Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Ceisteanna (236)

Carol Nolan

Ceist:

236. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection his plans to ensure the disability allowance is increased by €20 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [40046/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Disability Allowance (DA) is a means-tested payment for people with a specified disability who are aged between 16 and 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.

The estimated annual spend on DA in 2019 is over €1.6 billion. At the end of July 2019, there were 143,516 people in receipt of DA.  The estimated cost of increasing the weekly personal rate of DA by €20 would be an additional €166.9 million.

My department regularly reviews its supports and payment schemes to ensure that they continue to meet their objectives.  Given the cost implications, any changes to the current payment rates would have to be considered in the overall budgetary context.