Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Payments

Photo of Duncan SmithDuncan Smith (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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616. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of exceptional needs payment applications in the past three years; the number per area, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32790/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Under the supplementary welfare allowance  scheme, my Department can make additional needs payments to help meet expenses that a person cannot pay from their weekly income.  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. Additional needs payments include exceptional and urgent needs payments.

An exceptional needs payment (ENP) is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.  An urgent needs payment (UNP) may be made to persons who may not normally qualify for supplementary welfare allowance but who have an urgent need which they cannot meet from their own resources or where an alternative is not available at that time.  Government has provided €45.75 million for the exceptional and urgent needs schemes in 2022.

The Department is developing more extensive statistics in relation to the number of applications made to the ENP/UNP schemes. The focus of the development has been on current data from January 2022 with details on the number of applications available from this date onward. Details of applications pre-January 2022 are not available at this time, however it is possible to provide details on the number of payments that were made.

Table 1 show the number of ENPs/UNPs awarded by county for 2019-2021.

Table 2 shows the number of ENP/UNP applications received by county for 2022.

This represents a snapshot of claim activity taken at 1st June 2022 and is subject to change.

Any person who considers they may have an entitlement to an additional needs payment is encouraged to contact their local community welfare service.  There is a National Community Welfare Contact Centre in place - 0818-607080 - which will direct callers to the appropriate office.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

TABLE 1 – Number of ENP/UNPs paid by County 2019-2021

County 2019 2020 2021
CARLOW 850 754 682
CAVAN 808 589 565
CLARE 2,494 1,777 1,271
CORK 8,991 5,385 4,164
DONEGAL 1,865 1,356 1,397
DUBLIN 28,805 22,525 19,058
GALWAY 2,549 1,825 1,477
KERRY 3,040 1,970 1,497
KILDARE 3,447 2,931 2,365
KILKENNY 1,376 1,055 952
LAOIS 3,473 2,169 1,585
LEITRIM 764 850 710
LIMERICK 3,342 2,530 2,197
LONGFORD 1,394 1,227 1,080
LOUTH 1,780 1,457 1,454
MAYO 2,788 1,722 1,044
MEATH 3,614 2,350 2,327
MONAGHAN 1,219 993 558
OFFALY 1,156 1,026 852
ROSCOMMON 1,742 874 837
SLIGO 1,914 924 1,083
TIPPERARY 3,854 2,958 2,465
WATERFORD 2,930 2,201 1,337
WESTMEATH 3,503 2,185 1,701
WEXFORD 1,172 882 761
WICKLOW 3,328 3,074 2,133
Total 92,198 67,589 55,552
TABLE 2 – Number of ENP/UNP applications by county 2022 (to end of May 2022)
County Number of Applications
CARLOW 453
CAVAN   445
CLARE   1,056
CORK 2,811
DONEGAL 1,037
DUBLIN 8,271
GALWAY 1,070
KERRY   1,337
KILDARE 849
KILKENNY   579
LAOIS   638
LEITRIM 586
LIMERICK 1,388
LONGFORD 625
LOUTH   994
MAYO 597
MEATH   1,102
MONAGHAN 200
OFFALY 615
ROSCOMMON 403
SLIGO   608
TIPPERARY 1,124
WATERFORD 805
WESTMEATH 815
WEXFORD 744
WICKLOW 1,193
Total 30,345

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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617. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a decision will issue on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32796/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment in respect of a child, aged under 16 with a severe disability who requires continual or continuous care and attention substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age.

An application for DCA was received from the person concerned on 18 January 2022. Their application was disallowed as per the Department's decision dated 06 April 2022, as the child was not considered to satisfy the qualifying conditions for DCA.

The person concerned requested a review and appeal of this decision.  As part of the review and appeal process their application was re-examined by a deciding officer.  Following a review of all the information supplied, including further additional information and documentation, it has been decided that the person concerned does meet the qualifying conditions for receipt of DCA.

The person concerned was notified in writing of the details of this revised decision on 20 June 2022. 

I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.

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