For Oral Answer on : 13/10/2022
Question Number(s): 88 Question Reference(s): 50363/22
Department: Social Protection
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Social Protection if her Department has a policy to take excess payments made in respect of the fair deal scheme into account as a result of over-payment of the State pension (non-contributory); and if she will make a statement on the matter.
State pension non-contributory is a means-tested payment for people aged 66 and over, habitually residing in the State, who do not qualify for a state pension contributory, or who only qualify for a reduced rate contributory pension based on their social insurance record. Recipients of state pension non-contributory are obliged, throughout the lifetime of their claim, to notify the Department of any changes in their circumstances that may affect their pension entitlement. A list of the reportable changes of circumstance is included in the initial notification of pension award and in all subsequent review communications issued.
Social welfare legislation provides that the personal representative of a deceased person who, at any time received a means-tested payment, is obliged to give notice to the Department of their intention to distribute the deceased’s estate and to provide a schedule of the assets of the estate. The personal representative is requested not to distribute the estate until they receive formal clearance from the Department. If, on examination of the schedule of assets, it is found that not all of the deceased’s means had been disclosed, or if the values of previously assessed means had changed, the Department will seek to recover any monies overpaid, from the deceased’s estate.
In its review of state pension non-contributory entitlement, the Department does not have a policy of taking into account excess personal contribution payments, made in respect of the deceased’s Nursing Home Support Scheme grant arrangement. The method by which a person subsides their residential care costs is not a matter for the Department.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.