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For Written Answer on : 01/02/2024
Question Number(s): 309 Question Reference(s): 4846/24
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of claims lodged with her Department from County Cork households under the humanitarian assistance scheme following the damage caused to households by storm Babet in October 2023; the number of claims that have been processed to date; the number of these claims allowed; the total amount paid out to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is the lead Department for severe weather emergencies.  My Department provides assistance to eligible households in the immediate aftermath of emergency weather events under the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme.

The Humanitarian Assistance Scheme, administered by my Department through the local Community Welfare Service, was activated to assist householders affected by a number of recent weather events across the Country.  This scheme remains open to those affected by these weather events to apply for assistance.

The purpose of the Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is to provide incometested financial support to people whose homes are damaged and who are not able to meet costs for essential needs, household items and, in some instances, structural repair.

The income test for Humanitarian Assistance Scheme is more generous than that which applies in the case of social welfare schemes generally.  The basic principle of the income test is that individuals and families with average levels of income will qualify for assistance (including non-Social Welfare recipients). 

Statistics are maintained on the number of payments made on the scheme.  Since Storm Babet which occurred on 18th October 2023, some 890 payments have been made to members of the public in Co. Cork up to the week ending 27th January 2024, totalling almost €1.77 million.

If any household affected by the flooding in Co. Cork needs to access these supports, they can contact the Community Welfare Service by phoning 0818 60 70 80.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.