Farm Enterprises

Ceisteanna (159)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

159. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if there is grant aid available to farmers to increase the electricity supplies to their farm enterprises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46965/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Improvements for farm enterprises are supported by the Department for Agriculture, Food and Marine, under the Pig and Poultry Investment Scheme as part of the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Schemes. The Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine announced an expansion of the Scheme in April 2019 which includes €17 million in grant supports specifically aimed at improving energy efficiency in the farming sector. Solar PV Installation of 6kWp and Battery Storage Systems on farms were provided for, on a pilot basis, with effect from April 2019. Grant aid under TAMS II is available at a rate of 40%, or of up to 60% in the case of qualified young farmers. Full details are available at: https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/farmerschemespayments/tams/

The management of connections to the electricity grid, including processes and connection charging rules, is a matter for EirGrid and ESB Networks under rules determined by the Commission for Regulation Utilities (CRU), which is an independent statutory body.

EU Funding

Ceisteanna (160)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

160. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funds allocated to Ireland over the 2014 to 2020 period and expended in each year to date; the breakdown between Exchequer funding and EU funding (details supplied), in tabular form. [47067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is the EU's funding instrument for the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) for the programming period 2014-2020. Funding under CEF is delivered in the form of grants allocated following competitive calls for proposals. As of June 2019, Irish beneficiaries participate in 24 projects and receive €103 million in CEF Transport co-funding, with total investments in these projects of €403.7 million.

This includes successful applications for the deployment of Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) and road transport projects with other Member States, which includes studies on the harmonisation of interoperable intelligent transport systems (ITS) and cooperative Intelligent transport systems (C-ITS).

Details of Ireland’s successful projects under the CEF programme are available in tabular format on the INEA website at the following weblink:

https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/connecting-europe-facility/cef-transport/projects-by-country/ireland

The projects listed in the following table are in receipt of Exchequer co-funding contributions, based on the agreed eligible costs and the percentage EU contribution, as part of the CEF Grant Agreement. While the overall monies may change over the life-cycle of the project, the percentage contributions will not.

Name of Project

 

 

Irish Beneficiary

Eligible costs (at project level)

(€)

CEF co-funding (for Irish Beneficiary) (€)

(% contribution)

Exchequer co-funding (for Irish Beneficiary)

(€)

(% contribution)

City   Centre Re-signaling Project

Irish Rail

36,455,333

10,936,600 (30%)

25,518,733 (70%)

C-Roads Ireland

Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)

10,161,141

5,080,571 (50%)

5,080,571 (50%)

EU   ITS Platform*

TII

12,949,750

75,250 (50%)

75,250 (50%)

Arc Atlantique Corridor Phase II*

TII

115,159,310

666,000 (20%)

2,664,000 (80%)

Arc Atlantique Phase III*

TII

64,982,325

1,500,000 (20%)

6,000,000 (80%)

*Projects in which TII is a partner with multiple beneficiaries.

The remaining successful projects listed on INEA's website are being funded through CEF grants, own resources and borrowings.  It is worth noting, for example, that in the case of ports, under National Ports Policy, Exchequer funding is not provided to port companies for development works.

In addition, the European Commission has recently recommended Donegal County Council for €4.335 million co-funding under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 2019 call for proposals.

The project concerns the studies or preparatory work required to remove bottlenecks over a length of 31 km at three road sections in Co. Donegal: Ballybofey to Stranorlar; Letterkenny to Manorcunningham; and Manorcunningham to Lifford/Strabane. This covers the designs and reports required to obtain the necessary statutory and other approvals to facilitate the future construction. The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) is in the process of finalising the grant agreement with Donegal County Council. The final co-funding amount will be contingent on this grant agreement and an agreed project and expenditure plan being implemented by the Council with INEA oversight.

Further details on the Donegal County Council project are available at the following weblink: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/news-events/newsroom/eur117-million-sustainable-transport-infrastructure-europe

Sports Capital Programme Applications Data

Ceisteanna (161)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

161. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when successful applications for the latest tranche of sports capital funding will be notified of the result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46914/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

A total of 2,337 applications were submitted under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme seeking a total of €162m in funding.

186 of these applications were for projects that were deemed invalid under the 2017 round of the programme that subsequently submitted corrected documents. These applications were assessed first and approximately €7m in allocations to 170 projects were announced on the 17th January.

619 equipment only applications were assessed next and 466 allocations with a value of €9.8m were announced in May.

Work is now being finalised on the remaining applications for capital works and I expect the allocations to be announced shortly. As soon as these grants have been announced a review into the operation of the 2018 SCP will be undertaken. Part of the review will include consideration of timing of the next round but it is anticipated that the SCP will be open for applications again in the coming months.

Departmental Correspondence

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (162)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

162. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if correspondence in relation to a project (details supplied) in County Cork will be provided. [46942/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Department has, on an ongoing basis, extensive communications with Transport Infrastructure Ireland and Local Authorities. The subject of this PQ therefore requires extensive searches of Departmental records. In these circumstances additional time is required over and above the normal timeframe for answering this PQ. It is noted that Standing Order 42A  makes provision for such circumstances. It is therefore proposed to provide more detailed information to you within ten working days.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
Under the Roads Act, as amended, TII has specific statutory responsibilities, in conjunction with local authorities, regarding the operation, construction, maintenance and improvement of the national road network.  TII is therefore responsible at an operational level for management of the network and this gives rise to extensive communication between the Department and TII covering a broad range of issues on a continuous basis. 
With regard to the N72 Mallow Northern Relief Road specifically, the Department has corresponded with TII in connection with matters of Democratic Process e.g. Parliamentary Questions, Topical Issues, Oireachtas Committee Briefings etc. In addition, correspondence received by the Department, for example from Members of Oireachtas and members of the public, regarding national roads is referred to TII for response.  TII in turn copies its replies to Parliamentary Questions and general correspondence to the Department.
TII also regularly briefs the Department on progress with individual National Development Plan schemes, including the N72 Mallow Northern Relief Road, via Single Summary Sheets, Capital Tracker Updates and Capital Programme Updates. TII also publish an Annual Report on their website. These updates are sometimes used to inform Ministerial Briefings, DPER Briefing Requests and other miscellaneous briefing requests. Cork County Council and TII have also corresponded with the Department with regard to the initial Project Appraisal Plan (PAP) and scheme appraisal including the approval of the PAP by the Department in September 2018.

Bus Éireann Fleet

Ceisteanna (163)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

163. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost in each of the past five years for Bus Éireann to hire buses to operate its routes; the fees received by each of the private bus operators over this period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46961/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

As the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. However, I am not involved in the day-to-day operations of public transport.

The issue raised is an operational matter for Bus Éireann and I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a response within ten working days.

Youth Services Funding

Ceisteanna (164)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

164. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the funding provided to the education and training boards for youth services in each of the years 2016 to 2019 by regional ETB. [46940/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

My Department administers a range of funding schemes and programmes to support the provision of youth services to young people throughout the country including those from disadvantaged communities. The overall budget allocation for the youth sector in my Department for 2019 is €61.791 million in current funding and a further €3.2 million has been allocated for capital funding.  The bulk of the funding is provided to and administered by the Education and Training Boards

The ETBs provide my Department with crucial assistance in the administration of funding schemes and are crucial in the compliance and governance processes.  There is a particular role in engaging with local youth services, e.g. annual progress reporting. Funding is provided to ETBs to support the employment of youth officers and for their own capacity building, particularly in the context of the development and roll-out of the new targeted funding scheme.  

In the following table, the 2019 figures are the allocations as the outturn is not yet available. It should be noted that there has been an administrative change in 2019 to the allocations for the City of Dublin Youth Services Board (CDYSB), as it had historically managed some projects outside of its area boundary.  These allocations have been re-profiled to the local ETB and the change does not affect the allocation to the project themselves.

ETB Payments

2016

2017

2018

2019

(Allocation)

City of Dublin ETB (CDYSB)

€18,332,037.00

€19,485,853.08

€21,221,157.13

€16,696,704.00

Cavan and Monaghan

€262,757.00

€995,860.99

€704,697.93

€972,806.20

Cork

€2,792,118.00

€4,021,479.00

€3,583,102.38

€3,798,658.25

Donegal

€500,742.00

€937,138.94

€566,542.32

€810,526.83

Dublin and Dun Laoghaire

€7,255,402.00

€8,118,388.15

€8,446,122.15

€8,865,662.51

Galway and Roscommon

€1,476,948.00

€2,220,509.63

€2,010,433.31

€2,510,131.89

Kerry

€380,972.00

€602,765.08

€363,527.00

€852,417.73

Kildare and Wicklow

€1,226,737.00

€1,726,330.00

€1,512,673.62

€1,283,933.17

Kilkenny and Carlow

€472,420.00

€624,254.70

€718,912.59

€2,243,458.40

Laois and Offaly

€141,558.00

€311,357.77

€228,516.89

€472,611.01

Limerick and Clare

€2,016,063.00

€2,311,413.27

€2,518,942.40

€3,519,250.70

Longford and Westmeath

€328,014.00

€495,082.00

€442,769.00

€732,960.62

Louth and Meath

€343,912.00

€795,421.92

€485,539.63

€1,013,798.35

Mayo Sligo Leitrim

€254,825.70

€694,255.00

€472,715.47

€962,669.63

Tipperary

€607,285.96

€815,555.73

€792,081.17

€1,194,776.22

Waterford and Wexford

€1,333,384.00

€1,668,447.54

€1,540,010.53

€3,131,069.93

ETB Total

€37,725,175.66

€45,824,112.80

€45,607,743.52

€49,061,435.44 

Children in Care

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (165)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

165. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of children in State care that are the children of mothers who grew up in State care. [46955/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to  the Deputy.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Foster Care Data

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (166)

Kathleen Funchion

Ceist:

166. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the percentage of children in foster care that come from a Traveller background. [46956/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The Deputy is referring to an operational matter for Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. I have therefore referred the matter to Tusla, and asked that a direct response be provided to  the Deputy.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Rural Transport Services Provision

Ceisteanna (167)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

167. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if there is funding available to replace a community bus at a service (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47002/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department does not currently have a funding programme open for applications towards the cost of procuring a community bus.

However, as the Deputy will be aware, my Department administers the CLÁR programme which aims to support the sustainable development of designated areas which have suffered significant levels of depopulation in the past. 

The CLÁR programme is delivered through different funding Measures and has previously included a measure for Mobility and Cancer Care Transport. This did not include funding for Community buses.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Ceisteanna (168)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

168. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of pensions for community employment supervisors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46945/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

The programme is delivered through independent Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies.  The contract agreement between the Department and the Community Employment Sponsoring Body establishes their role as an independent contractor, responsible for all purposes and all persons recruited by them.

CE Supervisors are not employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.  CE Supervisors have always been employees of Community Employment Sponsoring Bodies which operate in the community and voluntary sector. 

Department officials have undertaken a series of meetings with representatives of CE supervisors to consider the issues arising from the 2008 Labour Court Recommendation.  The specific details of these ongoing discussions will remain confidential while the process is on-going and I would ask Deputies to respect these wishes and allow the talks to continue free from speculation.

EU Funding

Ceisteanna (169)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

169. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the funds allocated to Ireland over the 2014 to 2020 period and expended in each year to date; the breakdown between Exchequer funding and EU funding (details supplied), in tabular form. [47067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) supports the actions of EU countries to provide material / food assistance to the most deprived.  Funding of €3.8 billion is available via the Fund between 2014 and 2020.  Each Member State has to match this with a minimum of 15% national funding.

The total value of the fund in Ireland for the period 2014 to 2020 is €26.7m, €4m of which will come from the Irish Exchequer.

The distribution of FEAD product in Ireland began in July 2016.  The delay was due to the need to ensure that suitable governance and distribution procedures were in place.  Reimbursements are made in arrears and to date my Department has made two successful claims for reimbursement from the EU.  A third claim for reimbursement will be made before the end of 2019.  The breakdown of payments from the exchequer and EU reimbursements are set out in table 1.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Table 1: FEAD breakdown between Exchequer Funding and EU Reimbursements 2014 - 2019

 

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Exchequer

Funding

Nil

€35,664

€1.9m

€2.9

€5.5m

€4.6m

EU Reimbursement

Nil

Nil

Nil

Nil

€4.6m

€261,925

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (170)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

170. 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. [46905/19]

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 child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

I confirm that my Department received an application for CA from the person concerned on 19 June 2019.

Additional information in relation to the person’s application was requested by a deciding officer on 11 November 2019.

Once the information is received the application will be processed without delay and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (171)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

171. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a decision will be made in relation to a disability allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46906/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 8 February 2019.  Their application, based upon all the evidence submitted, was refused on medical grounds as it was not found that this lady was substantially restricted in taking up employment. The person concerned was notified in writing of this decision on 6 June 2019.

Further medical evidence was received and a review of this decision was carried out.  The original decision was upheld and the person concerned was notified in writing on 11 November 2019.  She was also advised of her right to appeal this decision to the independent social welfare appeals office.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Illness Benefit Eligibility

Ceisteanna (172)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

172. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for illness benefit by a person (details supplied) will be expedited. [46929/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Person Concerned submitted a late application for Illness Benefit from the 14th January 2019. This application was received by the Department on the 20th September 2019.

The claim from the person concerned has been awarded for the maximum period of 26 weeks prior to the date of receipt. This means that the claim has been awarded for payment from 22nd March 2019 to date.

A letter will issue to the person concerned shortly giving him the full details of this, and all arrears due have issued to his bank account.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (173)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

173. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for carer's allowance by a person (details supplied) will be backdated to the original application which was submitted in March 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46934/19]

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 child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 23 April 2019.

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.

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 27 August 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

The person concerned requested a review of this decision and provided further supporting documentation.  

As a result of the review the application was awarded to the person concerned on 30 October 2019 with effect from 5 November 2019. The first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 7 November 2019. 

From 25 April 2019 to 06 November 2019 the person concerned was in receipt of a Job Seekers Benefit at a higher rate than the rate of CA due.  Accordingly, there are no arrears due.   

The person concerned was notified on 6 November 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.

Living Alone Allowance

Ceisteanna (174)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

174. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the living alone allowance will be considered in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46941/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Living Alone Increase is an extra payment for people on certain social welfare payments who are living alone or mainly alone.  As the person concerned is in receipt of state pension (contributory), it is open to them to apply for this allowance.

An application form for the living alone increase has issued to the person concerned.  When the completed application is received by my Department, the person's eligibility for this allowance will be determined and they will be notified in writing of the outcome.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (175)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

175. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a disability application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46947/19]

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 13 September 2019. 

On 30 October 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.

State Pension (Contributory)

Ceisteanna (176)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

176. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) is only receiving a State pension (contributory) of €186.20 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46953/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

According to the records of my Department, the person concerned has a total of 841 social insurance contributions and credits over a 45-year period from the 1966/67 tax year to end-December 2010 inclusive which equates to a yearly average of 19.  As the person concerned was born before 1 September 1946, their pension entitlement was determined under the 2000-2012 pension rate bands giving them a current weekly payment of €186.20.  Gaps in the insurance record of the person concerned have resulted in the reduced yearly average and reduced rate of pension. The person was notified of this decision in writing on 31 May 2011. 

As the person concerned was not affected by the 2012 Budget changes, the person’s pension entitlement was not reviewed under the Total Contributions Approach.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Jobseeker's Allowance Eligibility

Ceisteanna (177)

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

Ceist:

177. Deputy Margaret Murphy O'Mahony asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if jobseeker's allowance will be made available for those eligible from 65 years of age that are forced to retire when the pension age increases to 67 years of age in 2021; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46958/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2011 provided that the State pension age would increase to age 67 years in 2021 and 68 years in 2028.  The reason for these changes was to make the State pension system more sustainable as life expectancy increases.  This is essential, as people who are working now and whose PRSI contributions fund State pension payments will need a State pension when the time comes for them to retire.  This demographic change has significant implications for the future costs of the State's pension provision, which are increasing by approximately €1 billion every four to five years.

Social welfare legislation states that jobseeker's payments may be made until a person reaches pensionable age.  The legislation also provides that the definition of "pensionable age" will increase as the State pension age increases so that the duration of jobseeker's payments will naturally adjust in line with increases in the State pension age.

A person who retires before reaching pension age may qualify for social insurance contribution-based jobseeker's benefit or the means-tested jobseekers allowance if they satisfy the rules of the schemes.  Currently, people on jobseekers benefit whose benefit expires on their 65th birthday can generally continue to receive benefits until they reach the pensionable age of 66 years provided that they have paid at least 156 PRSI contribution weeks.

There is no statutory retirement age in Ireland and the age at which employees retire is determined by the employment contract between the employer and the employee.  Many such contracts may have been entered into when the retirement age was 65 years and this was in the context of previous State pension arrangements.  Employers are legally entitled to increase the duration of the employee's employment for either one or two years, depending on when he or she plans to retire, if both parties agree.  The Workplace Relations Commission has produced a code of practice on longer working hours and The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission has also published guidance material for employees and employers who use fixed-term contracts beyond what was the normal retirement age of 65 years.  People are living longer and healthier lives and many of them want to continue working after 65 and these resources can facilitate them in their choice.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (178)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

178. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for a reduction in a payment in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46959/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

A review of this lady’s disability allowance (DA) was carried out and it was established that the person concerned had means not previously disclosed to this department. DA is a means-tested payment. Means were assessed from the employment of the person concerned and the employment of her spouse, and a reduced amount of DA was awarded.

On 7 November 2019, the person concerned was informed of this decision and she was also notified of her right to seek a review of this decision or to appeal it directly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. 

A letter giving further clarification on how this lady's weekly payment was calculated and a breakdown of how her means were assessed have issued to the person concerned. 

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

State Pensions

Ceisteanna (179)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

179. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason correspondence sent to her Dublin Central Oireachtas inquiry email address on 21 and 24 October 2019 failed to receive a response; if she will arrange for the issues raised in an email (details supplied) to be addressed as a matter of urgency; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46988/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The late person concerned was awarded a means-tested State Pension (Non-Contributory) from 16/12/05 to 12/9/14.  The late person concerned reported to my Department that she had received additional capital which when applied to the means test put her means in excess of the statutory limit for receipt of any State Pension (Non-Contributory).  The late person concerned did not receive any further payment from my Department until 29/9/17 when she was awarded a Survivor’s Contributory Pension until her death on 14/7/18.  Survivor’s Contributory Pension is not means-tested. 

Section 339 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005 requires the personal representative of a deceased person who was at any time in receipt of assistance, (i.e., received a means-tested payment at any time in their life), to provide the Minister with a schedule of the assets of the estate and to ensure that sufficient funds are retained to repay any sum which may be determined to be due to the Minister or the State in respect of payment of assistance to the person when the person was not entitled to receive assistance or payment of assistance in excess of the amount which the person was entitled to receive.  

The inquiry carried out in relation to the estate of the late person concerned has now concluded.  The solicitor for the deceased person has provided the information necessary to confirm the entitlement of the deceased to the payments of a means-tested pension received in the years 2005 to 2014. I am advised that my Department has informed the solicitor of the outcome and that this matter is now concluded.

A response was issued to the Deputy on 13/11/19.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.