Written answers

Thursday, 6 July 2023

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Cost of Living Issues

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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162. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of recipients of the Christmas Bonus who do not receive a Spring cost-of-living payment, in tabular form, by county; and if that will be rectified before the Autumn cost-of-living payment. [32065/23]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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As part of measures to support customers through increases in the cost of living my Department was responsible for a package totaling over €2 billion, which included several lump sum payments, including the Christmas bonus and the Spring Cost of Living payment

The Christmas Bonus is a double payment, whereby a person receives double their total weekly payment inclusive of any increases for Qualified Adults or Qualified Children. The Spring Cost of Living Package did not include a double payment, rather it was a once off €200 Lump Sum payment for eligible recipients.

The two payments are not directly comparable. They have different methods of calculation, entitlement amounts and recipient groups. The calculations and provision of the payments also took place at different points in time. During that time, normal customer changes would have occurred, including, for example, change of entitlement, claim closure, entry to employment, or a customer's death. Any of these would have had the potential to affect a customer's entitlement.

There are, therefore, legitimate reasons why a person could have been eligible for one of the payments at a point in time but not eligible for the other. Any customers that feel that they should have received either the Christmas Bonus or the Spring Cost of Living payment, but did not, should contact my Department to pursue their claim.


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