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SOCIAL WELFARE (CONSOLIDATION) ACT, 1993
1. —This Act may be cited as the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 1993.
[1981, ss. 2(1), 35(6); 1983, s. 5; 1988, s. 10; 1989, s. 8(3); 1991, s. 41(4); 1992, ss. 15(1), 27(4); 1993, ss. 36(1), 39(1)]
2.—(1) In this Act, save where the context otherwise requires—
“appeals officer” means a person holding office as an appeals officer under section 251;
“assistance” means assistance under Part III;
“beneficiary” means a person entitled to any benefit, assistance, child benefit or family income supplement, as the case may be;
“benefit” means, subject to section 210 and Part VI, benefit under Part II;
“benefit year” means the period commencing on the first Monday in a particular year and ending on the Sunday immediately preceding the first Monday in the following year;
“claimant” means a person who has made a claim for any benefit, assistance, child benefit or family income supplement, as the case may be;
“contribution week” means one of the successive periods of 7 consecutive days in a contribution year beginning on the 1st day of that contribution year, or on any 7th day after that day, the last day of a contribution year (or the last 2 days of a contribution year ending in a leap year) being taken as included in the last contribution week of that contribution year;
“contribution year” means a year of assessment within the meaning of the Income Tax Acts;
“credited contribution” means, in relation to any insured person, a contribution credited to that person by virtue of section 27;
“day of incapacity for work” has the meaning assigned in section 31(1);
“deciding officer” means a person holding office as a deciding officer under section 246;
“employed contributor” has the meaning assigned in section 9 (1);
“employer's contribution” has the meaning assigned in section 6(1)(a);
“employment contribution” has the meaning assigned in section 6(1)(a);
“health board” means a health board within the meaning of the Health Act, 1970 ;
“incapable of work” means incapable of work by reason of some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement or deemed, in accordance with regulations, to be so incapable;
“insurable employment” means employment such that a person, over the age of 16 years and under pensionable age, employed therein would be an employed contributor;
“insurable (occupational injuries) employment” has the meaning assigned in section 50;
“insurable self-employment” means self-employment of such a nature that a person engaged therein would be a self-employed contributor;
“insured person” means a person insured under Part II;
“Member State” means a Member State of the European Communities;
“the Minister” means the Minister for Social Welfare;
“occupational injuries insurance” has the meaning assigned in section 49(2);
“orphan” means a qualified child—
(a) both of whose parents are dead, or
(b) one of whose parents is dead or unknown, as the case may be, and whose other parent—
(i) is unknown, or
(ii) has abandoned him, or
(iii) has refused or failed to provide for him,
where that child is not normally residing with a step-parent or with a person who is married to and living with that step-parent;
“outworker” means a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished or repaired or adapted for sale in his own home or on other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the articles or materials for the purposes of the trade or business of the last-mentioned person;
“pensionable age” means the age of 66 years;
“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;
“qualifying contribution” means the appropriate employment contribution or self-employment contribution which was paid or would have been paid but for section 10(1)(c) or (d) or section 18(1)(d) in respect of any insured person;
“reckonable earnings” means, subject to regulations and to section 78, earnings derived from insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment;
“reckonable emoluments”, in relation to a self-employed contributor, means emoluments (other than reckonable earnings, non-pecuniary emoluments and such other emoluments as may be prescribed) to which Chapter IV of Part V of the Income Tax Act, 1967 , applies, reduced by so much of the allowable contribution referred to in Regulations 59 and 60 (inserted by the Income Tax (Employments) Regulations, 1972 (S.I. No. 260 of 1972)) of the Income Tax (Employments) Regulations, 1960 (S.I. No. 28 of 1960) as is deducted on payment of those emoluments;
“reckonable income” in relation to a self-employed contributor, means the aggregate income (excluding reckonable earnings, reckonable emoluments, non-pecuniary income and such other income as may be prescribed), from all sources for the contribution year as estimated in accordance with the provisions of the Income Tax Acts, but without regard to section 2 or section 18 of the Finance Act, 1969 , or (save in the case of a person to whom paragraph 1 of Part III of the First Schedule applies) to Chapter 1 (inserted by the Finance Act, 1980 ) of Part IX of the Income Tax Act, 1967 , after deducting from the income so much of any deduction allowed by virtue of the provisions referred to in section 33 of the Finance Act, 1975 , as is to be deducted from or set off against that income in charging it to income tax;
“regulations” means regulations made by the Minister under this Act;
“self-employed contributor” has the meaning assigned in section 17;
“self-employment contribution” has the meaning assigned in section 6;
“short-time employment” means employment in which, for the time being, a number of days is systematically worked in a working week which is less than the number of days which is normal in a working week in the employment concerned;
“the Social Insurance Fund” means the Fund to which section 7 relates;
“social welfare inspector” means a person appointed by the Minister under section 212 to be a social welfare inspector for the purposes of Parts II, III (other than Chapter 11), IV, V, VI and IX;
“statutory declaration” means a statutory declaration within the meaning of the Statutory Declarations Act, 1938 ;
“trade dispute” means any dispute between employers and employees, or between employees and employees, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or the conditions of employment of any persons, whether employees in the employment of the employer with whom the dispute arises or not;
“voluntary contribution” has the meaning assigned in section 22;
“voluntary contributor” has the meaning assigned in section 21;
“the Workmen's Compensation Acts” means the Workmen's Compensation Acts, 1934 to 1955, and the enactments repealed by the Workmen's Compensation Act, 1934 .
[1985 (No. 2), s. 3; 1987 (No. 2), s. 15(1)]
(2) In this Act “adult dependant”, subject to section 170, means in relation to any person—
(a) a spouse who is wholly or mainly maintained by that person but does not include—
(ii) a spouse who is self-employed, or
(iii) a spouse who is entitled to, or is in receipt of, any benefit, pension, assistance or allowance (other than supplementary welfare allowance) under Parts II or III of this Act, or disabled person's maintenance allowance, or
(iv) a spouse who, by virtue of the provisions of section 47(1) or 125(3), is or would be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit payable under Chapter 9 of Part II or unemployment assistance payable under Chapter 2 of Part III in his own right with the exception of a spouse who qualifies as an adult dependant by virtue of regulations made under paragraph (c), or
(v) a spouse who is entitled to or is in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 121or unemployment benefit payable under section 44 or 45 in respect of a non-craft full-time course approved by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair under the Industrial Training Act, 1967,
(b) a person over the age of 16 years being wholly or mainly maintained by that person and having the care of one or more than one qualified child who normally resides with that person where that person is—
(i) a single person,
(ii) a widow,
(iii) a widower, or
(iv) a married person who is not living with and is neither wholly or mainly maintaining, nor being wholly or mainly maintained by, such married person's spouse, or
(c) such person as the Minister may by regulations specify to be an adult dependant for the purposes of this Act.
[1991, s. 6(1); 1992, s. 15(1); 1993, s. 14(2)]
(3) Subject to section 114(3), in this Act “qualified child” means a person who is ordinarily resident in the State, is not detained in a reformatory or an industrial school, and—
(a) for the purposes of—
(i) sections 34(2) and 45(2),
(ii) section 55(2) as it applies to injury benefit, and
(iii) section 121(1)(b)(ii) in the case of an applicant for unemployment assistance other than as referred to in paragraph (b),
is under the age of 18 years or is of or over the age of 18 years and is regarded as attending a course of study within the meaning of section 126(3)(a),
(b) for the purposes of—
(i) section 55(2) as it applies to disablement pension,
(ii) sections 60(9), 62(1), 87(2), 91(2), 99(2), 105(1), 106, 113(1), 128(1)(b), 136(1), 148(1), 159(1), 165(1) and 198, and
(iii) section 121(1)(b)(ii) in the case of an applicant who, in any continuous period of unemployment as construed in accordance with section 120(3), has been in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance for not less than 390 days—
(I) is under the age of 18 years, or
(II) is of or over the age of 18 years and under the age of 21 years, and is receiving full-time education,the circumstances of which shall be specified in regulations.
[1981, s. 2(2); 1992, s. 14]
3.—(1) For the purposes of this Act—
(a) a person shall be deemed to be over any age therein mentioned if he has attained that age and shall be deemed to be under any age therein mentioned if he has not attained that age;
(b) a person shall be deemed to be between two ages therein mentioned if he has attained the first-mentioned age but has not attained the second-mentioned age;
(c) a person shall be deemed not to have attained the age of 16 years until the commencement of the 16th anniversary of the day of his birth, and similarly with respect to any other age;
(d) regulations may provide that, for the purpose of determining whether a contribution is payable in respect of any person, or at what rate a contribution is payable, that person shall be treated as having attained at the beginning of a contribution week, or as not having attained until the end of a contribution week, any age which he attains during the course of that week;
(e) the circumstances in which a person is to be regarded as living alone shall be specified in regulations.
[1981, s. 2(3)]
(2) Any reference in this Act to contributions shall, where the reference is without qualification, be construed, save where the context otherwise requires, as including a reference to employment contributions, self-employment contributions and voluntary contributions.
[1981, s. 2(4)]
(3) Regulations may, as respects any class or description of insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment, specify the persons to be treated for the purposes of this Act as the employers of employed contributors employed in that employment.
[1981, s. 2(5)]
(4) References in this Act to an employed contributor's employer shall not be construed as including his employer in any employment other than insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment.
[1981, s. 2(6)]
(5) Any question relating to the normal residence of a qualified child shall, subject to section 193(2), be decided in accordance with regulations made under this subsection.
[1981, s. 2(7)]
(6) Where a child has been or becomes adopted pursuant to the Adoption Acts, 1952 to 1991, then for the purposes of this Act—
(a) the child shall thereafter be treated as if he were the child of the adopter or adopters born to him, her or them and were not the child of any other person and, if he was an orphan immediately before the adoption, as having ceased to be an orphan, and
(b) if there is one adopter only, in any application after the adoption with respect to the child of the definition of “orphan” contained in section 2(1), “the parent of whom is dead” shall be substituted in paragraph (a) of that definition for “both of whose parents are dead”.
[1981, s. 2(8)]
(7) References in this Act to any enactment shall be construed as references to that enactment as amended or extended by any subsequent enactment.
[1991, s. 2(2)]
(8) References in any other enactment to the “Social Welfare Acts” means this Act and every enactment which is to be construed together with it as one.
[1981, s. 2(9)]
(9) In this Act, a reference to a Part or Chapter, section or Schedule is to a Part or Chapter or section of or Schedule to this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended.
[1981, s. 2(10)]
(10) In this Act, a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause is to the subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause of the provision (including a Schedule) in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended.
[1993, s. 39(8)]
(11) In this Act, any reference to this Act shall be construed as including a reference to regulations made under or applying the provisions of this Act.
[1985 (No. 2), ss. 4, 11; 1991, ss. 45(2), 48(1), (2); 1992, ss. 17(a), 27(1)]
(a) each person of a married couple who are living together, or
(b) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife.
[1993, s. 11]
(13) For the purposes of determining the entitlement of a person to an increase in respect of an adult dependant, references to a spouse in the definition of “adult dependant” contained in section 2(2) and regulations made thereunder shall be construed as meaning each person of a married couple, or a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife.
General provisions as to regulations.
[1981, s. 3(1)]
4.—(1) The Minister may make regulations—
(a) for any purpose in relation to which regulations are provided for by any of the provisions of this Act, and
(b) for prescribing any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.
[1981, s. 3(2)]
(2) Except in so far as this Act otherwise provides, any power conferred thereby to make regulations may be exercised—
(a) either in relation to all cases to which the power extends, or in relation to all those cases subject to specified exceptions, or in relation to any specified cases or classes of case, and
(b) so as to make, as respects the cases in relation to which it is exercised—
(i) the full provision to which the power extends or any less provision (whether by way of exception or otherwise),
(ii) the same provision for all cases in relation to which the power is exercised or different provision for different cases or classes of case, or different provision as respects the same case or class of case for different purposes of this Act,
(iii) any such provision either unconditionally or subject to any specified condition.
[1981, s. 3(3)]
(3) Without prejudice to any specific provision in this Act, any regulations may contain such incidental or supplementary provisions as may appear to the Minister to be expedient for the purposes of the regulations.
[1981, s. 4(4)(a); 1984, ss. 8, 14; 1985 (No. 2), s. 3; 1986, s. 11(2); 1988, ss. 17(a), 28(1), 30; 1989, s. 29; 1990, s. 51; 1991, s. 57; 1992, ss. 13, 19(4), 51; 1993, ss. 9, 13(1), 31(1)]
(4) The following shall be subject to the sanction of the Minister for Finance—
(a) regulations for the purposes of section 2(2), 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17(2)(d), 19, 20, 22(1)(d), 32(3), 32(6), 39, 42(2), 42(4), 43(5), 50(7), 50(8), 50(9), 80(1), 82(1)(a), 82(2), 83(5), 83(6), 84(7), 84(9), 84(12), 84(14), 88(6), 88(7), 89(3), 89(4), 89(6), 96(1), 96(2), 97, 101(3), 101(9), 110(1)(c), 111(3), 111(8), 115(3), 115(5), 120(1), 121(5), 129, 163(1), 169(2)(b), 179, 202(2), 202(3), 203(1), 239, 241, 282, 303, Rule 1(2)(m) of Part I of the Third Schedule , Rule 3(3) of Part II of the Third Schedule and Rule 2 of Part III of the Third Schedule ,
(b) a draft of regulations under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (5).
[1981, ss. 5(6), 10(2)(c), 12, 19(3), 30(3), 76(3), 79(6), 84(2), 89(3), 93(3), 97(2), 101(3), 108(3); 1988, s. 11; 1992, s. 19(1)]
(5) Where regulations are proposed to be made for the purposes of section 9(2), 9(3), 10(2)(a), 17(2)(a), 17(2)(b), 17(2)(c), 18(1)(f), 26, 32(5), 38(2), 43(4), 82(1)(c), 82(1)(d), 84(6), 89(2), 96(6), 101(2), 107(2), 111(2) or 115(2), a draft thereof shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulations shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.
[1981, ss. 3(5), 224(3)]
(6) Regulations or rules (not being regulations or rules of which a draft is required by this Act to be approved of by resolution of each House of the Oireachtas) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after they are made and, if a resolution annulling the regulations or rules is passed by either House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulations or rules have been laid before it, the regulations or rules shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done thereunder.
[1986, s. 22]
(7) Where the Minister revokes regulations made under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (5) and makes regulations which he certifies to be substantially to the like effect as the regulations so revoked, a requirement that a draft of the proposed regulations be laid before each House of the Oireachtas shall not apply.
[1981, s. 4(1)]
5.—(1) Any expenses incurred by the Minister or any other Minister in carrying this Act into effect shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
[1981, s. 4(2)]
(2) There shall be paid to the Minister for Finance out of the Social Insurance Fund, at such times and in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct, such sums as the Minister may estimate, on such basis as may be agreed upon between him and the Minister for Finance, to be the part of the said expenses of the Minister or any other Minister which relates to the scheme of social insurance provided for in Part II and any sums so paid shall be appropriated in aid of moneys provided by the Oireachtas for carrying this Act into effect.
[1981, s. 4(3)]
(3) In estimating expenses for the purposes of subsection (2), there shall be included such amount as, in the opinion of the Minister for Finance, represents the amount of the accruing liability in respect of any superannuation or other retiring allowances, lump sums or gratuities accruing in respect of the employment of any officer or other person for the purposes of this Act.
[1984, s. 5(1)]
(4) Any expenses incurred by An Post under the provisions of Part II, (determined on such basis as may be agreed upon between the Minister, the Minister for Finance and An Post) shall be paid by the Minister out of the Social Insurance Fund to An Post at such times and in such manner as the Minister for Finance may direct.