Written answers

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Kathleen FunchionKathleen Funchion (Carlow-Kilkenny, Sinn Fein)
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161. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a pregnant and at high risk childcare worker can continue to be paid their supplemented employment wage subsidy scheme wage in cases in which they present a medical certificate to their employer but remain at home. [26861/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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My Department provides a suite of income supports for those who are unable to work due to an illness or disability. It is important to note that entitlement to these supports is not contingent on the nature of the illness/disability but on the extent to which a particular illness or disability impairs or restricts a person’s capacity to work.

Illness Benefit is the primary income support payment for people who are unable to attend work due to illness of any type. Additional payments may also be made in respect of a qualified adult and qualifying children.

The qualifying criteria for Illness Benefit are laid down in legislation. To qualify for illness benefit a person must:

- Be unable to work due to illness

- Be under pensionable age (currently 66)

- Satisfy the contribution conditions

For those who are unable to meet the criteria for Illness Benefit, the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme provides a "safety net" within the overall social welfare system and provides assistance to eligible people in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their needs and those of their dependants. SWA provides immediate and flexible assistance for those in need who do not qualify for payment under other schemes.

The operation of the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme is a matter for the Minister for Finance.

I trust this clarifies the matter.


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