Dáil Éireann - Volume 291 - 01 June, 1976

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

89. Mr. Lalor asked the Minister for Social Welfare why no decision has so far been given on the appeal by a person (details supplied) in County Laois against the decision to refuse him disability benefit since 22nd March, 1976.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Corish): Before proceeding with the appeal by the person referred to by the Deputy against the decision that he was not incapable of work from 22nd March, 1976, it is desired to obtain a further medical opinion and an examination by a medical referee has been fixed for 8th June, 1976. When the medical report on this examination is received the appeal will be decided as quickly as possible.

90. Mr. G. Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will arrange for immediate payment of pay-related benefit to a person (name supplied) in County Cork.

[482] Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Corish): Entitlement to pay-related benefit of the person concerned depends on the amount of his earnings during the period from 6th April, 1973 to 5th April, 1974. This information was not available to my Department when he made his claim to unemployment benefit on 7th August, 1975. On the basis of partial information furnished by him at the end of April, 1976 he is entitled to pay-related benefit at the weekly rates of £7.15 from 21st August, 1975 to 7th February, 1976 and £5.36 from 9th February, 1976 to date and arrangements have been made to have payment of the arrears of pay-related benefit due made to him during the current week.

He has been requested to supply further information regarding his other earnings during the period in question but has so far failed to do so. When this information has been received, his entitlement to pay-related benefit will be reviewed and payment of any further arrears due in his case will be made without delay.

91. Mr. C. Murphy asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a decision will be made on the UA appeal of a person (details supplied) in County Wicklow.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Corish): It is a condition for entitlement to unemployment assistance that the applicant be the holder of a qualification certificate, entitlement to which is subject to a means test. A deciding officer disallowed the application of the person concerned for a qualification certificate on the ground that his yearly means, derived from self-employment as an engineer, exceeded the statutory limit. Consequently he is not entitled to unemployment assistance. He appealed against the deciding officer's decision and the appeals officer to whom the case was referred has requested a further report regarding his earnings. When this report is received it is expected that the appeals officer will be in a position to give his decision without delay.

[483] 92. Mr. C. Murphy asked the Minister for Social Welfare if UA is due to a person (name supplied) in County Wicklow; and when it will be paid to him.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Corish): There is no unemployment assistance due to the person concerned. Unemployment benefit due to him in respect of the periods from 12th January, 1976 to 14th January, 1976, and from 5th March, 1976 to 14th April, 1976 was being witheld in recovery of an overpayment of unemployment benefit irregularly received by him on an earlier claim. Arrangements have now been made to have the balance of unemployment benefit due, following adjustments in recovery of the overpayment and in respect of a refund of home assistance, paid to him as soon as he, or an authorised deputy, attends at the local office for the purpose.

93. Mr. Brennan asked the Minister for Social Welfare why an old age pensioner (details supplied) in the Rosses, County Donegal, has had his pension reduced.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Corish): Reinvestigation of the means of the pensioner concerned indicated an increase in means and the question of reducing the rate of pension was accordingly referred to the local pension sub-committee for decision. Pending a decision by the sub-committee a sum of £1.10 a week has been withheld from the reduced rate of pension to meet the overpayment involved which arose because the pensioner did not report to my Department, as statutorily required, an increase in the rate of his British pension.