Tuesday, 4 April 2006
Department of Social and Family Affairs
Question 327: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Affairs his plans to allow payment of the bereavement grant where the applicant has his or her PRSI record in another EU country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12924/06]
The bereavement grant, which is a payment based on PRSI contributions, is designed to assist families in dealing with death and funeral expenses. The grant is payable on the death of an insured person or a family member, including a child under 18 years, or under 22 years if in full-time education. In the case of persons over these ages, the grant is paid on the basis of their own PRSI contributions.
If the person applying for the bereavement grant was previously insurable employed in another country covered by EU regulations and has paid at least one full-rate PRSI contribution since returning to Ireland, the person may combine his or her insurance record from the EU country with his or her Irish insurance record to help qualify for the grant. The person applying for the grant may also use periods of insurance or residence in countries with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement to qualify for the grant. Once a person satisfies the PRSI conditions, he or she is entitled to the grant even if he or she lives outside Ireland.
Where there are insufficient PRSI contributions, a person may receive assistance under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme. Under this arrangement, the Health Service Executive may make a single payment to help meet exceptional expenditure, for example, for funeral expenses, which a family could not reasonably be expected to meet out of its income.