Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Eligibility

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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266. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the welfare entitlements of non-EU or non-EEA refugees coming to Ireland and being placed in communities by the Red Cross under the community scheme of the Department of Justice; if there is an entitlement to jobseeker's allowance for those available for work, disability allowance for those with a disability, child benefit for children and domiciliary care allowance where the terms of the scheme are fulfilled; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2543/23]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Matters regarding the right to reside of applicants for refugee status or of those seeking permission to reside under the International Protection Act are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Justice.

Persons who have been granted refugee status by the Department of Justice have the right to claim social welfare payments subject to satisfying all of the conditions of entitlement of the particular schemes, including the habitual residence condition. Generally where a person’s application for refugee status is granted by the Department of Justice, they will be regarded as habitually resident for the purposes of entitlement to relevant social assistance schemes and child benefit but only from the date that status is granted. No payment may be made for any period prior to that date.

I trust that this clarifies matters for the Deputy.

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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267. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an exceptional needs payment or similar payment will be made available to a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2567/23]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The purpose of the Exceptional Needs Payment (ENP) is to assist people with essential, once-off, exceptional 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.

Applications for ENPs are made under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme administered by Designated Persons in the Community Welfare Service.

According to the records of my Department an application for financial assistance has not been received from the person concerned. For the convenience of the person, an ENP application pack was posted to her home address. When a completed form and all relevant supporting documentation has been received, the person’s application will be assessed, and she will be advised of the outcome in writing.

I trust this clarifies the matter.

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