Dáil Éireann - Volume 415 - 19 February, 1992
Written Answers. - Unemployment Assistance Eligibility.
Mr. Connaughton Mr. Connaughton
202. Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Social Welfare if his attention has been drawn to the fact that his Department refuses to pay unemployment assistance to persons who because they decide to live in isolated rural areas where the possibilities of gaining employment are slim are deemed to be unavailable for work and are consequently deemed to be ineligible for unemployment assistance; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. McCreevy) Charlie McCreevy
Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. McCreevy): Among the statutory conditions to be satisfied by applicants for receipt of an unemployment payment is that they must be available for work and they must make genuine efforts to obtain it. The entitlement of all claimants is reviewed from time to time to determine whether they continue to satisfy these conditions which apply equally to all categories of claimants irrespective of where they reside.
In accordance with the legislation, claimants are required to make reasonable efforts to make themselves available for and seek work for which they are qualified by reference to their skills, education and previous work experience. This can only be determined by reference to the circumstances of each particular claimant.
In relation to place of residence it has from time to time come to the notice of the Department that certain claimants with considerable levels of education and work experience are opting to transfer residence, often from urban to remote rural areas, where the opportunities for them to obtain employment for which they are best qualified are very poor.
Moving from a more likely area to a less likely area of employment, having regard to the individual's background, has always been one of the considerations in relation to the question of a person's availability for work. Each case is dealt  with on its own merits and it is a matter for decision by deciding officers and appeals officers where a person is not satisfied with the decision.
I am satisfied that the normal procedures are being followed in such cases and there is no general disallowance imposed on any category of claimant.
Dáil Éireann 415 Written Answers. Unemployment Assistance Eligibility.