126. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a domiciliary care allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 21143/17 asked on 04 May 2017 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received from this lady on the 23rd February 2017. The application will be considered by a Deciding Officer and the decision notified as soon as possible. Applications are processed in date of receipt order; it can currently take 15 weeks to process an application for DCA.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
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327. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for a disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6110/17 asked on 07 Feb 2017 - Disability Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): My Department has no record of an application for disability allowance having being made by this gentleman. If the person concerned wishes to make an application, he should fully complete and submit an application form (DA1) so that his eligibility may be determined.
If he has submitted an application for DA in the last few days, there is no need to reapply and the Department will be in touch with him in due cours...

326. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application for illness benefit in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3909/17 asked on 31 Jan 2017 - Illness Benefit Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Illness Benefit is a payment for people who cannot work due to illness and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions. It is payable for a maximum of two years after which a person has to have paid a further 13 reckonable contributions to re-qualify for payment. 
The person concerned was in receipt of illness benefit previously and their entitlement exhausted on 3 December 2014. As...

554. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the terms and conditions of the agreement reached which facilitated a group (details supplied) to receive the State pension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41385/16 asked on 17 Jan 2017 - State Pension (Contributory))

Minister for Social Protection Deputy Leo Varadkar: The State pension (contributory) is one of the State pension schemes, and its rate of payment is related to contributions made over years into the Social Insurance Fund.
There are a number of criteria which must be satisfied in order to qualify for a State pension (contributory). These include that the person must be aged 66 or over, and that they have at least 520 paid contributions, i.e., a minimum of 10 years of paid contributions. Since 1...

337. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a disability allowance application in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37431/16 asked on 29 Nov 2016 - Disability Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): I confirm my Department received an application for disability allowance (DA) on 24 May 2016. In order to determine the circumstances of this lady, her file was forwarded to her local Social Welfare Inspector (SWI). The SWI will arrange to meet with the person in question as soon as possible.
A decision on her entitlement to DA will be made on receipt of the Social Welfare Inspector’s report. The person concerne...

304. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for a disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 36194/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Disability Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): I confirm that my department received an application for disability allowance from this man on 23 September 2016. On completion of the necessary investigations on all aspects of the claim a decision will be made and the person concerned will be notified directly of the outcome. 
The processing time for individual disability allowance claims may vary in accordance with their relative complexity in terms of the thre...

128. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a carer’s benefit appeal in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33962/16 asked on 09 Nov 2016 - Carer’s Benefit Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I confirm that my department received an application for carer’s benefit from the person concerned on 27 April 2016. The person concerned was refused carer’s benefit on the grounds that she was not providing full-time care and attention as required.
The person concerned was notified on 19 July 2016 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal. 
A review of this decision was requested and following this review the...

258. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for domiciliary care allowance by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28061/16 asked on 04 Oct 2016 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received from the person concerned on the 10th June 2016. The application was not allowed as it was considered that the child did not meet the eligibility criteria for the allowance. A decision letter issued on 26th September 2016. 
In the case of an application which is refused, the applicant may submit additional information and ask for the decision to be ...

152. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of an application for a domiciliary care allowance by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27574/16 asked on 28 Sep 2016 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received from the person concerned on the 10th June 2016. The application was not allowed as it was considered that the child did not meet the eligibility criteria for the allowance. A decision letter issued on 26th September 2016.
In the case of an application which is refused, the applicant may submit additional information and ask for the decision to be re...

800. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the list of all vacancies that existed on 26 February 2016 and all positions that have arisen since included the date it became vacant for State Boards or governing bodies under his control; the names of those appointed since the Government was formed; if the position was advertised and a short-list provided to him by the Public Appointments Service; if the appointments were approved by the Cabinet; the positions under his control which are not subject to the PAS system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26089/16 asked on 16 Sep 2016 - Appointments to State Boards)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The statutory bodies operating under the aegis of my Department are the Citizens Information Board, the Pensions Authority, the Pensions Council, the Pensions Ombudsman (which does not have a Board) and the Social Welfare Tribunal. Appointments to the boards of these bodies are made in accordance with the Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards, published in November 2014. 
The information sought by the Deputy relating to appointments I ha...

252. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason for the delay in processing applications for the free travel pass at the Bishop Street office of Intreo in Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17993/16 asked on 28 Jun 2016 - Free Travel Scheme Administration)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The purpose of the Public Services Card (PSC) is to enable individuals to gain access to public services more efficiently and with a minimum of duplication of effort, while at the same time preserving their privacy to the maximum extent possible. The PSC is designed to replace other cards within the public sector such as the free travel pass and the social services card of this Department and to make it easy for providers of public services ...

305. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a rent allowance appeal by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14654/16 asked on 08 Jun 2016 - Social Welfare Appeals Status)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 11 May 2016, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is res...

306. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) has been assessed with earnings on a family income supplement claim of €171 per week; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14656/16 asked on 08 Jun 2016 - Family Income Supplement Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): An application for family income supplement (FIS) was made by the person concerned on 14 April 2016.
The assessment of earnings was based on a payslip dated 16 March 2016 (week 11) which showed cumulative earnings and deduction details for the 2016 tax year to that date. The earnings were calculated at €171.00 per week.
A DO has reviewed the FIS application and has discovered that the potential FIS entitlement notified on the communication t...

470. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection to review the decision not to award invalidity pension to a person (details required); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12900/16 asked on 31 May 2016 - Invalidity Pension Applications)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The person concerned has been awarded invalidity pension with effect from the 15 October 2015. Payment will issue to her nominated bank account on the 16 June 2016. Any arrears due from the 15 October 2015 to the 15 June 2016 (less any overlapping social welfare payment and/or outstanding overpayment) will issue in due course. The person in question was notified of this decision on the 31 May 2016.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the ...

508. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons transitioning from the one parent family payment scheme who successfully applied for the first time under the family income supplement scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9796/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Family Income Supplement Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): There were a total of 4,066 customers who commenced Family Income Supplement (FIS) after transitioning from One Parent Family payment at the end of 2015.
A person on OFP with one child would receive a payment of €217.80 per week if they have no means. If they are no longer entitled to OFP they would move to Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment (JST) and would receive the same rate as OFP. However, if the person concerned commenced employment an...

144. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the average time it takes to hear and decide a social protection appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42564/15 asked on 01 Dec 2015 - Social Welfare Appeals Waiting Times)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The average appeal processing time for 2014 and to date in 2015 broken down by all social welfare scheme types as outlined in the tables.
Appeal processing times generally peaked in 2011 when the overall average time for an oral hearing was 52.5 weeks and 25.1 weeks for a summary decision. In 2014 average appeal processing times for an oral hearing had almost halved to 28.6 weeks and the average time taken to process appeals invo...

183. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection to examine the need for the provision of a comprehensive programme for jobseekers who require upskilling in numeracy and literacy following a PEX analysis at local Intreo centres; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42960/15 asked on 01 Dec 2015 - Adult Education)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): An assessment of a jobseeker’s literacy or numeracy does not form part of the INTREO Case Management process. Where jobseekers declare a numeracy or literacy difficulty, INTREO Case Officers will guide them towards local Adult Literacy provision. Policy in relation to provision of Adult Literacy services comes under the remit of the Department of Education and Skills.
 ...

39. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the number of persons awarded a back to education allowance in the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7165/15 asked on 18 Feb 2015 - Back to Education Allowance Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The back to education allowance scheme is an administrative scheme and is payable to persons who are already in receipt of a qualifying social welfare payment. I am informed that there were 25,032, 25,700, 25,886, 24,996 and 23,366 persons participating on the back to education allowance at the end of December in each of the years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.
 ...

181. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection in respect of her Department’s review of rent levels for the purposes of setting the caps for rent supplement, the frequency of when these reviews take place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41299/14 asked on 04 Nov 2014 - Rent Supplement Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection (Deputy Kevin Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 181, 201 and 241 together.
The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term income support to assist with reasonable accommodation costs of eligible people living in private rented accommodation who are unable to provide for their accommodation costs from their own resources. There are approximately 73,500 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has pr...

358. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if there is a policy within the community welfare section of her Department that applicants for rent allowance must have been assessed as eligible for social housing by the local authority for the area in which they are applying, as opposed to another local authority, if so, the reason this is the case and the reason an assessment from a local authority using the same maximum income threshold cannot be accepted; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19195/14 asked on 30 Apr 2014 - Rent Supplement Scheme Eligibility)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term income support to assist with reasonable accommodation costs of eligible people living in private rented accommodation who are unable to provide for their accommodation costs from their own resources and who do not have accommodation available to them from another source. There are currently approximately 78,000 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has provided o...

88. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if her Department has been involved in stakeholder consultations in regard to the proposed merger between Fingal Leader Partnership Company and Blanchardstown Area Partnership; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18160/14 asked on 16 Apr 2014 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
This Department is aware of the proposals being advanced by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for the future delivery of local and community initiatives in Fingal. My understanding is that Blanchardstown Area Partnership and Fingal Leader Partnership plan to merge their operations and that Fingal County Council are facilitating this process and chairs an over...

89. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if her Department is considering any changes to existing local employment service or other external service contracts as part of a proposed new country-wide structure for Department of Social Protection services in Fingal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18161/14 asked on 16 Apr 2014 - Community Development Initiatives)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I propose to take Questions Nos. 88 and 89 together.
This Department is aware of the proposals being advanced by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for the future delivery of local and community initiatives in Fingal. My understanding is that Blanchardstown Area Partnership and Fingal Leader Partnership plan to merge their operations and that Fingal County Council are facilitating this process and chairs an over...

330. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an invalidity pension application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; if the decision will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2305/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Invalidity Pension Appeals)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision. The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision. 
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining...

79. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of rent allowance at present; the number of such in each county; and the total cost of same. (Question 52173/13 asked on 04 Dec 2013 - Rent Supplement Scheme Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. There are approximately 81,000 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has provided over €403 million for 2013. A breakdown of rent supplement recipients by county ...

129. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will outline the employment schemes that are directed at persons who are over 55 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 51083/13 asked on 27 Nov 2013 - Employment Support Services)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): The Department of Social Protection funds and manages a number of employment schemes with the objectives for providing a mix of policy responses and opportunities for person who are unemployed. All programmes are open and accessible to person aged 55 years and over. No specific actions are undertaken or targeted at unemployed persons in this age group.
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