Dáil Éireann - Volume 331 - 09 December, 1981

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

657. Mr. Ellis asked the Minister for Social Welfare if her Department will arrange for the early payment of a maternity grant which is due under EEC regulations to a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim.

[1467] Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned, who has made a claim for maternity allowance, was never in insurable employment in this country but was last insurably employed in the United Kingdom. Under EEC regulations on social security the claim in question is, therefore, the responsibility of the Department of Health and Social Security, Newcastleupon-Tyne, England. Accordingly, the claim has been transferred to that Department and my Department have contacted the UK authorities with a view to expenditing a decision on the claim.

658. Mr. Coughlan asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned is not entitled to unemployment benefit on the basis of his Irish contribution record. As he was last employed in the United Kingdom, his British contribution record cannot be invoked for the purpose of his unemployment benefit claim. However, my Department have written to the Department of Health and Social Security to ascertain if the person concerned is entitled to a transfer of UK unemployment benefit in accordance with the provisions of the EEC regulations on social security for migrant workers.

659. Dr. McCarthy asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason disability benefit has not been paid to a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 6 June 1981. As, according to the records of my Department, she had not the required minimum of 26 paid contributions to her credit, she was not entitled to payment. Following inquiries it was established that she had sufficient weeks of insurable employment to qualify for benefit. Payment of all disability benefit and pay-related benefit due from 10 June 1981, fourth day of [1468] incapacity, to 7 December 1981, date of latest medical certificate received, has issued.

660. Mr. Yates asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 12 January 1981 and was paid from 15 January 1981 to 12 October 1981 at the maximum appropriate rate. Payment was disallowed from 13 October 1981 following examination on 1 October 1981 by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work. He appealed against the decision to disallow payment and in this connection arrangements are being made to have him examined by a different medical referee as soon as possible. On receipt of the report of the medical referee's examination his claim will be reviewed.

661. Mr. Conaghan asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied).

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned is not residing within the State and accordingly she is not eligible for unemployment benefit from my Department. However, she registered as unemployed in Northern Ireland on 6 August 1981 and my Department was asked by the Department of Health and Social Services if she fulfilled the conditions for a transfer of unemployment benefit under the provisions of the EEC regulations on social security for migrant workers.

These regulations provide that a person who is registered as unemployed in one member state for a period of at least four weeks and gives notice of intention to remove to another member state for the specific purpose of seeking work shall be eligible for transfer of unemployment benefit subject to a maximum period of three months. The person concerned was registered with my Department in her [1469] maiden name as unemployed for a period of three days only in July last. She was not registered as unemployed when she removed to Northern Ireland, nor did she give any indication of her intention to move for the purpose of seeking employment in Northern Ireland. The person concerned, who, it is understood, has married in the meantime, does not accordingly satisfy the conditions for a transfer of unemployment benefit as provided for by the EEC regulations.

662. Mr. Conaghan asked the Minister for Social Welfare when the payment of disability benefit will be restored to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): I would refer the Deputy to the reply to Question No. 585 on 10 November 1981. The position in this case is the same except that payment has now been made up to 5 December 1981, the date of the latest medical certificate received.

663. Mr. Conaghan asked the Minister for Social Welfare when occupational injury benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned claimed occupational injury benefit in respect of an accident at work on 27 July 1981. Before a decision could be made on his entitlement to payment it was necessary to make inquiries as to the nature and origin of the incapacity. On completion of the inquiries it was accepted that the incapacity was due to an accident at work and the claim was allowed. Payment of injury benefit has been made from 27 July 1981 to 25 August 1981, when he was certified fit to resume work.

664. Mr. Meaney asked the Minister for Social Welfare if she will arrange to have unemployment assistance paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cork who applied on 3 September 1981.

[1470] Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned applied for unemployment assistance on 11 May 1981 and he was furnished with a signing docket on which to have his unemployment certified. However he did not return the certificate and nothing further was heard from him until he repeated his application for unemployment assistance on 3 November 1981.

Inquiries were made and it was ascertained that he was employed from 1 September 1981 to 1 October 1981. A deciding officer allowed his claim from 3 November 1981 and payment was authorised at the weekly rate of £16.75 being the maximum rate of £20.35 less means £3.60. The person concerned is a postal claimant and arrangements have been made to issue an order for encashment at his local post office paying all unemployment assistance due to him this week. Weekly payments will continue to be made as they fall due.

665. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare when arrears of disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned claimed disability benefit from 8 December 1979 and was paid to 12 November 1980. Payment was disallowed after that date but she appealed against the decision. The appeals officer to whom the case was referred for determination decided that she was incapable of work from 13 November 1980 to 14 September 1981, the date of the latest medical certificate before him.

Payment of disability benefit was accordingly resumed from 13 November 1980 and all disability benefit due to 3 December 1981, after making allowance for the period 11 May to 28 August 1981 during which she was in receipt of maternity benefit, has been paid.

666. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare when pay-related benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal; and the reason for the delay.

[1471] Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): Despite an exhaustive search in the records of my Department it has not been possible to trace a claim for pay-related benefit from the person concerned. If the Deputy could quote a reference number, RSI number or other identifying particulars I will arrange to have the question of the payment of benefit dealt with as a matter of urgency.

667. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare if she will make free television licences available to all households in which a handicapped person lives.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): Under the existing scheme, free television licences are available to persons receiving invalidity pension from my Department or a disabled person's maintenance allowance from a health board if they are living alone or with certain excepted categories of persons. It is not proposed to extend the scheme beyond these limits at present.

668. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason a children's allowance is not being paid in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): Children's allowance was paid up to July 1981 when the child in question attained the age of 16 years. Despite an exhaustive search there is no trace of an application for an extended children's allowance having been received from the person concerned.

A claim form has been issued to the claimant for certification by the appropriate authority. On receipt of the completed application a decision will be given on the claim without delay.

669. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a person (details supplied) in County Donegal, will receive arrears of children's allowance.

[1472] Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. E. Desmond): The person concerned became entitled to United Kingdom child benefit, with effect from 29 September 1980, under EEC Regulations, which provide that family allowance shall be the responsibility of one member state only.

The award of child benefit was notified to my Department by the Department of Health and Social Security in October 1981, and consequently payment of children's allowance was discontinued from November 1981, and the United Kingdom authorities were requested to release the appropriate arrears of child benefit.

It has been confirmed by the Department of Health and Social Security that all arrears of child benefit due to the claimant for the period 29 September 1980 to 6 December 1981 will be issued this week, and that future payments will be made at four-weekly intervals.