Disability Allowance


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Index

PART 1: ENTITLEMENT
Description of Scheme
Information Leaflet
Legislation
Administration
Qualifying Conditions in Summary
Qualifying Conditions in Detail
Assessment of Means where claimant has spouse/civil partner/cohabitant
Maintenance from former spouse/civil partner/cohabitant
Special Saver Category
Disqualifications
Rules
Residence in an Institution
Absence from the State,
Imprisonment,
Late claims
Rates Structure
Increase for Qualified Adult
Increase for Qualified Child
Extra Benefits
Living Alone Increase
Increase for Living on a Specified Island
Overlapping Provisions

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES
Claims
Late Claims
Documentation
Investigation of Claim
Decisions
Appeals

PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD
Payment
Arrears
Duration of Payment
Maintenance
Lost book action
Certification of ongoing Entitlement
Education and Employment while on DA
Review
Suspension of Payment
Credits
Retention/Destruction of Documents


PART 1: ENTITLEMENT

Description of scheme

Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment for people with a specified disability whose income falls below certain limits and who are aged between 16 and under 66.

The scheme was introduced on 2 October 1996 and replaced the Disabled Person's Maintenance Allowance which was administered by the Health Boards.

Information Leaflet

'Disability Allowance' SW 29

Legislation

The main provisions relating to Disability Allowance are contained in Chapter 10 (Part 3) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 as amended, and Chapter 5 (PART 3) of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007 S.I. No. 142 of 2007, as amended.

Administration

The Scheme is administered by Disability Allowance Section, Social Welfare Services Office, Ballinalee Road, Longford LoCall no. 1890927770

Qualifying Conditions in Summary

To qualify for a Disability Allowance a person must:

  • be substantially restricted in undertaking suitable employment arising from a medical assessment or examination of the person's disability
  • be aged between 16 and under 66
  • satisfy a means test
  • be habitually resident in the State.
Qualifying Conditions in Detail

Medical

  • be substantially restricted in undertaking suitable employment

The medical criteria which must be satisfied in order to qualify for Disability Allowance are:

  1. The person must be suffering from an injury, disease, congenital deformity or physical or mental illness or defect which has continued or may reasonably be expected to continue for a period of at least a year
    and
  2. As a result of the condition the person is substantially restricted in undertaking work which would otherwise be suitable having regard to the person's age, experience and qualifications.

This would mean that the person's capacity to undertake or carry out work would be substantially less than that of a person without the specified Disability in question.

The application form requires claimants to produce certified medical evidence which outlines various aspects of their medical condition. In all cases an assessment is made by Departmental Medical Assessors of the evidence submitted to determine the nature and extent of the disability and its effect on the person's capacity to work.

Age

  • The person must be aged 16 or over and under 66.

Means

  • satisfy a means test

For the purposes of Disability Allowance, means are calculated in accordance with Part 2 of the Schedule 3 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 as amended.
(See guidelines on 'Means Assessment'' and 'Farm Means')

Habitual Residence

  • be habitually resident in the State

From 1st May 2004 anyone regardless of nationality, making a claim for Disability Allowance, is required to satisfy a habitual residence condition (HRC). Please see seperate guideline ' Habitual Residence Condition' .

Assessment of means where claimant has spouse/civil partner partner/cohabitant

Where a claimant is married/in a civil partnership/co-habiting, the following provisions apply:

If a spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is not in receipt of a social welfare payment in their own right other than Disablement Benefit, Family Income Supplement or Child Benefit or is not participating on certain approved course(s), where the rate of allowance payable is equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseeker's Allowance then the weekly means assessed are deducted from the full family entitlment to Disability Allowance (full personal rate, full qualified adult rate and full qualified child(ren) rate to arrive at the weekly rate of Disability Allowance payable.

Where the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is in receipt of a social welfare payment in their own right other than Disablement Benefit, Family Income Supplement or Child Benefit or is participating on certain approved course(s), where the rate of allowance payable is equivalent to the maximum rate of Jobseeker's Allowance, the means will be halved and will be deducted from the maximum personal rate and half qualified child(ren) rate to arrive at the weekly rate of Disability Allowance payable.

Under the new means assessment arrangements introduced from 26 September 2007, spouse's/civil partner's/cohabitant's earnings are calculated as gross earnings less PRSI, Superannuation and Union dues (since March 2009 pension levies are also deducted). Where the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is engaged in insurable employment a disregard of €20 per day applies subject to a maximum of €60 per week and balance is at 60%. In all other cases the balance is assessed at 100%. the disregard of €20 per day only applies to insurable employment.

Saver Clause

A saver clause applies if the claimant was in receipt of a higher rate of Disability Allowance on 26 September 2007 than s/he would have been entitled to under the new means assessment provisions. If the claimant should cease entitlement to Disability Allowance for a period greater than four weeks, the saver cause no longer applies. Under the saver clause if the claimant qualifies for payment of the full increase in respect of a qualified adult and the spouse/civil partner's/cohabitant's means are under €76.18, full means are deducted from the scheduled rate. If the spouse/partner's means exceed €76.18 then the means are halved.

If the claimant does not qualify for full increase in respect of a qualified adult (e.g. the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is in receipt of a SW payment) or is only entitled to a reduced rate of increase in respect of a qualified adult (e.g. spouse's/civil partner's/cohabitant's gross earnings are such that a tapered qualified adult rate applies) - half of the total means are deducted from the scheduled rate of payment.

Before calculating means derived from a spouse's/civil partner's/cohabitant's insurable employment, the following disregards are applied:

  1. €100.00 (travel inclusive) for working 4/5 days a week, or
  2. €50.00 together with any travel expenses necessarily incurred for working 1/2/3 days a week.

If spouse/partner is working outside the island of Ireland the disregard is €152 per week

 

Maintenance from former spouse/civil partner/cohabitant

Maintenance payments from a former spouse/civil partner/cohabitant are assessed as means. Vouched housing costs, either rent or mortgage, of up to €95.23 per week may be offset against maintenance payments with half the balance of the maintenance payment being assessed as means to establish the rate of Disability Allowance payment.

Special Saver Category for recipients of DPMA

Where a person was in receipt of Disabled Person's Maintenance Allowance at 1 October 1996, their entitlement continued automatically.

Disqualifications

Rules

A claimant will be disqualified from receiving Disability Allowance if s/he fails, without good cause, to

  • attend for or submit to any medical examination or other examination at such time or place as may be required by an Officer of the Minister provided that the Officer gives not less than 7 days notice in writing;
  • comply with any instructions relating to his/her incapacity issued by a registered medical practioner or refrain from behaviour likely to hinder his/her recovery;
  • be available to meet with an Officer of the Minister and answer any reasonable enquiries relating to his/her Disability Allowance claim.

Residence in an Institution

The restriction on payment of full rate disability allowance to persons who are in full time residential care was abolished from 3rd January 2007.

Prior to 3rd January 2007
The position prior to 3rd January 2007 was that Disability Allowance was not payable where a claimant was resident in an institution, where the cost of their maintenance was being met in whole or in part by the Health Service Executive except - where the person has an existing entitlement to Disability Allowance and they went into hospital or institutional care after 1 August 1999, then payment of his/her Disability Allowance continued as long as he/she satisfied the qualifying conditions for award of Disability Allowance, or - if they entered the hospital or institution before 1 August 1999, they were resident there on a temporary basis to receive medical or other treatment for a period not exceeding 13 weeks, i.e. payment of DA stopped after 13 weeks.

Since June 4, 1997, Disability Allowance has been payable at half the appropriate rate in respect of any week where a claimant (under an arrangement with the institution) resides outside the care facility for two or three consecutive days a week, once that week is part of a period of not less than four consecutive weeks. In addition, from June 4, 1997, the full appropriate rate of Disability Allowance is payable in respect of an arranged period spent on holidays within the State and outside institutional care. The period on holidays must be of at least 3 consecutive weeks.

People in residential care who had been receiving half rate Disability Allowance will be paid at full rate from 3 May 2000. After 1 August 1999 persons who were in receipt of the holiday payment for 3 consecutive weeks are being put onto full rate Disability Allowance on return to the institution.

An 'institution' for this purpose means a hospital, convalescent home or home for persons suffering from physical or mental disability or ancillary accommodation, nursing home for the care and maintenance of dependent elderly people and any other establishment providing residence, maintenance or care where the cost of a person's maintenance therein is being met in whole or in part by or on behalf of the Health Service Executive.

The definition does not include, however, community based houses or hostels, sometimes called "Low Support Hostels" funded or approved by the Health Service Executive. DA is payable to persons who are resident there provided that the Health Service Executive is not funding their maintenance.
*From January 2005, the Health Boards were replaced by the Health Service Executive.

Personal expenses rate

For persons who were resident in an institution and were not eligible for Disability Allowance because their maintenance was being met in whole or in part by the Health Service Executive, a special €35 - Disability Allowance personal expenses rate – was payable from 1 June 2005. The payment was made by direct payment to the institution where the person resided. The institution transferred the full payment to the individual account of the person. This arrangement was covered in the service level agreement signed between the Department of Social Protection and the residential institution concerned.

Persons who were in receipt of this disability allowance personal expenses rate became entitled to full rate disability allowance from 3 January 2007.

Absence from the State

Disability Allowance is not payable for any period in respect of which the claimant is resident away from the State except where the person is pursuing an approved second or third level courses of education outside the State under the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) Scheme (see Chapter " Back to Education Programmes") or while receiving medical treatment which is not available in this State. The claimant must notify the Department and furnish the required details before leaving the State in order for a determination to be made regarding their continued entitlement to a payment.

From the 1st May 2004, an habitual residence condition has been introduced for Disability Allowance. Please see seperate Guideline 'Habitual Residence Condition'.

Imprisonment

People in prison or detained in legal custody are not entitled to payment of Disability Allowance. A person shall not be considered to be detained in legal custody for the purposes of entitlement to disability allowance where she or he is detained for treatment under

  • an admission order or renewal order under the Mental Health Act 2001, or
  • an order made under Section 38 of the Health Act 1947, or
  • an order made under Section 4 or Section 5 of the Criminal Law (Insanity)
  • an order made under Section 17 of the Lunacy (Ireland) Act 1821, or
  • an order made under Section 2 of the Trial of Lunatics Act 1883. (See Chapter on "Imprisonment")

Late Claims

A person is disqualified for payment of Disability Allowance for any period exceeding 7 days before the date on which the claim is made. (See also Late Claims in Part 2 hereunder).

See also separate guideline on 'Claims and Late Claims'.

Rates Structure

Payment is made up of a personal rate and increases in respect of the claimant's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant and each qualified child. The rate is reduced by €2.50 for every €2.50 of means, (or part of €2.50).

Increase for Qualified Adult

Under a new means assessment introduced under the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control)(Amendment) (No. 5) (Assessment of Earnings) Regulations 2007 S.I. No 700 of 2007 which came into effect on 26 September 2007 a family rate less means applies where the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant of the Disability Allowance claimant does not have a social welfare payment in their own right. The family rate is based on full personal rate, a full qualified adult rate and full child dependent rate less means.

A saver clause applies if the claimant was in receipt of a higher rate of disability allowance on 26-09-2007 than s/he would have been entitled to under the new means assessment provisions. If the claimant should cease entitlement to disability allowance for a period greater than four weeks, the saver clause no longer applies. Under the saver clause an Increase for a Qualified Adult is normally payable where the claimant is married or cohabiting with another person as husband and wife unless the spouse or civil partner or cohabitant has weekly income exceeding €310 per week. Where the claimant's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant has weekly income of between €100 and €310 per week, a reduced increase for a qualified adult is payable. However payment of child allowance at full rate will continue where spouse/civil partner/cohabitant income does not exceed €310 per week.

See Chapter on 'Increases - Increase for a Qualified Adult' for further details and particulars of the other conditions that apply.

Increase for a Qualified Child

Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) is payable for each child under age 18 who is normally resident with and is being maintained by the claimant. IQC is also payable in respect of a child who is in full-time education by day at a recognised school or college up to the end of the academic year in which s/he reaches age 22. See also guideline on 'Increases - Increase for a Qualified Child' for further details and for information on the circumstances where only half-rate IQC is paid.

Extra Benefits

Free Travel, Household Benefits Package - Electricity/Natural Gas/Bottled Gas Refill Allowance, Free Television Allowance and Telephone Allowance, Free Fuel and Free Smokeless Fuel Allowances and certain Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) payments may be paid in conjunction with Disability Allowance subject to satisfying the respective conditions of these other payments. See guidelines 'Free Travel', 'Household Benefits Package', 'National Fuel Schemes', 'Rent Allowance' and 'Supplementary Welfare Allowance'.

Living Alone Increase

Living Alone Increase is payable to persons in receipt of Disability Allowance from April 4 2001, if the person lives entirely alone [see separate guideline on 'Living Alone Increase' ].

Increase for Living on a Specified Island

Increase for Living on a Specified Island is a weekly payment made to persons in receipt of Disability Allowance from 2 April 2003, who ordinarily live on a specified island off the coast of Ireland (See separate guideline on 'Increase for Living on a Specified Island').

Overlapping Provisions

Disability Allowance is payable in addition to Disablement Benefit, Family Income Supplement, Child Benefit and Death Benefit. No other benefit or allowance is payable with Disability Allowance to or in respect of the same person in respect of the same period. This applies to both the claimant and payments made in respect of the claimant's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant. (See separate guideline ' Overlapping Payments' )

From 27 September 2007 a person who is claiming a social welfare payment (other than Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit) or being claimed for as a Qualified Adult and who is providing full time care to another person may now apply for Carer's Allowance and retain their current payment in full. If they satisfy the conditions for Carer's Allowance it will be awarded at 50% of the personal rate they would qualify for if they were not in receipt of any other payment. They will also be eligible for Household Benefits and a Free Travel Pass.

* A person may not receive Jobseeker's Benefit/Allowance, Back to Work Allowance or Family Income Supplement and half rate Carer's Allowance but they may be a qualified adult on these payments and receive half rate Carer's Allowance.

See 'Carer's Allowance' guideline for more information.

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES

Claims

Under the legislation the onus is on a person to apply if s/he believes that s/he may have an entitlement to payment. The Disability Allowance claim form DA1 should be completed in full and signed by the claimant. The person should state his/her Personal Public Service Number [PPS no.]. If s/he has no PPS no. he/she should apply to their Social Welfare Local Office (SWLO) and a new PPS no. will be allocated and should be quoted in all future correspondence.

(Health Board Executive clients in receipt of or awaiting a decision on the award of Disabled Person's Maintenance Allowance on 1st October 1996 were automatically deemed to have applied for Disability Allowance.)

The claimant should forward all relevant documentation as requested. However this may be submitted after the initial claim is made rather than delaying the claim in order to obtain it.

An acknowledgement of each claim is issued on receipt of the claim. The Claim reference is quoted and the claimant is asked to quote it in any future contact with the Department in relation to Disability Allowance.

Late Claims

The claim should be made within 7 days of the start of entitlement. However, the claim may be backdated for up to 6 months where the person can prove to the satisfaction of the Deciding Officer or Appeals Officer that s/he satisfied the qualifying conditions during that period and that throughout the period of delay there was good cause of delay in making the claim.

Further back-dating may also be possible in certain circumstances:

  • Where the failure to claim within the prescribed time period arose as a result of false and misleading information being provided by staff of the DSP to the person or their agent, or
  • The person was so incapacitated by illness or infirmity between time of entitlement and making the claim that they could not make the claim or instruct another person to make the claim on their behalf, or
  • On grounds of "force majeure"; that is where force of circumstances prevented the person from making the claim, or
  • Where payment of the claim is necessary to prevent or relieve financial hardship which arises from debts which cannot be discharged by utilising other disposable assets.

See section 4.2 of the separate guidelines on ' Claims and Late Claims' .

Documentation

Claimants of Disability Allowance are responsible for the production of certificates, documents, information and evidence required, including Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate (if applicable), medical evidence and details of means such as a P60, current payslip, etc. It is not necessary to furnish a birth certificate if born in the Republic of Ireland or marriage certificate if married in the Republic of Ireland.

A medical certificate is incorporated into the claim form ( DA1) which must be completed and signed by the claimant's General Practitioner (GP) or Consultant.

A decision on entitlement cannot be made until all the necessary documentation has been provided.

Investigation of Claim

When all the documentation necessary to make a decision on a claim has been received, the file will be referred to a Deciding Officer for decision.

Where any question arises about the fulfillment of a condition (e.g. the means of the claimant), further enquiries will be made, either by correspondence or by referring the file to a Social Welfare Investigator for investigation.

Where the claimant is unable to act on his or her own behalf because of incapacity, an agent can be appointed to act for him or her, on foot of a Social Welfare Investigator's report.

(See also Guidelines for ' SW Inspectors' )

The Department's Medical Assessors advise the Section's Deciding Officers on the medical eligibility of each claimant. Each claim is assessed by a Medical Assessor on the basis of the detailed medical certificate (incorporated into the application form) completed by the claimant's GP. (See Chapter " MED_ASSESSMENT")

Decisions

Claims are decided by Deciding Officers appointed by the Minister under Section 299 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. A notification of the decision is issued to the claimant, and when claims are disallowed or allowed at reduced rates the claimant is given a full explanation of the reason for the disallowance or partial award.

Where it is evident that a person does not fulfill the age condition, the claim may be disallowed on that basis before the investigation of the medical condition, the means test and the habitual residency condition is complete.

Appeals

If a person feels that the decision is based on information about their circumstances which is incorrect or out of date, the person may submit the up to date information to Disability Allowance Section for a revised decision.

If the person does not agree with the decision or revised decision on their claim, i.e. where Disability Allowance is disallowed, or awarded at a reduced rate of payment, or from a later date than that claimed, the person may appeal the decision to the Chief Appeals Officer, Social Welfare Appeals Office, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2.

PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD

Payment

Disability Allowance is paid weekly in advance on a Wednesday. The date of the first payment is the Wednesday following the effective date of claim.

There are two methods of payment:

  • Directly into the Post Office via Electronic Information Transfer. This allows for Household Budget facility.
  • Direct payment weekly by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) into a Bank Account or Building Society Account (NOT a mortgage account) or Credit Union (not all Credit Unions have this facility)

(See also guideline on 'Payment Related Issues' with regard to Time limit on cashing payments and Appointment of agent)

Arrears

As it is necessary to establish that the claimant satisfies the habitual residency, the medical and means criteria for the award of Disability Allowance and as award of Disability Allowance is from Wednesday following receipt of claim or an earlier date, if the claim is backdated, arrears are frequently payable.

Arrears are not calculated until the Disability Allowance claim has been put into payment. Any payments of Supplementary Welfare Allowance or other primary DSP payments in the period between the date from which DA is awarded to the date DA is put into payment are deducted from the arrears before payment issues.

Arrears payments are paid by cheque.

Duration of Payment

Disability Allowance is payable as long as the claimant

  • satisfies the qualifying conditions
  • is not subject to any disqualification and
  • is not entitled to another benefit (see guideline on 'Overlapping Provisions').

In the event of the death of a Disability Allowance claimant or his/her qualified adult or qualified child(ren), the full rate of payment will continue for a period of 6 weeks after the death. (See separate guideline on 'Payment Methods' re entitlement under these circumstances)

Where a couple are in receipt of individual social welfare payments in their own right and either of them dies, the surviving person receives six weeks of the deceased persons social welfare payment plus their own social welfare payment.

Maintenance

Stop dates are inserted in the Department's payment system as appropriate - to stop the allowance at pension age; to withdraw a Qualified Child Increase when the child reaches 18 or the end of the academic year in which the child reaches age 22. In the case of a claimant reaching pension age, a claim form for State Pension (Non-Contributory) is issued three months in advance of that date by State Pension Section.

Lost EIT CARDS/EFT MISPAYMENTS

See Chapter on 'Payment Related Issues' re action to be taken when an EIT card is lost or stolen or an EFT payment is not received.

Certification of ongoing Entitlement

The onus is on the recipient of Disability Allowance to notify the Department immediately of any relevant changes in circumstances.

(See also Chapter on " Payment Methods")

The principal change of circumstances that must be notified to the Department immediately they occur are:

  • Claiment gets married, co-habits, separates, divorces
  • change of address, method of payment or Post Office/Bank;
  • a claimant leaves the country
  • a claimant is detained in legal custody
  • a claimant goes into hospital/nursing home and will reside there for a period in excess of 13 weeks
  • a claimant takes up a FAS course or a Community Employment Scheme
  • Claimant commences a full time or part time course of study
  • person(s) included in the claimant's payment dies, leaves the country, takes up a FAS course or is detained in legal custody;
  • claimant takes up employment or self-employment;
  • qualified adult or qualified child ceases to be supported by the claimant or becomes entitled to pension, allowance or benefit in their own right,
  • qualified adult takes up employment or self employment,
    or
  • child dependent between 18 and 22 ceases full-time education.

This list is not exhaustive and claimants should notify the Department immediately if any change in their circumstances occur.

Employment and Education while on Disability Allowance

Rehabilitative Employment and Self-employment

Persons in receipt of Disability Allowance can work while in receipt of the allowance but income is assessable as means. From 7 June 2006 the first €120.00 of weekly earnings and 50% of earnings between €120 and €350 from employment or self-employment of a rehabilitative nature are disregarded in any mean stest. However, any earnings in excess of this amount must be assessed as income and entitlement to Disability Allowance reduced accordingly.

The application for the employment to be considered rehabilitative must be made to the department and should be sent in as soon as the employment commences. In the case of Community Employment Schemes, approval is normally given on foot of certification of placement by FAS. In the case of other employment or self-employment a letter is required from the person's own medical doctor certifying the rehabilitative nature of the employment plus a letter from the employer describing the nature of the proposed employment, the number of hours being worked and the level of remuneration for the work. Where an application for employment to be considered rehabilitative is received, it may be forwarded to one of the Departments Medical Assesors for his decision on the rehabilitative aspects of the proposed employment.

If the person is not satisfied with a decision to refuse approval of an application to have employment or self-employment considered rehabilitative the decision can be reviewed, on request, in the light of any further medical evidence or other relevant factors which may be put forward. In such cases the medical papers including any further medical evidence would be referred to the Chief Medical Advisor or his Deputy.

If the person does not agree with the decision or revised decision on an application to have employment or self-employment considered rehabilitative, the person may appeal the decision to the Chief Appeals Officer, Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Back to Work Allowance

The Back to Work Allowance for employees is closed to new applications from 1st May 2009 as a result of the Supplementary Budget of 7th April, 2009. Pre 1/5/2009 claims who continue to satisfy the criteria of the scheme will remain in payment.

Persons getting DA for at leadt 12 months, who wish to become self-employed are eligible to transfer onto the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Scheme and keep part of their Disability Allowance payments for up to four years. [See Chapters 'Back to Work Allowance(Employees)' and 'Back to Work Allowance (Self Employed)']

Educational Opportunities

If a person is getting Disability Allowance, they can undertake further educational opportunities without affecting their social welfare entitlements

If a person is eighteen or over and is in receipt of Disability Allowance for three months or more and attending a full-time second level course at a recognised school or college or is in receipt of Disability Allowance for twelve months or more and attending a full-time third level course at a recognised school or college, they can avail of the Back to Education Allowance Scheme. The only post graduate course options available are Higher Diploma (H Dip) in Education or Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary Teaching) for BTEA purposes.

If a person is twenty-one or over and in receipt of Disability Allowance for six months or more they can avail of the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS).[see guideline on 'Back to Education Programmes' and VTOS].

The person will be paid the maximum rate of Disability Allowance and keep any secondary benefits that they already have.

Vocational Training

From 23 July 2001, new arrangements agreed between the then Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and this Department were introduced by FAS in relation to the payment of training allowances for people with disabilities in vocational training. Under the new arrangements for FAS-funded training Disability Allowance (DA) recipients are eligible for a FAS Training Allowance instead of DA.

FAS will pay participants a standard weekly training allowance of an amount equal to their current DA payment (including Living Alone Allowance, Free Fuel Allowance, etc.), whichever is the greater. In addition, they will get a weekly Training Bonus. In all cases, trainees will retain their secondary benefits; i.e. Free Schemes.

Payments of Disability Allowance will be suspended for the duration of the person's attendance on a full time FAS training course. If the FAS training course is not full time and participants are in receipt of a reduced rate training allowance they will remain on Disability Allowance but the training allowance will be assessed as means and they will receive a reduced DA payment.

All DA recipients transferring to FAS training have been guaranteed under the new arrangements that

  • no-one will lose out by transferring onto FAS training
  • the trainee will retain all secondary benefits, and
  • in the event that the client is unable to continue with training, his/her DA payment will be restored automatically on receipt of notification of cessation.
Review

A review is initiated when the claimant notifies the Department of any changes in his/her circumstances or those of his/her household.

Systematic, periodic reviews are also carried out by the Department to confirm that the qualifying conditions (both means, habitual residence and medical) continue to be fulfilled and that no disqualifications from receiving disability allowance apply.

Suspension of Payment

Where a question arises as to whether the conditions for the receipt of Disability Allowance are fulfilled, and initial enquiries fail to establish entitlement, payment may be suspended in whole or in part until the question has been decided.

(See separate guideline on 'Payment Methods' re general powers of suspension.)

Credits

Where a person has established an entitlement to the award of credited contributions, these will continue to be awarded for the duration of the period they are in receipt of Disability Allowance and for any period they are participating in the Back to Education Allowance scheme.

Credits are awarded to persons on Disability Allowance from the date of award of the Disability Allowance claim or from 2nd October 1996 for persons who were awarded Disabled Persons Maintenance Allowance (DPMA) by a health Board prior to 2nd October 1996 to the date when the claim is stopped.(see separate guideline 'Credits Award').

Retention/Destruction of Documents

Documents in respect of an application for payment of Disability Allowance are retained and are not destroyed until the expiration of two complete calendar years after the death of the claimant. A random sample of 10% of files due to be destroyed are retained for archival purposes in accordance with the National Archives Act.


Last modified:29/11/2013