Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Photo of Aengus Ó SnodaighAengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)
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152. To ask the Minister for Social Protection the reason outgoings such as the property tax, bin charges and water charges are not taken into account when assessing a person’s means when applying for a social welfare payment. [47152/14]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Dublin West, Labour)
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The Department operates a range of means tested social assistance payments. The means test takes account of the income and assets of the person (and spouse/partner, if applicable) applying for the relevant scheme. Income and assets include income from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions, maintenance payments as well as property owned (other than the family home and capital such as savings, shares and other investments.

The weekly entitlement of the person is the maximum weekly rate of payment for the relevant family less the means calculated. In calculating the means of a person, no account is taken of any outgoings such as rent, mortgage payments, the local property tax, refuse charges or water costs.

To do so would, for example, be of no benefit to a person who had no income or assets as the entitlement would be the maximum weekly rate of payment applicable to the family concerned. If the relevant outgoings were taken into account, the persons who would benefit would be those who had income or assets of varying levels and, accordingly, such persons would be treated more favourably than persons who had fewer or no personal resources.


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