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Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Maternity Benefit (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: A claim for maternity benefit from was received form the person concerned outside of the prescribed time limits and as a result it was not initially awarded.  Further information was requested in relation to the claim and the reason for the late submission to the department.  Following a review she was notified that her claim was again refused.  The...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Redundancy Payments (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The recent emergency amendment to redundancy legislation relates only to the right of an employee to claim a redundancy payment from their employer following periods on lay-off or short time work caused by the Covid-19 crisis.  Normally if an employee is laid off or put on short-time work, Section 12 of the Redundancy Payments Act provides that the employee can claim redundancy from...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Child Benefit (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: Entitlement to Child Benefit is reviewed on a case by case basis, with due consideration given to difficulties arising due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Each case is assessed on its own merit taking full account of the individual circumstances. In the case of the person concerned, Child Benefit was paid up to 31/05/2020.  Correspondence issued to the...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Rent Supplement Scheme (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I propose to take Questions Nos. 981 to 983, inclusive, together. Rent supplement continues to play a key role in supporting families and individuals in private rented accommodation, with the scheme currently supporting approximately 21,150 recipients. The scheme provides short-term income support, to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I understand that some workers and employers are in a difficult situation as a result of the temporary closure of schools and crèches.  From the outset of Covid-19, many employers will have taken the initiative, in line with subsequent requests from the Government, to be as flexible as possible in allowing staff time off to look after their children who are...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Social Welfare Rates (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The costings sought by the Deputy are detailed in the following tables. Table 1: Cost of €1 increase in all weekly social insurance payments  Scheme Full year cost of a €1  increase (€m) Social Insurance Schemes Pension Age Payments ...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Social Insurance (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: Prior to 2011 public office holders, including local authority members, were not liable to make Pay Related Social Insurance (PRSI) contributions on payments received in that capacity.  A PRSI Class K charge of 4% on income received by such persons (provided that income exceeds €5,200 per annum) was introduced in Budget 2011 as a measure of solidarity to contribute to...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I propose to take Questions Nos. 991 and 1021 together. My Department is taking all necessary measures, in line with the advice of the Department of Health, the HSE and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), to respond to the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.  In order to comply with social distancing requirements, the Department has relaxed the...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Carer's Allowance (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision on 26 February 2020.  Under social welfare legislation the decision of an Appeals Officer is final and conclusive and may only be reviewed by an Appeals Officer in the light of...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: School Meals Programme (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I propose to take Questions Nos. 993 and 994 together. The school meals programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,580 schools and organisations benefitting 250,000 children.  The objective of the scheme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, take full advantage of the education...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: School Meals Programme (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The school meals programme provides funding towards the provision of food to some 1,580 schools and organisations benefitting 250,000 children.  The objective of the scheme is to provide regular, nutritious food to children who are unable, due to lack of good quality food, take full advantage of the education provided to them.  The programme is an important...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Community Employment Schemes (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The Community Employment (CE) programme is a community centred labour market initiative established for the purposes of social inclusion and activation, to help long-term unemployed people and other vulnerable groups to enter the workforce by breaking their experience of unemployment. CE projects are sponsored by groups wishing to benefit the local community, namely voluntary and...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: A person who is cocooning for medical reasons is not entitled to the Pandemic Unemployment Payment unless they meet the conditions of the payment including that they: - have lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic or - have been temporarily laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic In these situations their eligibility for the payment is based on their employment status, not on...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Exceptional Needs Payment (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: An Exceptional Needs Payment (ENP) is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.  ENPs are paid under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme and are means assessed. ENPs are payable at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme taking into account the...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Community Employment Schemes (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The Community Employment Scheme (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis. CE sponsor organisations provide a valuable and dedicated service in running CE Schemes all over the country. CE...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Community Employment Schemes (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: During the current Covid-19 emergency, my Department continued to provide the necessary funding for CE schemes while also introducing a number of contingency measures, including the extension of existing CE participant contracts for the duration of the emergency. Recruitment of new CE participants ceased temporarily during the emergency period while CE many schemes continued to...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1002, 1004, 1011 and 1023 together. The COVID 19 pandemic unemployment payment was introduced as a time limited emergency measure in response to the pandemic that will now be payable until 10 August 2020, further to the recent Government announcement.  The conditions for receipt of this payment are that a person must be of working age between 18...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Respite Care Grant (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: The Carer's Support Grant is an annual payment made to carers by my Department. The annual grant of €1,700 is available to all carers providing full-time care to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. It is not means tested and is assessed on the level of care being provided by the carer. On 4 June 2020,...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: To receive the Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), a person must have been in employment or self-employment in March, and must have lost their employment as a result of the public health emergency.  I am advised that it is not possible to provide the information sought by the Deputy. However some 10,047 people who previously worked in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sectors have...

Written Answers — Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection: Community Employment Schemes (16 Jun 2020)

Regina Doherty: It is important to note that the Department did not introduce an embargo on any of the employment support schemes during the Covid-19 emergency.  In light of the national health and safety guidelines and social distancing measures introduced, and in conjunction with sponsoring authorities and implementing bodies, recruitment was suspended for the period of the emergency and existing...

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