Written answers

Friday, 7 September 2018

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Exceptional Needs Payment Applications

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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1290. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the timeframe for dealing with applications for assistance towards funeral expenses. [36481/18]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. The Government has provided over €36 million for exceptional and urgent needs payments in 2018.

An application can be made under the ENP scheme for assistance with funeral and burial expenses where there is an inability to pay these costs, in part or in full, by the family of the deceased person without causing hardship.

When determining an entitlement to an ENP for funeral expenses the officer will take into account the circumstances of the individual applicant and that of the deceased person including any savings, property, insurance policies etc. that would render the applicant or anybody else liable and/or in a position to pay for the funeral costs. If a bereavement grant is available from any other source including former employer, credit union or trade union, this will also be taken into account.

The timescale for determining applications may be dependent, among other things, on the availability of supporting documents needed to consider the application. Provision of a prompt service is a major objective for the Department’s staff, especially for the SWA scheme which is the safety net within the social welfare system.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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