145.55.

Total assessable weekly income from both employment is €1,434.92 (€289.37 + €1,145.55).

A disregard for a married couple of €665.00 then applied and the remainder was halved. The carer’s means were therefore assessed at €384.96 per week which is in excess of the statutory means limit of €247.60.

Following this review the deciding officer decided that her means still exceeded the statutory limit and that consequently there would be no change to the original decision.

The person concerned was notified of the outcome on 19 June 2019 and of her right of appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Fuel Allowance Eligibility

Ceisteanna (438)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

438. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) is entitled to a payment. [28774/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned is currently in receipt of Illness Benefit at the maximum rate of €203 per week.

Illness Benefit is classed as a short term scheme and is not a qualifying payment for fuel allowance.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Pension Provisions

Ceisteanna (439)

John Brassil

Ceist:

439. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if firefighters, particularly those who may have had an illness, will lose out on their entitlement to full pension (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28788/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018-2023 confirms Government’s position that the State pension will be reformed and will remain as the fundamental basis of the pension system in Ireland. To do this, the Government will introduce from 2020 a ‘Total Contributions Approach’ (TCA) to the calculation of the State Pension (Contributory). The TCA is a more logical and transparent system, where the individual’s lifetime contribution will more closely match the benefit received.

Earlier this year, I launched a consultation on the design of the TCA to which a wide variety of stakeholder groups were invited and shortly afterwards the Oireachtas members were invited to a detailed briefing by my officials in Leinster House.

Having carefully examined the outputs and the views submitted in the consultation. I intend to bring a proposal to Government shortly, setting out the details of the scheme which my Department is currently designing. When the Government has agreed the approach to be taken, I will initiate the work required to introduce this reform.

The members of the Fire Service are entitled to an occupational pension which is a separate entitlement from the qualification of the State pension. The management of this occupational pension is a matter for the Fire Services at local authority level, with the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Jobseeker's Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (440)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

440. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a decision has been made on an application for jobseeker's by a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28805/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned made a claim for Jobseeker's Benefit on the 27th May 2019 and this claim has been referred to a Deciding officer for decision. The person concerned is currently in receipt of Supplementary Welfare Allowance while she awaits the decision on her Jobseekers Benefit claim.

I trust this clarifies the matter.

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (441)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

441. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a jobseeker's payment will be assessed for a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28827/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned is currently in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance of €274.70 with means of €63.00. His file has been referred to a Social Welfare Inspector for review and he will be contacted shortly to arrange to meet with the Inspector to establish his means.

I trust this clarifies the matter.

Jobseeker's Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (442)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

442. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) is on the correct level of jobseeker's payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28841/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned will be contacted today with a view to arranging an appointment for him to meet with a Social Welfare Inspector. He is currently in receipt of Jobseekers Allowance with means from his partners insurable employment and this will be reviewed by the Social Welfare Inspector at the meeting.

I trust this clarifies the matter.

Illness Benefit Applications

Ceisteanna (443)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

443. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application by a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28848/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned made an application for Illness Benefit on the 12th June 2019. A decision letter is due to issue to him today, which confirms he has been awarded a weekly payment of €131.00 from 12th June 2019. The person concerned made an application for Supplementary Welfare Allowance which is currently being examined by a Community Welfare Officer and a decision will issue in due course.

I trust this clarifies the matter.

Gender Recognition

Ceisteanna (444)

Ruth Coppinger

Ceist:

444. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 1077 of 15 January 2019, if she will report on the implementation of the review of the Gender Recognition Act 2015 and the proposed legislative changes recommended in the report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Officials from my Department are considering the recommendations of the report of the Review Group, and how they can best be progressed, in conjunction with other relevant Government Departments and consultation with the Attorney General.

I understand that this work will be completed shortly. I will then lay my own report on the review before the Houses of the Oireachtas, as provided for under section 7 of the Act, which will include proposals in relation to the Review Group's recommendations.