Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Benefits.
Mr. Finucane Mr. Finucane
582. Mr. Finucane asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs the reason for the refusal of a one-parent family allowance payment to a person (detail supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will consider paying the allowance to this person. [25958/01]
Mr. D. Ahern Mr. D. Ahern
Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): There is a statutory obligation on claimants for one parent family payment to make, and continue to make, appropriate efforts in their particular circumstances to obtain maintenance in respect of themselves and/or their children from their former spouse or partner. This obligation reflects the underlying principle that, in so far as possible, one parent families should be maintained by their former spouses or partners.
The person concerned applied for one parent family payment in June 2001. She was requested by the Department to seek maintenance from her spouse by contacting her local District Court clerk. She refused to do so in the light of a separation agreement which she had  drawn up with her spouse. The deciding officer considered that the relevant statutory condition was not, therefore, satisfied in her case and he refused her claim on that basis. The person concerned has appealed the decision to the social welfare appeals office.
Under social welfare legislation decisions in relation to claims must be made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in regard to making such decisions.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Social Welfare Benefits.