Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Payments
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]
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||Number of Applications|
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.