328. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for a carer’s allowance by a person (details supplied). (Question 17158/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
I confirm that my department received an application for CA from the person concerned on the 18 January 2018. 
Additional information was requested from the person concer...

329. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an oral hearing will be arranged in the case of a person (details supplied). (Question 17160/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Domiciliary Care Allowance Appeals)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): An application for domiciliary care allowance (DCA) was received from this lady on the 28th August 2017. This application was not allowed as the child was not considered to satisfy the qualifying conditions for the allowance. A letter issued on the 23rd November 2017 outlining the decision of the deciding officer to refuse the allowance. 
An appeal of the decision was requested on the 28th ...

330. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17185/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Social Welfare Appeals)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 6 April 2018, who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. 
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is r...

331. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount of funding her Department has provided to each transport company that participates in the free travel scheme since 2011, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17225/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Free Travel Scheme Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The free travel scheme permits free travel on most CIE public transport services, Luas and a range of services offered by some 80 private operators in various parts of the country for those eligible under the scheme. The free travel scheme is available to all people aged over 66 living permanently in the State. Applicants who are under age 66 must be in receipt of a qualifying payment and permanently living in the Sta...

332. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for a disability allowance by a person (details supplied) will be expedited. (Question 17283/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Disability Allowance Appeals)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 6 April 2018 who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. 
The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determini...

333. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) is not on the full rate of payment of invalidity pension; and if the claim will be re-examined with a view to paying the maximum benefit and back dating same. (Question 17289/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Invalidity Pension Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions. 
To qualify for IP a claimant must, inter-alia, have at least 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance and 48 contributions paid or credited in the last complete cont...

334. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the age for progress to disability allowance will remain at 18 years in view of the fact changes would have a significant financial impact on families; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17330/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Disability Allowance Eligibility)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): I am assuming that the Deputy is referring to recommendations made in the “Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities” report. Following a commitment made in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities 2015 -2024, the “Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities” report was published in April 2017. The report undertook to better identify how people with disabilities could be supported to achieve...

335. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the position on a review of an application for carer’s allowance by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17348/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care. 
My department received an application for CA from the person concerned on 22 November 2016. 
It is a condition for receipt of CA that every claimant shall furnish such ...

336. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the refusal to issue disability allowance through the person’s bank in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17381/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Disability Allowance Payments)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Except in certain exceptional circumstances, disability allowance (DA) is not payable for any period in respect of which the claimant is resident outside of the State. In all circumstances, disability allowance recipients must inform the Department that they are intending to leave the State. 
For control reasons, the Department has decided that the appropriate payment method for the person...

337. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the basis on which a reduced level of jobseeker’s allowance is being paid in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17382/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Jobseeker’s Allowance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The person concerned is in receipt of a jobseekers allowance payment at a reduced rate. The reduced rate arises from an assessment of means derived from rental income. The decision was upheld by a Social Welfare Appeals Officer and the person concerned was advised by the social welfare appeals office of the decision on 12/10/17. 
A letter issued from Newbridge Intreo Office on 24/10/17 advising the person concerne...

229. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of an invalidity pension by those that are under 66 years of age and over 66 years of age respectively. (Question 16854/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Invalidity Pension Data)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): All Invalidity Pension recipients, when they reach their 66th birthday, transfer automatically to the State Pension (Contributory) at the full rate. 
At the end of March there were 57,709 people in receipt of an invalidity pension payment, of whom 57,670 were under 66 years of age. The remaining 39 recipients were people whose 66th birthday fell in their final week of receipt of Invalidity Pension before transfer ...

230. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an exceptional needs payment will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16856/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Exceptional Needs Payment Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The person concerned applied for an exceptional need payment in December 2017 for a replacement boiler. An officer of the Department wrote to the person concerned on 12/12/17 seeking details of the item to be replaced and requesting three quotations. The requested information has not been received to date. A request for the documentation will re-issue to the person concerned on 16/4/18. On receipt of requested doc...

231. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the estimated amount it would cost in a full year if the threshold for the lower 8.5% class A rate of employer PRSI was increased from €376 to €400. (Question 16868/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Social Insurance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The National Training Fund Levy (NTFL), collected alongside Employer PRSI for Classes A and H, increased by 0.1% from 0.7% to 0.8% from 1 January 2018. This means that Employer rates (combined PRSI and NTFL) for Classes A and H
increased by 0.1% from 1 January 2018.
Currently, Class A employers pay PRSI at the rate of 8.6% where weekly earnings are between €38 and €376. Once weekly earnings exceed €376, the rate of ...

232. Deputy Bobby Aylward asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the qualifying criteria for the telephone allowance due to be reinstated in October 2018; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16914/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Telephone Support Allowance)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The new weekly Telephone Support Allowance (TSA) of €2.50 will be paid from June 2018. People in receipt of the Living Alone Allowance and the Fuel Allowance will automatically qualify for the TSA. It is expected that approximately 124,176 customers will qualify for the scheme and the estimated full year cost is €16.14 million. 
The primary objective of the TSA is to allow the most vulnerable people access to perso...

233. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if arrangements have been made to find alternative accommodation in Dunleer, County Louth for the community welfare clinic in view of the recent closure of the social welfare office in Dunleer; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16929/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Social Welfare Offices)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): As you are aware, my Department operated an outreach Community Welfare Service (CWS) clinic from HSE premises in Dunleer each Wednesday from 10am to 12 noon. On 21st March 2018, the HSE informed the Department that the condition of the building had rapidly deteriorated and now posed a serious Health & Safety risk to customers and staff. Local management had no option but to immediately suspend the outreach service. M...

234. Deputy Denise Mitchell asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when the telephone allowance payment scheme will commence; and the date the first payment will be issued. (Question 16955/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Telephone Support Allowance)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The new weekly Telephone Support Allowance (TSA) of €2.50 will be paid from June 2018. People in receipt of the Living Alone Allowance and the Fuel Allowance will automatically qualify for the TSA. It is expected that approximately 124,176 customers will qualify for the scheme and the estimated full year cost is €16.14 million. 
The first payment of the TSA is planned to issue in the week beginning the 4th June.
Th...

235. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a disability allowance has been awarded to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16956/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Disability Allowance Applications)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): The person concerned submitted an application for disability allowance (DA) on 29 December 2016. 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. It was also refused on habitual residency as she was not found to be habitually resident in the state. The person conce...

236. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to alter the State pension qualification criteria to ensure that all persons that have had periods outside of the PAYE system or that have been homemakers for a period of time are entitled to a full State pension; and her further plans for changes which would allow greater entitlements for persons with self employed contributions. (Question 16984/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - State Pension (Contributory))

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The State pension (contributory) is a contributory pension, as exists in most developed countries, where people qualify based on a social insurance record, and credited contributions where appropriate. It is based, therefore, on contributions under the PRSI system, and not to income tax collected under the PAYE system. People with no such social insurance record may qualify for a means-tested State pension (non-cont...

1371. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the policies and supports in place to encourage employers to engage persons with disabilities, particularly persons with Down’s, syndrome to work for them; if additional supports are planned to promote same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 14965/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Employment Support Services)

Minister of State at the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Finian McGrath): Through the Comprehensive Employment Strategy, the Government recognises the importance for people with disabilities of participation in employment. As part of the strategy, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection is committed to improving employment outcomes and removing barriers to employment for persons with a disability. 
The Department’s supports for people with disa...

1372. Deputy Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if there is provision for Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland to obtain a gender recognition certificate from the State; if not, her plans to facilitate such a provision; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16002/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Gender Recognition)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Section 9 of the Gender Recognition Act 2015, sets out the persons who may apply for a gender recognition certificate from the State. There is no provision for an Irish citizen whose birth was registered in Northern Ireland and who is resident in Northern Ireland to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate. 
A review of the Act is currently underway and this issue is one of the issues being considered by the group...

1373. 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. (Question 14970/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): Carer’s Allowance (CA) is a means-tested payment, made to a person providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
An application for CA was received from the person concerned on 25 October 2017.
It is a condition for receipt of CA that the carer’s means must be less than the statutory limit.
It is a further condition that the carer must pro...

1374. 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. (Question 14971/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
CA was awarded to the person concerned on 27 February 2018 and the first payment issued to her nominated bank account on 4 March 2018.
Arrears of allowance due from to 16 ...

1375. 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. (Question 14972/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
I confirm that my department received an application for CA from the person concerned on the 23 February 2018.
Additional information was requested from her on 6 April 201...

1376. 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. (Question 14973/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Payments)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
CA was awarded to the person concerned on 9 March 2018 and first payment issued to her nominated post office on 15 March 2018.
Arrears of allowance due from to 31 August 2...

1377. 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. (Question 14974/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Carer’s Allowance Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): 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 person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.
An application for Carer’s allowance (CA) was received from the person concerned on 25 September 2017. 
The evidence submitted in support of this application was examined ...