For Written Answer on : 18/01/2023
Question Number(s): 916 Question Reference(s): 1911/23
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Social Protection her Department’s plans, if any, to extend the living alone allowance to those under the age of 66 years who are in receipt of a widow’s, widower’s or surviving civil partner’s pension and are living alone; the estimated cost of extending the allowance to those in such circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
The Living Alone Increase (LAI) is a weekly payment of €22 in addition to the primary social welfare payment to:
- people aged 66 years or over who are in receipt of certain social welfare payments, including State pensions, and who are living alone.
- people who are less than 66 years of age, living alone and in receipt of Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Incapacity Supplement or Blind Pension.
The payment types that allow a person under age 66 to receive the LAI are payments to people who have a long-term illness or disability.
There are currently over 30,250 recipients of the Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s pension aged under 66. The Department does not hold records on how many of those in receipt of such payments live alone. As a result, it is not possible to provide a cost for the measure proposed by the Deputy.
Any decision to extend the LAI to those in receipt of the Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s pension aged under 66 would have to be considered in an overall policy and budgetary context.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.