243. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing entitlement under the living alone allowance scheme by €5; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19357/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

244. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing entitlement under the fuel allowance scheme by €5; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19358/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

245. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated first year and full year cost of increasing the entitlement under the disability allowance scheme by €20 per week; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19359/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 to 245, inclusive, together.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Living Alone Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €52.2 million in 2019.
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Fuel Allowance by €5 per week is estimated to be €49.6 million in 2019. 
The first and full year cost of increasing the rate of Disability Allowance by €20 per week ...

952. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of applications for widow’s, widower’s, survivor’s contributory and non-contributory pension that have been refused in each of the past ten years to date on the basis that one or both of the parties has been divorced outside the jurisdiction; when the rule in respect of the non-recognition of divorces obtained overseas was first invoked with consequent refusal of widow’s, widower’s and survivor’s pensions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12274/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The legislative provisions pertaining to the recognition of divorces outside the State are set out of the Domicile and Recognition of Foreign Divorces Act, 1986. In accordance with Section 5, a foreign divorce will be recognised in this state, if one of the parties to the divorce was domiciled in the country granting the divorce when proceedings were initiated. Responsibility for this legislation lies with the Minist...

603. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the jobseeker’s allowance, jobseeker’s benefit, supplementary welfare allowance, farm assist, one parent family payment, carer’s allowance and carer’s benefit in tabular form; the increase to the weekly rates if they were to be increased in line with the Department of Finance’s inflation forecast for 2019; the cost of this increase per scheme; the cost of further increasing each of the weekly payments to bring the rate increase to a total of €5; and the cost of the increase per scheme. (Question 11663/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

604. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the disability allowance, blind pension and invalidity pension in tabular form; the increase to the weekly rates if they were to be increased in line with the Department of Finance’s inflation forecast for 2019; the cost of this increase per scheme; the cost of further increasing each of the weekly payments to bring the rate increase to a total of €6; and the cost of the total increase per scheme. (Question 11664/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

605. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the family income supplement (FIS) in tabular form; the increase to the weekly rates if they were to be increased in line with the Department of Finance’s inflation forecast for 2019; the cost of this increase; the cost of further increasing FIS expenditure to bring the increase to a total of 5% and 10%; and the cost of the increase. (Question 11665/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

606. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the age related under 26 years of age jobseeker’s and supplementary welfare allowance payment rates of €102.70 and €148.70, respectively in tabular from; the increase to the weekly rates if they were to be increased in line with the Department of Finance’s inflation forecast for 2019; the cost of these increases; the cost of further increasing each of the weekly payments to bring the rate increase to a total of €10; and the cost of the increase per scheme. (Question 11666/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

607. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the details of the State pension in tabular form; the increase to the weekly rates if they were to be increased in line with the Department of Finance’s inflation forecast for 2019; the cost of this increase per payment; the cost of further increasing each of the weekly payments to bring the rate increase to a total of €4.50; and the cost of the increase per payment. (Question 11667/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

617. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the cost of increasing all weekly social welfare payments, assuming family income supplement is included in line with inflation in each of the years 2019 to 2023 as per the most recent inflation rate forecasts by the Department of Finance in tabular form. (Question 11727/18 asked on 08 Mar 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I propose to take Questions Nos. 603 to 607, inclusive, and 617 together.
The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following series of tables.
The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices used in the tables below are sourced from the Department of Finance’s 2018 Budget Day book. This provides forecasts for inflation for the four years 2018 to 2021 inclusive, and these are the latest published forecasts. Howev...

222. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of full-rate qualified child increases and half-rate qualified child increases respectively in payment at the end of 2017 to persons in receipt of payments (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10320/18 asked on 28 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested is shown in the following table. The age breakdown mentioned in the Deputy’s clarification of this question will be supplied by my officials as soon as possible in answer to the Deputy’s related question (9332-18).
Number of qualified child increases paid to recipients of Weekly Social Welfare Payments, December 2017
 Scheme Full Rate Half Rate Other State Pension (Non-Contribut...

677. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of applications for social welfare payments being processed in which cancer is the reason for the application. (Question 9475/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Department administers a number of schemes which provide income support to people who are unable to work, or who are substantially restricted in taking up work, because of illness or disability.
The information sought by the Deputy in relation to the nature of the illness/disability is not readily available.
 ...

283. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of full rate qualified child increases and half rate qualified child increases, respectively, in payment at the end of 2017 to persons on jobseeker’s benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, excluding jobseeker’s transition payment, jobseeker’s transition payment, one-parent family payment and farm assist, by scheme, by children aged 12 to 22 years of age, respectively; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 7547/18 asked on 14 Feb 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the tabular statement.
Number of qualified child increases in payment at end 2017 by scheme aged 12 to 22 years of age
 Scheme Qualified Child Increase Full Rate Qualified Child Increase Half Rate Jobseeker’s Benefit 1,448 945 Jobseeker’s Allowance (excluding Jobseeker’s Transition Payment) 31,186 8,141 Jobseeker’s Transition Payment 12,470 0 One-...

203. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons listed as self employed that are in receipt of social welfare payments, in tabular form. (Question 3731/18 asked on 25 Jan 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The distinction between ‘self-employed’ and ‘employed’ does not form part of the eligibility criteria for most social welfare payments. 
Five schemes where self-employment status is directly relevant to payment eligibility are: 
1. People with a previous or continuing self-employed status on Jobseeker’s Allowance;
2. Farm Assist, where it is a condition of payment that the recipient is actively engaged in farming on t...

334. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the timeframe to process various applications such as carer’s allowance or benefit, disability allowance, old age pensions and so on; and the actions being taken to reduce these waiting times. (Question 2578/18 asked on 18 Jan 2018 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I wish to assure the Deputy that prompt processing of claims remains a priority for me. Each scheme area is continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure customers are responded to as quickly as possible, and their claims are processed as expeditiously as possible. 
The Table provides details (where available) of processing times for each of the Department’s schemes in December 2017. All claims are registered promp...

2054. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of payment schemes that have a backlog or are in arrears; the way in which the schemes are in arrears; her plans to sanction overtime for departmental staff to clear backlogs in payment schemes; the cost to the Exchequer as a result of backlogs to payment schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28279/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The payment schemes operated by my Department are designed to address certain contingencies that may arise in the course of a person’s life. By their nature, at any given time there will be a certain number of claims awaiting decision and my Department is committed to ensuring that claims are processed as expeditiously as possible. Each scheme area is continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure customers are responded to and claims are ...

173. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of women throughout the country that do not qualify for a contributory pension due to the marriage ban which forced them to retire from work particularly in the public service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26243/17 asked on 31 May 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The ‘marriage bar’ describes a rule that existed in most of the public service and some private sector employments, where women were required to leave their employment upon marriage. This practice was abolished in 1973 when Ireland joined the EEC. As employees in the public service generally paid a reduced rate of PRSI, which provided no cover for the State pension (contributory), the marriage bar would not generally have impacted on State ...

180. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons claiming the widowed or surviving civil partner grant in 2015 and 2016; the number of these persons in 2015 and 2016 who were women; the total paid in widowed or surviving civil partner grant in 2015 and 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15865/17 asked on 30 Mar 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The number of Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant recipients for 2015 and 2016, together with the scheme expenditure is set out in the following table. 
 Recipients Year Male Female Total Expenditure€000 2015 296 752 1,048 5,771 2016 328 695 1,023 5,693* 
* Provisional figure
The Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant www.welfare.ie. is a once-off payment to widows, widowers or surviving civil partners with de...

423. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated cost of increasing all working age payments by €3, €4, €5, €6, €7, €8, €9 and €10, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9806/17 asked on 28 Feb 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 423 and 424 together.
The full year costs of increasing all weekly working age payments by the amounts specified by the Deputy are listed in the following table:
 Increase all working age weekly payments by: Full Year Cost €m €3.00 120.0 €4.00 160.2 €5.00 200.0 €6.00 240.1 €7.00 279.8 €8.00 320.1 €9.00 360.2 €10.00 399.9 

It should be noted that the costings listed above include pro...

424. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated full year cost of increasing child benefit by €3, €4, €5, €6, €7, €8, €9 and €10, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9807/17 asked on 28 Feb 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 423 and 424 together.
The full year costs of increasing all weekly working age payments by the amounts specified by the Deputy are listed in the following table:
 Increase all working age weekly payments by: Full Year Cost €m €3.00 120.0 €4.00 160.2 €5.00 200.0 €6.00 240.1 €7.00 279.8 €8.00 320.1 €9.00 360.2 €10.00 399.9 

It should be noted that the costings listed above include pro...

167. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons on Tús, the rural social scheme, RSS, and community employment, CE, schemes who carried out duties in community child care facilities for each of the years 2013 to 2016 by county, in tabular form. (Question 7477/17 asked on 15 Feb 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The Department introduced a new Community Employment (CE) Childcare Strand in 2013 under which there is a dedicated childcare programme leading to a QQI Level 5 Major Award in Early Childhood Care and Education for CE participants who work directly with children. Under the new programme guidelines, CE participants in childcare places may receive up to 3 years continuous duration on the programme in order to achieve the QQI Level 5 qualificat...

278. Deputy Willie O’Dea asked the Minister for Social Protection the estimated full year cost in 2017 of all schemes under the remit of his Department in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6762/17 asked on 14 Feb 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The information that the deputy has requested for 2017 is provided in the following tables.
 ADMINISTRATION €000 Administration - Pay 294,703 Administration - Non-Pay 254,910 Social Insurance Fund non-DSP administration 93,000 TOTAL - ADMINISTRATION 642,613 PENSIONS State Pension (Non-Contributory) 971,980 State Pension (Contributory) 4,844,500 Widows’, Widowers’ / Surviving Civil Partners’ Pension (Contributory) 1,44...

316. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the applications for various social welfare payments which are most commonly refused on application and referred to appeal or an oral hearing; the number of cases subsequently rejected or approved on appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3227/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 316 and 317 together.
The following tables provide the details which have been requested by the Deputy in respect of 2015 and 2016.
The schemes with the highest number of appeals to the Social Welfare Appeals Office in 2015 and 2016 were - disability allowance (6,435 in 2015/4,912 in 2016), carer’s allowance (3,188 in 2015/3,887 in 2016), jobseeker’s allowance - means (2,174 in 2015/2,050 in 2016), jobseeker’s...

317. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of oral hearings that have taken place in the past twelve months in respect of the various payments made by his Department to social welfare recipients; the number of cases in which the original decision was overturned arising from the hearing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 3228/17 asked on 24 Jan 2017 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): I propose to take Questions Nos. 316 and 317 together.
The following tables provide the details which have been requested by the Deputy in respect of 2015 and 2016.
The schemes with the highest number of appeals to the Social Welfare Appeals Office in 2015 and 2016 were - disability allowance (6,435 in 2015/4,912 in 2016), carer’s allowance (3,188 in 2015/3,887 in 2016), jobseeker’s allowance - means (2,174 in 2015/2,050 in 2016), jobseeker’s...

176. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of social protection payments who reside abroad; if he will provide a breakdown of the types of payments being received, in tabular form; the persons entitled to receive these payments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35563/16 asked on 17 Nov 2016 - Social Welfare Schemes Data)

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The information requested by the Deputy is not available in respect of all eligible schemes and is not routinely collated by my Department in the format requested. I am however informed that at the end of October there were in excess of 53,600 recipients of payments of the schemes detailed in the attached tabular statement. This figure is based on the information communicated to my Department by the recipient and may exclude persons who hav...