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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...

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

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 child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care. An increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people. A person who is caring for two care...

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

Regina Doherty: The Government has extended the suspension of redundancy provisions relating to temporary lay-off and short-time work which arose as a result of Covid-19 until 10th August 2020.  A temporary suspension of these provisions was introduced on 13th March under new emergency measures as the existing provisions were not considered adequate to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.  The...

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

Regina Doherty: The COVID 19 pandemic unemployment payment was introduced as a time limited emergency measure in response to the pandemic and Government has agreed its extension until 10 August 2020.  Changes were also announced to the structure of this payment which means that it continues to be a strong support which is also fair and targeted. The Government is aware that there are...

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

Regina Doherty: Jobseeker's benefit is a weekly payment to people who have lost their employment and who satisfy the scheme conditions including the requirement to have sufficient social insurance contributions paid.  This benefit is paid for 9 months (234 days) for people with 260 or more PRSI contributions paid.  It is paid for 6 months (156 days) for people who have less than 260 PRSI...

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

Regina Doherty: There are a range of supports available from my Department for people following a bereavement.  Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, the Department may make an exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet from their weekly income.  An application can be made under the...

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

Regina Doherty: The Fuel Allowance is a means-tested payment to assist households in receipt of long-term social welfare payments, including pensioners and the long-term unemployed, who cannot provide for their own heating needs. Customers are either paid €24.50 per week or in two lump sums of €343.  The payment is made by means of an allowance paid alongside the customer’s primary...

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

Regina Doherty: My Department, like all Government departments and agencies is required to operate within a staff ceiling figure and a commensurate administrative staffing budget. The staffing needs for all areas within the Department are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the on-going need to respond to new demands across a wide range of services.  This is to...

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