Written answers

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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241. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for basic supplementary welfare will be re-examined in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17809/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme is the safety net within the overall social welfare system in that it provides assistance to eligible people in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependents. Supports provided under the SWA scheme can consist of a basic weekly payment, a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of certain expenses, as well as single exceptional needs payments (ENPs) and urgent needs payments (UNPs).

The basic supplementary welfare allowance provides immediate assistance for those in need who are awaiting the outcome of a claim or an appeal for a primary social welfare payment or do not qualify for payment under other State schemes. This assistance is subject to the person having the right to reside and satisfying the Habitual Residence Condition (HRC).

Under the supplementary welfare allowance scheme, my 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 ENP scheme is demand-led and payments are made at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme, taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case in order to ensure that the payments target those most in need of assistance. ENPs are not subject to the HRC.

The person concerned made an application for SWA on 22/2/2021 and was paid an ENP pending a decision on this application.

As stated above, in order to qualify for SWA, a person must, inter alia, satisfy the requirement to be habitually resident in the State. The person concerned failed to produce documentation requested by the Designated Officer, including any evidence of the right to reside in the State. As a result, a letter was issued on 18/3/2021 to inform the person concerned that the application was disallowed, and of the right to seek a review or appeal of this decision.

It has since been confirmed that the person concerned does not hold a valid permission in the State, is the subject of a valid deportation order issued by the Minister for Justice, failed to present to the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), and is now classed as an evader. The person concerned has apparently requested the revocation of the deportation order on ill health grounds but a decision has not been reached. If this is the case, the person concerned can apply to the International Protection Accommodation Service (IPAS) to be accommodated pending the outcome of his appeal application. This can be done by sending an email to ipasinbox@equality.gov.ie confirming Name, Date of Birth and ID number. The person will then be required to submit a declaration of means and his request will be assessed regarding his eligibility.

My Department will consider whether a further ENP on a once off basis may be appropriate in the circumstances.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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