1421. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the removal of a household benefits package for a person (details supplied) can be re-examined with a view to reinstating this payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15407/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Household Benefits Scheme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The household benefits package (HHB) comprises the electricity or gas allowance, and the free television licence. The package is generally available to people living in the State, aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of a social welfare type payment or who satisfy a means test. The package is also available to carers and people with disabilities under the age of 66 who are in receipt of certain welfare type paym...

969. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when the contract to run the JobPath programme by Seetec will cease; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12566/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - JobPath Programme)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): As the Deputy will be aware, JobPath is a service that supports people who are long-term unemployed to secure and sustain full time paid employment in the open labour market. Seetec is one of the two companies (Turas Nua being the other), contracted by my Department to deliver the service.
The contracts comprise two consecutive phases: phase one entails four years of client referrals while phase two entails a ‘run off...

559. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the section of legislation which requests persons in receipt the State pension (contributory) to provide bank statements and supporting documentation for dependants as part of a means test; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11051/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - State Pension (Contributory) Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The State Pension (Contributory) is paid to people from the age of 66 who have paid sufficient social insurance (PRSI) contributions. It is not a means-tested payment. 
Under Section 112 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (as amended), a person receiving State Pension (Contributory) may get an increase for an adult dependant (called a qualified adult). Section 2 (2) of the same Act sets out the definiti...

597. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the differences that exist between long-term unemployment and long-term disability payments in respect of opting for credits to count towards a person’s State pension; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 5846/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - State Pensions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The purpose of credited contributions or “credits” is to protect social insurance entitlements by bridging gaps in an employee’s social insurance record, where they are not in a position to pay PRSI, such as for periods of unemployment or illness. Therefore in general credits can only be awarded where an individual has had a recent attachment to the workforce i.e. within the last 2 years.
In isolation, credits do not...

164. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if her attention has been drawn to concerns in respect of pensions provisions that the minimum funding standards are inappropriate; if there has been an examination of this issue; her plans to review the legislation; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3654/18 asked on 24 Jan 2018 - Pension Provisions)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Pensions legislation provides for the supervision and regulation of occupational pension schemes and, in that context, requires defined benefit schemes to meet the commitments they have made to their members. This method by which this is regulated is set out in the Funding Standard.
The Funding Standard provides a benchmark against which the ‘health’ of a scheme can be tested. A scheme failing the Funding Standard me...

212. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide the PRSI record of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49736/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Social Insurance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department is committed to providing a contribution record statement to all customers who require one.
The main facility for accessing social insurance contribution statements is now online, via the MyWelfare.ie application. This service was introduced on 27 January 2017; and details of how to register are available at: https://www.mygovid.ie/en-IE/GettingStarted/. 
However, if any customer is not in a position to...

213. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will provide the PRSI record of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49737/17 asked on 23 Nov 2017 - Social Insurance Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department is committed to providing a contribution record statement to all customers who require one.
The main facility for accessing social insurance contribution statements is now online, via the MyWelfare.ie application. This service was introduced on 27 January 2017; and details of how to register are available at: https://www.mygovid.ie/en-IE/GettingStarted/. 
However, if any customer is not in a position to...

1233. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) ceased receiving credits on their PRSI record despite having received them for a number of years and being continuously on carer’s allowance; her plans to investigate same; if the credits will be awarded; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46416/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Social Insurance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): PRSI credited contributions (“credits”) are an integral part of the social insurance system. For the most part they are linked to having an underlying entitlement to a social welfare payment while temporarily detached from the labour force or having entitlement to statutory leave e.g. parental or maternity leave. The primary purpose of PRSI credits is to secure social welfare benefits and pensions of employees by co...

183. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for carer’s allowance by a person (details supplied) can be progressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43068/17 asked on 11 Oct 2017 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): My Department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person concerned on 22 May 2017. 
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 c...