Below are questions asked by TDs in Dáil Éireann, relating to Caranua and other areas relevant to survivors
Social welfare eligibility
Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 68 of 6 May 2015, if she will consider changing the rules governing a scheme (details supplied) to allow deposits from compensation due to medical or State negligence to be disregarded for the means testing process; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Social welfare legislation provides for the disregard of certain compensation awards when assessing the means of a person for social assistance schemes, including Disability Allowance.
The compensation awards disregarded include all income derived from compensation awarded by the Hepatitis C and HIV Compensation Tribunal, by the Residential Institutions Redress Board and in relation to disability caused by Thalidomide. Any payment made by the Residential Institutions Statutory Fund Board is also disregarded for social welfare means test purposes
In addition, ex gratia payments made to women who were admitted to and worked in the Magdalen Laundries or through the Symphysiotomy Payment Scheme are also disregarded.
All other compensation or court awards which are not provided for in social welfare legislation are assessed in the normal manner.
As noted in the previous PQ response, the Disability Allowance means test allows for a disregard of the first €50,000 of a claimant’s capital, which is the most generous capital disregard of all the social assistance schemes.
There are currently no plans to make any changes to the legislation in this regard. Any such change would have to be considered in a budgetary context.