Dáil Éireann - Volume 344 - 07 July, 1983

Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.

613. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability and disablement benefits will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cavan.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned was paid occupational injury benefit in respect of an accident at work on 27 November 1982 for the maximum period of 26 weeks from 27 November 1982 to 27 May 1983.

His claim was then transferred to disability benefit. All disability benefit and pay-related benefit due up to and including 21 June 1983, the date of the latest medical certificate received has been issued.

He also claimed disablement benefit in respect of injury received in the accident.

[2383] Following an examination by a medical referee of the Department on 10 June 1983 the extent of his disablement resulting from the accident was provisionally assessed at 50%.

Disablement benefit was awarded at the appropriate weekly rate of £23.70 from 3 June 1983, the Friday following the end of the injury benefit period, increased to £26.55 a week from 1 July 1983. All disablement benefit due up to and including 28 July 1983 has been issued.

614. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Social Welfare when disability benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cavan.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned was disallowed payment of disability benefit from 24 January 1983 following examination by a medical referee who expressed the opinion that he was capable of work.

He again claimed disability benefit from 22 March 1983 to 21 June 1983, date of latest medical certificate received. The incapacity from 22 March 1983 is the same as his previous incapacity for which he was deemed capable of work and payment was therefore disallowed from 22 March 1983.

He appealed against the disallowance and in connection with his appeal arrangements have been made to have him examined by a different medical referee on 18 July 1983.

His entitlement to payment of disability benefit from 22 March 1983 will be reviewed in the light of the medical referee's report following this examination.

615. Dr. O'Hanlon asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason no social welfare benefit was paid to a person (details supplied) in County Cavan since 28 March 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Payment of disability benefit was inadvertently continued to the person concerned up to 28 March 1983 although this payment should have [2384] ceased when she reached age 66 on 12 November 1982.

Her claim for an old age contributory pension was received on 3 May 1983. She does not qualify for a contributory pension, however, as she does not satisfy the condition which requires her to have a yearly average of at least 20 qualifying contributions over the required period which, in her case, is from 6 July 1953 to 5 April 1982. According to the records of the Department, she had a total of only 42 qualifying contributions during this period.

The Department of Health and Social Security, Belfast, has been requested to furnish details of her insurance record in Northern Ireland in order that her entitlement to a pro-rata rate old age contributory pension under EEC Regulations can be determined. She is already in receipt of a Northern Ireland retirement pension.

In the meantime her entitlement to a non-contributory old age pension was also investigated. A pension at the rate of £24.45 per week from 3 May 1983, increasing to £28.60 per week, with effect from 1 July 1983, has now been recommended. This is being put into payment on a provisional basis pending consideration of the award by the local pension committee.

If it is established that the person concerned also has entitlement to a pro-rata contributory pension under EEC Regulations, whichever pension is at the higher rate will be paid to her.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): It has not been possible from the information supplied to trace a benefit claim for the person concerned.

A letter has been issued to him requesting more details to enable his claim to be identified. On receipt of his reply the matter will be dealt with urgently.

617. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister [2385] for Social Welfare when arrears of pay related benefit will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): Entitlement to pay-related benefit with flat rate unemployment benefit is subject to the condition that the sum of her weekly flat rate unemployment benefit, pay-related benefit and income tax rebate may not exceed 85 per cent of her average net weekly earnings.

The 85 per cent limit applicable to the person concerned is £25.89. The rate of flat rate unemployment benefit paid to her during the period of her claim from 28 June 1982 to 29 June 1983 when she exhausted her title, exceeded this limit and accordingly pay-related benefit was not payable to her with flat rate unemployment benefit.

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

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned has now been paid all disability due from 27 April 1983, fourth day of incapacity, to 25 June 1983, date of the latest medical certificate received.

619. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason for the reduction in the overall benefit allowance being paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned is in receipt of disablement benefit and disability benefit in respect of injuries received in an accident at work on 14 September 1981.

The occupational injuries scheme provides that the combined weekly payments of disability benefit and disablement benefit shall not exceed the claimants weekly earnings (exclusive of overtime) in the occupation in which the accident occurred.

The employers have confirmed that the [2386] claimants weekly earnings would, if he were still employed in the occupation in which the accident occurred, now amount to £100.00.

His weekly rate of disability benefit is £74.85, the rate appropriate to a married man with two dependent children.

Consequently his weekly rate of disablement benefit has been reduced from £37.17 the rate normally payable in respect of 70% disablement, to £25.15 with effect from 1 July 1983.

620. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be approved and paid to a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance on 27 April 1983. Unemployment assistance was not payable as he had not attained the age of 18 years and he was advised that it was open to him to claim on and after 19 May 1983 on which date he attained the age of 18 years.

He claimed unemployment assistance on 5 July 1983 and as he was assessed with nil means his claim has been allowed at the maximum rate payable to him £28.00 weekly. Payment will commence next week and thereafter as weekly payments become due.

621. Mr. P. Gallagher asked the Minister for Social Welfare when a free telephone rental allowance will be sanctioned for a person (details supplied) in County Donegal.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned has been approved for free telephone rental allowance and a notification to this effect issued to her on 27 June 1983.

The Department of Posts and Telegraphs have been advised of the decision and will arrange to apply the allowance from the date on which telephone service is provided.

622. Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Social Welfare the reason unemployment [2387] assistance was reduced from £24.15 to £18.15 in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Clare.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The means of the person concerned were assessed at £1.30 weekly, derived from the value of board and lodging on his brother's holding, with effect from 14 March 1983. In the transmission of the assesssment to the local office dealing with his claim the numeral £1 was incorrectly read as £7 due to an imperfection on the document. Accordingly he was paid at £18.15 instead of £24.15 weekly.

The matter has now been rectified and arrangements have been made to pay all adjusting arrears due to him this week.

Further weekly payments of £26.70 being the increased maximum rate of unemployment assistance payable from 29 June 1983, £28.00 less £1.30 means will be made as they become due.

623. Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Social Welfare when unemployment assistance will be paid to a person (details supplied) in County Clare.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): The person concerned claimed unemployment assistance from 1 December 1982 to 8 May 1983 after which he ceased to sign as unemployed. He was assessed with means of £73.15 weekly derived from commission as an insurance agent and self-employment as a carpenter. His claim was allowed at £6.85 weekly, being the maximum rate of unemployment assistance payable to him £80.00 less £73.15 and all unemployment assistance due was paid as payments became due.

His means were recently reviewed and the assessment of his means was reduced to £71.15 weekly. His rate of unemployment assistance was accordingly increased to £8.85 weekly and arrangements have been made to pay all arrears due this week.

624. Mr. H. Byrne asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will pay social [2388] welfare benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who was unemployed from 1 April to 15 May 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): There is no record of receipt of a claim for unemployment benefit from the person concerned in respect of the period stated by the Deputy.

According to the Department's record he last claimed unemployment benefit on 21 June 1982 and resumed work on 22 November 1982. He has not been in touch with his local office since the date of that claim.

625. Mr. H. Byrne asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will pay benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Wexford who was unemployed from 1 April to 13 May 1983.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. B. Desmond): There is no record of receipt of a claim for unemployment benefit from the person concerned in respect of the period stated by the Deputy.

According to the Department's records he last claimed unemployment benefit on 5 July 1982 but resumed work on 12 July 1982. He has not been in touch with his local office since the date of that claim.