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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C

# Social Protection

Last month
December 2022
# Social Welfare
Proposed overhaul of jobseeker's benefit would directly link payment to previous earnings
Currently, recipients of the jobseeker’s benefit are categorised into one of four bands depending on their prior income.
Last year
# Cabinet
Social welfare supports of €141.4m provided to Ukrainians this year
Department of Social Protection spending is 1.4% higher than profiled for this year.
# budget 2023
Ministers announce payment dates for social protection supports introduced in Budget
A double social welfare payment will be paid next week while a double Child Benefit payment will be paid at the start of next month.
# Cost of Living
Some applicants waiting up to 8 weeks for emergency welfare payment
Sinn Féin’s Claire Kerrane has called the timeframe ‘frightening’.
95% of applications are taking between five to eight weeks to fully process the payment.
The Additional Needs Payment can be used to cover basic necessities such as food, clothing, fuel, fixing white goods like washing machines and utility bills.
St Vincent De Paul says more resources are needed in frontline services so those in need can get payments in a timely manner.
Jump in emergency welfare payments reflects what's happening on the ground for families, says SVP
17,000 apply for emergency social welfare payments for food, fuel and clothing in July alone
# Cost of Living
Govt won't be dropping motorway tolls as part of its plan to tackle the cost-of-living surge
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says he is not a fan of tolls but they do help pay for road infrastructure.
A spokesperson for Minister Eamon Ryan has confirmed that there are no plans to reduce toll charges despite commuters facing crippling price hikes in fuel, reports Christina Finn.
Some in Govt circles say they are open to looking at reducing toll charges, but fear that such a proposal would not get past the Greens.
One Fine Gael TD says he is in favour of a toll reduction, saying it would help motorists that are under pressure.
No 'magic money tree' to help with fuel costs, says minister as pump prices jump above €2 a litre
Telling people to tighten their belts shows Govt is 'out of touch' on cost of living, says SF
# Retirement
Proposals on possible pension age increase to go to Govt before summer recess, says minister
The Pensions Commission has recommended a gradual increase in the qualification age from 66 to 68 over the next 17 years.
# wig grant
Thousands of people with alopecia can benefit from €500 grant to buy wig
The government grant will go to people who suffer hair loss due to illness.
# rent a room
Up to €14,000 can be earned in rent by social welfare recipients under newly agreed rules
The change means that social welfare payments will not be impacted for earning rental income under €14,000.
# Social Protection
'Insanity': Criticism as unemployment benefit to be paid at post offices rather than online
It was announced last month that people receiving the payment would no longer have it paid directly into their bank account.
One man said he now has to drive over 55km to a post office in order to collect the payment, which brings his fuel cost to between €45 - €50 a week.
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said that the return to post offices would help to support the network and tackle welfare fraud.
A Social Democrats TD said the idea that people in receipt of social welfare are going to defraud the State "has been debunked on several occasions".
# Pension
Government to keep 'open mind' on committee recommendation to maintain state pension at age 66
An Oireachtas Committee has said the pension age should not be increased.
# Heather Humphreys
Jobseekers payments to return to post offices following lifting of Covid restrictions
The measure will initially apply to new applicants before being extended to other jobseekers over the coming months.
All time
# Social Protection
Christmas payment will be paid to 1.4 million social welfare recipients next week
The cost of this year’s Christmas payment will be €313 million.
# Social Welfare
New unemployment payment linked to past working history pushed out to 2023
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys said today that the plans will not be included in Budget 2022.
# Social Protection
Gardaí in Cork arrest and charge man for alleged PUP and social welfare fraud
The man is alleged to have claimed €8,000 in fraudulent claims spread across the PUP and social welfare system.
# Work
Number of PUP recipients falls below 400,000 for the first time this year
Over 12,000 people have closed their claim in the last week because they have returned to work.
# Social Protection
'Sophisticated' scam involves people receiving phone calls from bogus department official
The Department of Social Protection never requests bank account details from its customers by phone or SMS.
480,000 workers to receive Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow
Over 10,000 people closed their PUP claims last week.
# covid payment
Almost half a million people to receive Pandemic Unemployment Payment tomorrow
Construction is the sector that has seen the largest increase in the number of people receiving PUP this week.
# Social Protection
Social welfare rights for UK citizens in Ireland and vice versa officially unaffected despite Brexit
A bilateral agreement covers a range of different benefits including those for sickness, parents, pensions and unemployment.
# Social Protection
Over 1.6 million to get Christmas Bonus this week, as those receiving Covid PUP drops slightly
The Pandemic Unemployment Payment will be available until March of next year.
# money owed
Pandemic Unemployment Payment arrears to be paid to 286,000 recipients today
Some cases progressed more slowly due to their complexity and due to inadequate or inaccurate information provided.
# Social Protection
Heather Humphreys: 'If you're permanently unemployed, then you should be looking for work'
The decision to cut welfare payments after recipients’ holidays abroad has been criticised by TDs as unfair, misguided and discriminatory.
# Unemployment
Over a million people in Ireland receiving some sort of State income support
Around 50,000 people currently receiving the unemployment payment are receiving income support for the first time.
# Coronavirus
Regina Doherty defends pandemic payment but admits system isn't 'perfect'
The social protection minister admitted that some students might be receiving more from the scheme than they would normally have earned.
# exchequer statement
Tax revenues last month almost €1 billion lower than March last year
An Exchequer deficit of €2.5 billion was recorded in the first quarter of 2020.
# Support
There have been 58,000 applications for the Covid-19 unemployment payment
Minister Regina Doherty said 43,000 of those applications have been processed so far.
# Coronavirus
Here are workers' entitlements if they are affected by Covid-19
The first case of Covid-19 in the Republic of Ireland was confirmed over the weekend.
# Controversy
Department boss says he's 'satisfied' the Public Services Card rollout is value for money
The Secretary General of the Department of Social Protection is due before the PAC today.
# state pension
54% of women who had State pensions reviewed after 'cruel' 2012 changes will get more money
Changes to the State pension in 2012 meant carers who took time off work received less in their State pension.
# jobspath macht frei
'Jobpath Macht Frei': Condemnation after 'extremely offensive' sign placed at Cork Welfare office
The slogan “arbeit macht frei” is known for appearing on the entrance of Auschwitz.
# budget 2020
Here's what Budget 2020 means for people receiving social welfare payments
The INOU has said it is “very disappointing” there were no increases to Jobseekers’ payments.
# Jobseekers
JobPath scheme extended by one year to help with 'labour uncertainty' from Brexit
Controversy has overshadowed the scheme over the years due to complaints from users of the service.
# Social Protection
'Cruel' State pension changes are still affecting thousands
Despite government revisions, only 32,307 pensioners have received an increase in their pension, which is “significantly lower than expected”.
# Social Welfare
Regina Doherty 'can't guarantee' pension increases in Budget 2020 because of Brexit
The Budget for 2020 will be announced in October – weeks before the UK is due to leave the EU.
# Jobseekers
Over 200,000 people have been through JobPath, but only 11,000 have held down jobs for over a year
Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty says the government has a legally binding contract with the operators that it must honour.
# Social Welfare
Committee told man on JobPath scheme had his CV amended against his wishes to conceal his ethnicity
Private companies operating JobPath get over €3k for every jobseeker that makes it through the scheme
# Parenting
Same-sex couples will be able to use ‘parent’ on birth certificates under new law
The changes will resolve a number of difficulties in the registration of donor assisted births.
# insecure work
New laws banning zero hour contracts 'in most circumstances' to be in place in March
The minister described it as one of the most significant changes ‘in a generation’.
# Illness Benefit
Illness Benefit payments back to normal levels, says minister
People began to complain of delays in payments back in August.
# Social Protection
'Unacceptable': Minister told Illness Benefit delays means some people have no money to buy food
Howlin said calls to the Social Protection helpline have been going unanswered.