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Social Welfare Eligibility

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 24 November 2021

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Ceisteanna (124)

Claire Kerrane

Ceist:

124. Deputy Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Social Protection the mechanisms in place to support medical assessment of chronic pain conditions as part of applications for disability allowance such as endometriosis, which is a condition in respect of which there are large diagnostic delays, despite sufferers experiencing chronic pain which would prevent them from working on a longer-term basis; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57803/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The medical eligibility for Disability Allowance is that the applicant must have an injury, disease physical or mental disability that has continued, or may be expected to continue, for at least one year. As a result of this disability the applicant must be substantially restricted in undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of their age, experience and qualifications.

The applications are assessed based on their functional restriction arising from the medical condition(s) rather than their diagnosis(es) which is based on medical evidence/information provided by the claimants.

Recently the Medical Review and Assessment Section of my department has improved the Disability Allowance application form to facilitate customers in providing detailed information of their health and functioning, and to support objective medical assessment at the outset.

The Medical Assessors objectively assess each case based on the information furnished and apply the qualifying criteria relevant to the scheme. Therefore, each case is assessed on its own merits.

Endometriosis can be a long-term condition, which can have a significant physical, sexual, psychological and social impact. In advanced stages, a patient may have complex needs and require long term support.

Being cognisant of the variability of the condition in terms of severity and duration, the Medical Assessors will express his/her opinion on the eligibility based on the qualifying criteria.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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