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For Written Answer on : 06/12/2023
Question Number(s): 113 Question Reference(s): 53997/23
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Social Protection her plans, if any, to award a cost-of-living lump sum payment to disablement benefit holders similar to that awarded to those in receipt of a disability allowance, invalidity pension or blind pension payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


Disablement Benefit is part of the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme.  This scheme caters for people injured or incapacitated by an accident at work or while travelling to or from work.  The scheme also covers people who have contracted a disease as a result of the type of work they do.

Disablement Benefit is a compensation payment and can be paid alongside other social welfare payments.  People in receipt of Disablement Pension (without another payment) can work, full or part-time.  Those who are unfit for work may qualify for Illness Benefit or another social welfare payment based on their social insurance contributions (PRSI).  Alternatively, they may qualify for Incapacity Supplement.

Payments under the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme, including Disablement Benefit, did not qualify for the once-off Cost of Living support payment in November 2023, because there are no limits to the amount that recipients can earn from work or they may already be in receipt of a supplement on an ongoing basis in the form of Incapacity Supplement.

They are, however, eligible for other increases in payment rates and double-payments announced under Budget 2024.  Recipients of Disablement Benefit will receive the Christmas Bonus and the January Cost-of-Living Bonus, which will provide 100% increases in the weekly rate of payment for recipients in early December and late January respectively.  The maximum rate of Disablement Benefit will also increase by €12 per week from January 2024, with an additional €4 weekly increase for qualified children.  From January 2023, Disablement Benefit was disregarded from the means test for Fuel Allowance.  In November, households getting the Fuel Allowance received a €300 cost-of-living lump sum payment.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.