People in receipt of a disability payment who have taken up a training course and have subsequently been transferred to a training allowance are not entitled to the €500 cost-of-living lump sum payment.
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Disability and Carers Pauline Tully TD brought this to the attention of the Minister of State with responsibility for Disability in the Dáil, urging her to rectify the issue with her college the Minister for Social Protection.
Teachta Tully said:
“It has come to my attention that people in receipt of a disability payment from Social Protection, who have taken up a training course and have been transferred to a training allowance for the duration of the course are not entitled to the €500 cost-of-living lump sum payment.
“This has been confirmed by my party colleague Deputy Claire Kerrane who submitted a parliamentary question on this to the Minister for Social Protection.
“This is extremely unfair. It is sending an extremely negative disincentive for those wishing to take up training courses and is having an equally adverse effects on those already enrolled on such courses.
“Seven out of ten people on one training course have left their course as they need this payment and were advised by their local social welfare office that they would have to do so to get the payment.
“This is sending a very bad message to the disability community.
“Disability does not just disappear because a person takes up a training course, and the cost of living and the poverty experienced by disabled people do not vanish if someone joins a training course.
“This does not fit into a rights-based model of disability.
“This is also the case for older disabled people who receive a pension. They are also not going to receive the €500 cost-of-living lump sum payment either.
“They also ask whether their disability disappears when they turn 66.
“Even outside of the fact that we are in a cost-of-living crisis, there is an additional cost of disability that non-disabled people do not experience which leaves many disabled people in poverty. Many people in the disability community were relying on this payment to the riding cost of energy and food bills.
“I have brought this up with Minister Rabbitte in the Dáil and urged her to rectify the issue without any delay with Ministers Humphreys.