Living Alone Increase


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Index

PART 1: GENERAL
Description of scheme
Information Leaflet
Legislation
Administration
- Qualifying Conditions.
- LIVING ALONE CONDITION
Person lives entirely alone
Person residing alone by day but (for security reasons) with relative/friend at night
Person who is aged or infirm with relative/friend staying overnight, for security reasons.
Person has a relative who comes home at weekends
Person who lives alone, but occasionally takes in a paying guest for a short duration (e.g. local festival)
Granny flat or flat accommodation in residential house.
- SHELTERED HOMES/HOUSING
Single room accommodation
Dormitory Accommodation
Residential care in HB or private nursing homes

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES
Claims
Investigation of claim
- Decisions
Appeals
Payment
Reviews

LIST OF HOSTELS/HOMES WHERE LIVING ALONE INCREASE IS PAYABLE.


PART 1: GENERAL

Description of scheme

The Living Alone Increase (LAI) is a weekly payment for people aged 66 or over who are receiving certain payments (see below) from the Department of Social Protection and who are living alone. LAI is also payable to persons who live alone and who are in receipt of Blind Person's Pension, Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance or Incapacity Supplement. The objective of the payment is to compensate for the additional individual costs of living alone when compared to a couple or family.

Information Leaflet

SW 36 - Living Alone Increase

Legislation

The legislative basis for the payment of LAI is contained in the provisions of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005, as amended, which relate to the relevant qualifying payments.

Administration

The payment of the LAI is administered by the section dealing with the qualifying payment. LAI payable with Invalidity Pension and Widow's/Widower's/Dependent Parent's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme is administered by Social Welfare Services Office Longford. In all other cases LAI is administered by the Social Welfare Services Office in Sligo.

Qualifying Conditions.

A person will qualify for a Living Alone Allowance if s/he:

  • lives alone, and
  • is aged 66 or over, and
  • is getting one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection:
    - State Pension (Contributory or Non-Contributory)
    - State Pension (Transition)
    - Widow's (Contributory or Non-Contributory) Pension
    - Widower's (Contributory or Non-Contributory) Pension
    - Deserted Wife's Benefit/Allowance
    - Prisoner's Wife's Allowance
    - Lone Parent's Allowance
    - One-parent Family Payment
    - Widow's/Widower's/Dependent Parent's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme
    or
  • lives alone, and (irrespective of age),
  • is getting one of the following payments from the Department of Social Protection
    - Blind Person's Pension
    - Invalidity Pension
    - Disability Allowance
    - Incapacity Supplement

NOTE: A person is required to notify the Department immediately if s/he no longer lives alone and/or changes address.

Administration

The payment of LAI is administered by the Section dealing with the payment. LAA payable with Invalidity Pension, Widow(er)'s/Dependant Parents Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme, Incapacity Supplement and Disability Allowance is administered by the Social Welfare Services Office, Ballinalee Rd., Longford. In all other cases LAI is administered by the Social Welfare Services Office, College Rd., Sligo.

LIVING ALONE CONDITION

Listed below are some of the circumstances in which the living alone condition is deemed to be satisfied:

  • Person lives entirely alone
    Conditions for LAI are satisfied where the person resides entirely alone in stand alone, self-contained private domestic dwelling (i.e., house, apartment/flat or mobile home).
  • Residing alone by day but with relative/friend at night
    Where the person for security reasons, needs to sleep overnight with a relative/neighbour/friend, LAI can be paid at the person's home address, provided the person returns home the following day and takes no regular main meals in the relative/friend's house.
  • Relative/friend staying overnight, for security reasons.
    Where the person is aged or infirm and afraid to sleep alone at night, a friend/relative can stay with him/her (on an overnight basis only), for the purpose of company/security, without affecting his/her LAI entitlement. This is provided that the companion takes no regular main meals in the person's house and has a permanent home address elsewhere.
  • Person has a relative who comes home at weekends
    Where the person lives on his/her own, but has a son/daughter (or other relative) who comes home at weekends only, for example, to do some shopping for the person or bring him/her to doctor/hospital appointment etc., LAI conditions will continue to be satisfied. A relative who temporarily stays with a person must have permanent home address elsewhere.
  • Person occasionally takes in a paying guest for a short duration
    Where the person resides alone, but occasionally takes in a paying guest during a local festival, or wedding, for example, LAI conditions continue to be satisfied. However, permanent (whether declared to be seasonal or all-year-round) B&B residences will not be eligible for LAA purposes.
  • Granny flat or flat accommodation in residential house.
    To satisfy the LAI criteria it is necessary that the person lives independently. This does not preclude social contact with other residents. However, evidence will need to show that the person has separate living/dining and sleeping accommodation.

It is necessary that the person has all of the necessary facilities to cook, dine and wash up within their flat area. Separate bathroom and toilet facilities, though desirable, are however not essential. These may be shared with others, once it is clear that the other requirements are satisfied.

Instances may be encountered in family situations where the living, dining or sleeping areas available to the claimant are not immediately adjacent to one another. This in itself does not preclude the person from being regarded as living alone if this is a genuine arrangement.

In family situations it is recognised also that internal security is not usually a priority. It is not, therefore, appropriate to insist on evidence that the flat area has secure locks, etc. In non family situations the absence of a secured entrance to the claimant's flat area could raise question marks regarding their living alone status.

In a flat or granny flat situation it is also recognised that it is not necessary that each flat has a separate external entrance.

SHELTERED HOMES/HOUSING

A significant number of Sheltered Hostels/Homes are available to provide accommodation and care to members of the community. These premises are run on a non profit (charitable) basis to provide accommodation for the aged.

Single room accommodation

In the context of living alone, the accommodation usually consists of single rooms. Those who are able bodied and reside in single rooms, usually have facilities to prepare snacks in their rooms or in shared kitchenettes. However, the main meal is normally served in a communal area. Free meals are not supplied. Those persons who are living independently are regarded as living alone (apart from couples) and are entitled to LAI.

Those who reside in single rooms and where full-time nursing care or supervision is also provided are comparable to residents of Private Nursing Homes or Health Board Nursing Homes and consequently they may not be regarded as living alone for the purposes of LAI entitlement.

Dormitory Accommodation

Some sheltered homes also provide dormitory accommodation. In some establishments this accommodation is generally used for short stay (transient) clients, e.g., Iveagh Hostel.

Dormitory accommodation is also utilised in sheltered homes for those who are incapable of living independently and require full-time nursing care or supervision, e.g., Harcourt or Margaret Holme. A person who resides in dormitory accommodation of any type is not regarded as living alone for the purposes of LAI entitlement.

A person who resides in circumstances where institutionalised full-time nursing care or supervision is provided (regardless of accommodation type) is comparable to a resident in a Private Nursing Home or Health Board Nursing Home and, consequently, is not regarded as living alone for the purposes of LAI entitlement.

Residential care in HB or private nursing homes

A person who resides in a Health Board or Private Nursing Home is not regarded as living alone for the purposes of LAI.

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES

Claims

Where a person indicates on the application form for the qualifying payment (as listed in Part I above) that s/he lives alone, entitlement to the Living Alone Increase is decided upon in conjunction with the decision in respect of the qualifying payment.

Where a person's circumstances change subsequent to his /her application for the qualifying payment and he/she fulfils the living alone condition, claim form LAI 1 must be completed if he/she wishes to apply for Living Alone Increase.

A Social Welfare Investigator may investigate a persons circumstances before Living Alone Increase is awarded.

Investigation of claim

Entitlement to the allowance is decided on the basis of the information furnished by the person on the claim form LAI1, except where the Deciding Officer may wish to have circumstances confirmed by a Social Welfare Investigator.

Decisions

All claims are decided by Deciding Officers appointed by the Minister under Section 299 Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005. A notification of the decision to award the allowance is issued to the claimant.

Appeals

Where a person is refused a Living Alone Increase, s/he may appeal the disallowance to the Chief Appeals Officer, Social Welfare Appeals Office, D'Olier House, D'Olier Street, Dublin 2.

Payment

The LAI continues to be payable for as long as living alone conditions are satisfied. The payment is incorporated into the person's qualifying payment.

Reviews

There are periodic reviews to ensure that a person continues to meet the requirements for receipt of a Living Alone Increase.

LIST OF HOSTELS/HOMES WHERE LIVING ALONE INCREASE IS PAYABLE.

COUNTY

CITY/TOWN

HOSTEL/HOME

Cork

Cork

Chnoc Mhuire, Fair St.
Clochan Barra, Coach St.
Flat 7, Glendalough
Joachim's & Ant's Home, Angeles St.
Rope Walk, Sundays Wells Rd.
O'Connell Court, Windmill Rd, Cork.
6, Grenville Place

Skibbereen

Convent Hill

Dublin

Dublin

Damper Court, Wellington St. Dublin 1
22, Harcourt Tce., Dublin 2
Salvation Army Hostel, York Street, Dublin 2
Salvation Army Hostel, 9-10 Granby Row, Dublin 1
Tara St. Hostel, Dublin 2
Margaret Holme (Central Mission) Claremont Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
Pax (Brabazon) House, Gilford Road, Sandymount, Dublin 4
10 Tritonville Close, Sandymount, Dublin 4
23A Eaton Sq. Terenure, Dn. 6
Mageough Home, Cowper Road, Rathmines, Dublin 6
Merrick House, 25A Eaton Rd., Dublin 6
Iveagh Hostel, Bride Rd., Db. 3
Maryfield Convent, Chapelizod, Dublin 20
Night Shelter, Back Lane Vincent De Paul Night Shelter

Dun Laoire

Hotel Pierro (Welfare Home)

Kilkenny

Kilkenny

Evan's Home
St. Canice's Home
Switzers Home, Castle Rd.

Limerick

Limerick

Widow's Home, Mount St.Vincent O'Connell Avenue

Louth

Castlebellingham

Widow's Houses

Drogheda

St. John's Home Peter St.

Mayo

Ballina

Convent Hill

Tipperary

Thurles

Mannix House
Stannix Home

Clonmel

Marion Court

Waterford

Waterford

Burchall Home, Parnell St.
Matthew Shea Home, Bath St.
St. Patricks Home, Georges St.
Walsh Home, College St.

Wicklow

Greystones

Farmleigh


Last modified:07/03/2013
 

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