Written answers

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Code

Photo of Dominic HanniganDominic Hannigan (Meath East, Labour)
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39. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason the rule for moving from disability allowance to invalidity pension sets out that a person must have 48 contributions in the previous complete tax year considering that the person is on disability and is not available to take up employment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44414/14]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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To qualify for award of invalidity pension, a claimant must satisfy both the medical and PRSI contribution conditions. A claimant must be regarded as permanently incapable of work and also must have at least 260 weeks contributions paid with 48 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the last complete tax year before the date of claim.

Disability allowance is a means-tested illness scheme administered by my department. To qualify for disability allowance, a person must be substantially restricted in undertaking suitable employment, be aged between 16 and under 66, satisfy a means test and be habitually resident in the State.

I understand the deputy is referring to a specific claimant who has been refused invalidity pension as he did not satisfy the contribution conditions. The person concerned is in receipt of disability allowance since 2009. Immediately prior to applying for disability allowance the person concerned was self-employed, therefore he would not have qualified for invalidity pension at that time and he is not entitled to credits for the duration of his disability allowance claim. Consequently he will not satisfy the contribution conditions for invalidity pension.

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