Dáil Éireann - Volume 365 - 16 April, 1986

Written Answers - Invalidity Pensions.

19. Dr. McCarthy asked the Minister for Social Welfare the duration on average after which claimants receiving disability benefit are officially assessed by medical referees for the purpose of providing them with invalidity pensions.

Minister for Social Welfare (Mrs. Hussey): To qualify for invalidity pension, a person must satisfy the contribution conditions, must have been in receipt of disability benefit for a year and must be permanently incapable of work.

In the normal course, therefore, a person would have been receiving disability benefit for a minimum period of one year. Statistics are not kept of the average length of time thereafter that claimants have been receiving benefit before applying for invalidity pension. The usual practice is that in the normal control of disability benefit claims, the Department's medical referees suggest when claimants should be referred for further examination. If the medical referee indicates that a person is permanently incapable of work after receiving disability benefit for a year then an application for invalidity pension can be accepted from that person.