Written answers

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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343. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an emergency or exceptional needs payment and a rent support payment will be made available in the case of a person (details supplied); if the matter could be dealt with by a different deciding officer; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44116/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I am advised that the Community Welfare Officer (CWO) dealing with this case issued an application form for an exceptional needs payment (ENP) to the person concerned on 16/4/19 which was returned to the Department on 20/5/19. 

I understand that the CWO telephoned the person concerned on 20/5/19 to clarify the outstanding documentation necessary to progress her ENP application.  A letter subsequently issued to the person concerned on 23/5/19 advising her that the household means were in excess of the supplementary welfare allowance rate appropriate to the family size due to spousal employment.

As the person concerned did not meet the qualifying criteria for receipt of an ENP, the application was disallowed and details of the Review Officer were provided to the person concerned in the event that she wished to seek a review of the decision on her application.

The relevant CWO advises that no further application for an exceptional needs payment has been received from the person concerned since May 2019.  An application form has been issued again to the person concerned on 22/10/19.  The CWO has also advised the person concerned of the housing assistance payment (HAP) administered by the local County Council.

On receipt of the completed application from the person concerned, with details of any change in circumstances since May 2019, the application for an ENP will be assessed in line with current legislation and rules governing social assistance entitlements and a decision will issue accordingly.  It remains open to the person concerned to request a review of her case by the SWA Review Officer if she is not happy with a decision.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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