Written answers

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits

9:00 pm

Photo of Aodhán Ó RíordáinAodhán Ó Ríordáin (Dublin North Central, Labour)
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Question 206: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) who has been deemed fit for disability allowance has not received their payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7226/11]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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The person concerned applied for Disability Allowance on 13 September 2007. Her claim was disallowed by a deciding officer on two grounds, she was not medically suitable and her weekly means exceeded the statutory limit allowable for disability allowance purposes. She was notified of this decision on 5 December 2007.

The person subsequently appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. Following a review of her medical condition she was deemed to be medically suitable for disability allowance. However based on the evidence the Appeal's Officer found that the person's weekly means exceeded the statutory limit allowable for disability allowance purposes and the appeal was disallowed. The person was notified of this decision in writing by the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

An Appeals Officer's decision is final and conclusive in the absence of any fresh facts or evidence.

Photo of Pat BreenPat Breen (Clare, Fine Gael)
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Question 207: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7244/11]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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The person concerned has been awarded disability allowance with effect from 5 January 2011, at the maximum weekly rate of €188.00. His first payment will be in Kilrush Post Office on 27 April 2011. Arrears due, if any, will issue to him shortly after this date.

Photo of Ray ButlerRay Butler (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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Question 209: To ask the Minister for Social Protection if a review of the benefits paid to persons who are employed by FÁS work placement scheme will be undertaken; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7295/11]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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The work placement programme is a Government supported programme that brings employers and the unemployed together for a work experience placement for a maximum duration of nine months. The programme also provides an opportunity for people to keep their skills up-to-date and to network so that they can hear about jobs that come up as well as gain practical experience in new sectors/areas of employment. While participating on the programme a person in receipt of a jobseekers payment must continue to be genuinely seeking work and must take up an offer of paid employment if one arises. In this way participants may continue to satisfy the social welfare criteria of being available for and genuinely seeking work and retain the jobseekers payments that they are entitled to.

At present if participants on the programme were to be paid a top-up by their employer this, under current legislation, would constitute reckonable earnings from employment and could have implications for participants' social welfare entitlement and taxable status. In line with the Programme for Government the work placement programme, along with other employment programmes, will be reviewed.

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