Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
1124. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to ensure the cuts to the disablement pension made during the recession are reversed at the next possible opportunity; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2646/20]
Disablement Benefit is one of the benefits payable under the Occupational Injuries scheme to an insured person who suffers a loss of physical or mental faculty as a result of an occupational accident or prescribed occupational disease. It is medically assessed to determine the loss of faculty which can range from 1 to 100 per cent. Injuries or diseases sustained since 1 January 2012 results in a payment where the level of disablement is at least 15%. Before then, payment could be made where the level of disablement went from 1% to 100%. Disablement Benefit may be paid as a once off gratuity or in the form of a disablement pension.
The maximum rate of disablement pension (for 100% loss of faculty) increased over the years from its inception in 1967 to a height of €235.40 per week in 2009. The rate was reduced to €219.00 per week for the years 2011 to 2016 inclusive. However. it has been increased again in successive Social Welfare Acts in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and it is now €234 per week.
The Department regularly reviews its supports and payments schemes to ensure that they continue to meet their objectives. Any change to the current arrangements for disablement pension would have to be considered in an overall policy and budgetary context.