Written answers

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Eligibility

Photo of Pádraig Mac LochlainnPádraig Mac Lochlainn (Donegal, Sinn Fein)
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139. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason that a person (details supplied) was refused the benefit payment for persons over 65 years of age; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15489/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The person concerned applied for the Benefit payment for 65 Year Olds (BP65) on 2/11/2021 and was disallowed on the grounds that he was still engaged in self employment

The person concerned was self employed with earned income up to 2016 (S9 contributions). He has SO contributions in 2019 (the Governing Contribution Year) and 2020 which are solely as a result of his Approved Retirement Fund (ARF) but as he continues to draw down annually on this ARF, he is deemed to be still engaged in self-employment. BP65 is based on JB / JBSE legislation and the person concerned does not have the required contributions to qualify under JB. Neither does he satisfy the JBSE eligibility conditions since one of the conditions for receipt of JBSE is that applicants must no longer be engaged in self-employment.

The Department considers that a person cannot be self-employed for the purposes of paying contributions (and by extension establishing a possible entitlement to benefits) and then viewed as not being engaged in self-employment for the purposes of obtaining payment. Indeed, in the absence of the self-employment contributions from his ARF income, he would have no possible entitlement to BP65 (via JBSE eligibility criteria).

The person concerned did appeal the decision and a submission has been sent to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office by the Deciding Officer on 4/2/2022.

I trust this clarifies the position at this time.


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