'Misinformed people missing out on welfare'
on 24/08/2013 00:00:00
In some cases, important information is not being given at all.
The board says it is aware of many cases where figures are incorrectly transferred from a person's payslip to a means test.
In its latest quarterly report, the CIB says it frequently deals with people with a statement of means from the local social welfare office asking the board for an explanation of how much they will actually receive.
"It is very positive that this letter is issued and shows transparency in how means are calculated. It would, however, be of more benefit if this letter included a clear statement of how much the person's actual payment will be," it states.
The CIB is concerned the lack of clarity regarding the means test may lead to people being unable to access whether or not they have been correctly assessed and/or confusion as to the right to appeal or request a review. The board's quarterly report for January to March contains numerous examples where people were not given critical information about their entitlements.
In one case a woman was not informed about her entitlement to job seeker's benefit even through she had sufficient PRSI contributions.
The CIB says the eligibility criteria for jobseeker's allowance and family income supplement (FIS) are proving to be disincentives to taking up or staying in part-time work.
It has found a person working 15 hours over three days might receive a relatively significant jobseeker's payment whereas another person working the 15 hours over five days would not receive any payment.
As regards FIS, a person working 38 hours over two weeks and earning €100 under the FIS threshold for his or her family size would receive a payment of €60 per week whereas a person with a smaller income and a greater need working 37.5 hours a fortnight would receive nothing.
It also says access to social housing is too restrictive, with some of the stock left in a state of disrepair.
One tenant was waiting over two years for Dublin City Council to repair radiators and deal with damp.