Dáil Éireann - Volume 443 - 14 June, 1994
Written Answers. - Disability Benefit Entitlement.
Mr. J. O'Keeffe Mr. J. O'Keeffe
 21. Mr. J. O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether a person in receipt of disability benefit is disqualified from payment if partly fit for work or if fit for light work; the guidelines used in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): A person is entitled to disability benefit in respect of any day of incapacity for work as long as they satisfy the relevant contribution conditions. Such incapacity is certified by the person's doctor at weekly, monthly or other intervals. A deciding officer decides on entitlement to payment and may take account of a second opinion on incapacity provided by one of my Department's medical referees.
At the outset of a claim, the question at issue is whether the person can be considered incapable of their normal occupation. If it becomes clear in the course of the illness that there is no reasonable prospect of the person becoming fit to resume their ordinary occupation, a different criterion of incapacity is applied. Consideration is then given to whether their condition is such that the person is capable of performing other remunerative work of a type which a person of their training, education, experience and age could reasonably be expected to undertake. There are, however, certain types of work which a person may be allowed to do under the regulations whilst continuing their entitlement to disability benefit, including work done as part of treatment while in hospital or other similar place; work which is not full-time and is part of a rehabilitation or occupational therapy programme or an approved training course to fit the person for another job if they are not able to do their usual work. A person may apply to my Department for an exemption to engage in such work — medical certification from a GP is required confirming that participation is recommended.
 I trust that this clarifies the position on defining incapacity for the purposes of payment of disability benefit.
Dáil Éireann 443 Written Answers. Disability Benefit Entitlement.