Dáil debates

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions

Social Welfare Eligibility

8:20 pm

Photo of Claire KerraneClaire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

The issue with most of that is of course is the fact the fuel allowance is very limited and an awful lot of people out there who are struggling cannot access the fuel allowance in the first instance. Going back, this is important because many people out there cannot get the fuel allowance, especially workers, and they are looking for support. The urgent needs payment is at the moment listed as an emergency payment and on the Citizens Information website, which most people use, it is stated that "in the case of a fire, flood or other disaster, you may get a payment".

Will the Minister clarify whether people can access help with their energy costs through the urgent needs payment, which does not have the 30-hour limitation? The exceptional needs payment specifically lists help with energy costs whereas the urgent needs payment does not. If it is the case that the urgent needs payment is the avenue to be taken, then that needs to be promoted.

I wish to discuss a matter that I have raised with the Minister previously. Given the amount of data her Department collects, I cannot understand why it does not collect data on the number of people seeking helping through the exceptional and urgent needs payments and, therefore, how many people are being refused. Those data are important and should be gathered.


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