Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 454 - Drug treatment programmes funding [23138/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 454 - Drug treatment programmes funding [23138/14]. (27 May 2014)

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454. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection  the options available for persons seeking financial assistance towards the cost of treatment facilities for addiction since 1 January 2013 when social welfare management withdrew exceptional needs payments towards treatment costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23138/14]  

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Under the supplementary welfare allowance (SWA) scheme, the Department may make a single exceptional needs payment (ENP) to help meet essential, once-off and unforeseen expenditure which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.  

There is no automatic entitlement to an ENP payment. ENPs are payable at the discretion of the officers administering the scheme taking into account the requirements of the legislation and all the relevant circumstances of the case in order to ensure that the payments target those most in need of assistance. The ENP scheme is not intended to cover circumstances where responsibility for the expenditure rests with another Government Department or Agency. Funding in relation to the costs of addiction treatment is a matter for the Health Service Executive.

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