Minister Regina Doherty

  • 126,000 people who live alone are to get an allowance to help with the cost of installing a burglar alarm.

    The Telephone Allowance scheme which takes effect this week will be worth 130 euro a year.

    The Department of Social Protection introduced the payment to help prevent isolation.

    Pensioners who live alone, widows and widowers, people on disability allowance, those in receipt of a deserted wife's benefit and people on a blind pension are among the 126,000 people to receive the Telephone Allowance Scheme. 

    It's designed to help with the cost of communications and home alert solutions like monitored burglar alarms.

    The Department of Social protection has been in contact with the relevant people and the first payments of 2 euro 50 per week will be made by Friday.

     Minister Regina Doherty says the allowance is being brought in to help prevent isolation and to protect the most vulnerable in society.

    There is no application process and eligible householders will receive it automatically as an additional sum on top of their regular weekly payment. 

     

  • A Mayo TD has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to ensure that local offices have the flexibility to pay people their illness benefits, while an ongoing IT glitch is being fixed.

    Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary says the discrepancies in the payments, which have seen people who are eligible for illness benefit not being paid in some cases, has caused huge distress.

    He says while the IT problem is being sorted out, local offices should have the power to make the payments to those who are eligible.

  • A Sinn Féin TD has welcomed the proposed changes to the contributory pension being considered by Minister Regina Doherty, which he says will solve the problem of people who are being left short on their pension.

    The problem arose following changes in 2012 when contribution averaging was introduced.

    This left over 40,000 people nationally on lower pensions because they had breaks in the years they paid stamps.

    The Government is now considering returning to some form of total contributions system.

    Sligo / Leitrim Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny has been outlining the situation to Midwest News.

  • The Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance is being made available again this year.

    The Social Protection Minister Regina Doherty is issuing the reminder to families.

    The Minister is urging families who are not automatically entitled to the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance, to apply before the end of September deadline.

     It provides a once-off payment to eligible families to help with the extra costs when children start school each autumn.

    She says she secured 56 million euro in Budget 2019 for this year's scheme, as many families can be under a lot of pressure with back to school costs.

    The benefit will automatically be paid to almost 110,000 families for around 200,000 children already registered.