Social Welfare Act, 1992

PART VII

Unemployment Payment Schemes

Substitution for Chapter 2, Part III of Principal Act.

27.—(1) The Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for Chapter 2 (in this section referred to as “the existing Chapter”) of Part III of the following Chapter:

“CHAPTER 2

Unemployment Assistance

Interpretation.

135.—(1) In this Chapter—

‘recipient’ means a person entitled to unemployment assistance;

‘social welfare officer’ means a person appointed by the Minister under section 141 (1) to be a social welfare officer for the purposes of this Chapter;

‘trade dispute’ has the meaning assigned to it by section 35 (6);

‘weekly means’ shall be the yearly means divided by 52:

Provided that the amount so calculated shall be rounded up to the nearest £1 where it is a multiple of 50p but not also a multiple of £1 and shall be rounded to the nearest £1 where it is not a multiple of 50p or £1.

(2) In this Chapter references to means shall be construed as references to means as calculated in accordance with section 146.

Entitlement to unemployment assistance.

136.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to unemployment assistance in respect of any day of unemployment in a continuous period of unemployment if—

(a) he has attained the age of 18 years and has not attained pensionable age,

(b) he has made application for unemployment assistance in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time,

(c) he proves unemployment in the prescribed manner,

(d) he is capable of work,

(e) he is, or by reason of his participation in an activity prescribed for the purposes of this subsection and, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, is deemed to be, or is exempted from being required to be, available for employment,

(f) he is genuinely seeking, but is unable to obtain, employment suitable for him having regard to his age, sex, physique, education, normal occupation, place of residence and family circumstances, and

(g) he satisfies the conditions as to means specified for the purposes of this Chapter.

(2) (a) A person shall not be entitled to unemployment assistance for the first 3 days of unemployment in any continuous period of unemployment.

(b) No unemployment assistance shall be paid for any period less than one day.

(c) For the purposes of this section, any period prior to the relevant date of application for unemployment assistance shall not be reckoned as, or as part of, a continuous period of unemployment.

(d) Any period during which a person is disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance shall not be reckoned in the computation of any continuous period of unemployment of such person.

(3) For the purposes of this Chapter, any 3 days of unemployment, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 6 consecutive days shall be treated as a continuous period of unemployment, and any two such periods not separated by more than 52 weeks shall be treated as one continuous period of unemployment, and references in thisChapter to being continuously unemployed or continuous unemployment shall be construed accordingly.

(4) Sunday shall not be treated as a day of unemployment and shall be disregarded in computing any period of consecutive days.

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (3), any period of continuous—

(a) employment under a scheme administered by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair and known as the Social Employment Scheme, or

(b) participation in a scheme administered by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair and known as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme, or

(c) participation in a scheme administered by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair and known as the Alternance Scheme, or

(d) attendance at a training course provided or approved by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair, or

(e) employment under a scheme administered by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair and known as Teamwork, or

(f) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Social Welfare and known as the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme, or

(g) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Education and known as the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, or

(h) participation in, employment under or attendance at a prescribed scheme or course,

shall be disregarded in treating, pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, any two continuous periods of unemployment not separated by more than 52 weeks as one continuous period of unemployment.

(6) Regulations may make provision as to the days which are or are not to be treated for the purposes of unemployment assistance as days of unemployment.

(7) Subsection (2) (a) shall not apply in relation to the payment of unemployment assistance to a person who ceased, not earlier than 52 weeks before the day in respect of which his application for unemployment assistance is made, to be entitled to unemployment benefit—

(a) by reason of having, by virtue of section 34, exhausted his entitlement to such benefit, or

(b) if the person is of or over 65 years of age, by reason of having failed to satisfy the contribution condition set out in section 30(1) (b).

(8) Subject to section 125, payment of unemployment assistance shall continue to be made for a period of 6 weeks after the date of death of a recipient who had an adult dependant.

(9) The amount payable by way of unemployment assistance for any day of unemployment shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10p where it is a multiple of 5p but not also a multiple of 10p and being rounded to the nearest 10p where it is not a multiple of 5p or 10p.

Rates of unemployment assistance and effect of means on rates.

137.—(1) Subject to this section and to sections 138 and 139, the rate (in this Chapter referred to as ‘the scheduled rate’) of unemployment assistance shall be—

(a) in the case of a person who, in any continuous period of unemployment as construed in accordance with section 136 (3), has been in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance for not less than 390 days, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 1 (a) in Part I of the Fourth Schedule,

(b) in any other case, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 1 (b) in Part I of the Fourth Schedule,

increased by—

(i) the amount set out in column (3) of that Part opposite that reference for any period during which the applicant or recipient has an adult dependant, subject to the restriction that the applicant or recipient shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of assistance under this subparagraph in respect of more than one person, and

(ii) the appropriate amount set out in column (4) or (5) of that Part opposite that reference in respectof each qualified child who normally resides with the applicant or recipient.

(2) Unemployment assistance shall be payable—

(a) where the weekly means of the applicant or recipient are less than £1, at the scheduled rate,

(b) where such weekly means are equal to £1, at the scheduled rate reduced by £1, and

(c) where such weekly means exceed £1, at the scheduled rate, reduced by £1 for each amount (if any) of £1 by which those weekly means exceed £1:

Provided that, if the weekly means of the applicant or recipient are equal to or exceed the scheduled rate, no unemployment assistance shall be payable.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (c) of subsection (2), where the sole means of an applicant for unemployment assistance, who is not one of a couple, are assessed under paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section 146 and where the rate of assistance payable to or in respect of such applicant, as calculated in accordance with paragraph (c) of subsection (2), would be a weekly amount which is 10p or more, but less than £5, such person shall be entitled to payment of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of £5.

(4) (a) In subsection (3) ‘couple’ means a married couple who are living together or a man and a woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as man and wife.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of section 146, when applied to subsection (3) of this section, ‘spouse’ means each person of a couple in relation to the other.

(5) In the application of the provisions of subsection (2) in the case of such persons or classes of persons as may be prescribed, regulations may provide for disregarding, in such manner as may be prescribed, any part of the weekly means of an applicant or recipient, up to an amount not exceeding £2.

(6) The Minister may, notwithstanding the provisions of regulations made pursuant to subsection (5) providing for weekly means of up to £2 in the case of certain persons or classes of persons to be disregarded, apply the provisions of subsection (2) to such persons or classes of persons at any time.

(7) Any regulations made under subsection (5) may apply to the whole State or to a specified part or parts of the State.

Total amount payable to couple.

138.—(1) In the case of a couple, both of whom are entitled to be paid unemployment assistance, the total amount payable to them pursuant to this Chapter shall not exceed the amount which would be payable if only one of them was entitled to be paid unemployment assistance and the other was an adult dependant, and each of them shall be entitled to be paid one-half of the amount which would be payable to him if the other were his adult dependant.

(2) Where the spouse of an applicant for unemployment assistance is not an adult dependant, the unemployment assistance payable to the applicant shall be at a rate equal to the scheduled rate reduced by £1 for every £2 or part of £2 of his means.

(3) Subsection (2) shall not apply in any case where the spouse is living apart from the applicant.

(4) Where one of a couple is entitled to disability benefit, unemployment benefit, injury benefit, disablement pension, old age (contributory) pension, old age pension, retirement pension or invalidity pension and the other is entitled to unemployment assistance, the total of the amount payable to them by way of such benefit or pension, as the case may be, and such unemployment assistance (in this subsection referred to as ‘the relevant amount’) shall not exceed the total amount of benefit or pension, as the case may be, or the total amount of unemployment assistance, whichever is the greater (in this subsection referred to as ‘the greater amount’), that would be payable if only one of the couple were in receipt of benefit, pension or unemployment assistance, as the case may be, and the benefit, pension or unemployment assistance included an increase in respect of the other as his adult dependant; and, if the relevant amount would but for this subsection exceed the greater amount, the amount of unemployment assistance payable to the spouse who is entitled to such unemployment assistance shall be reduced by the amount of the excess.

(5) In this section ‘couple’ means a married couple who are living together or a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as man and wife.

(6) In subsection (4) ‘spouse’ means each person of a couple in relation to the other.

Amount of increases payable in respect of qualified child normally resident with applicant in certain cases.

139.—(1) Any increase of unemployment assistance payable pursuant to subparagraph (ii) of section 137 (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the applicant or recipient and with the spouse of the applicant or recipientshall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the applicant or recipient is not an adult dependent, and subparagraph (ii) of section 137 (1) shall be construed and have effect accordingly.

(2) In this section ‘spouse’ means—

(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 man and wife.

(3) In calculating the amount of unemployment assistance which, pursuant to this section, is payable at one-half of the appropriate amount, the amount so payable shall be rounded up to the nearest 10p where it is a multiple of 5p but not also a multiple of 10p and shall be rounded to the nearest 10p where it is not a multiple of 5p or 10p.

Disqualifications.

140.—(1) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance while he is—

(a) resident, whether temporarily or permanently, outside the State, or

(b) undergoing penal servitude, imprisonment or detention in legal custody, or

(c) an inmate of an institution maintained wholly or partly out of public moneys or by a local authority, or

(d) in receipt of or entitled to disability benefit, maternity allowance, unemployment benefit, retirement pension or invalidity pension under Part II or pre-retirement allowance, blind pension or carer's allowance under Part III, or

(e) employed during any week under a scheme administered by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair and known as the Social Employment Scheme.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), regulations may provide, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, that a person who is entitled to or in receipt of unemployment benefit under Part II shall not be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance:

Provided that any such regulations shall not cause a person to receive both unemployment benefit and unemployment assistance or to receive both unemployment assistance and pay-related benefit in respect of the same day or days.

(3) A person who has lost employment by reason of a stoppage of work which was due to a trade dispute at the factory, workshop, farm or other premises or place at which he was employed, shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance so long as the stoppage of work continues, except in the case where he has, during the stoppage of work, become bona fide employed elsewhere in the occupation which he usually follows or has become regularly engaged in some other occupation:

Provided that the foregoing provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a person who is not participating in or directly interested in the trade dispute which caused the stoppage of work.

(4) Where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate businesses in separate premises or at separate places are in any case carried on in separate departments of the same premises or at the same place, each of those departments shall, for the purposes of subsection (3), be deemed to be a separate factory, workshop or farm or separate premises or a separate place, as the case may be.

(5) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance for such period as may be determined by a deciding officer, but in any case not exceeding 9 weeks, if he—

(a) has lost his employment through his own misconduct or has voluntarily left his employment without just cause, or

(b) has refused an offer of suitable employment, or

(c) has without good cause refused or failed to avail himself of any reasonable opportunity of receiving training provided or approved of by an Foras ?iseanna Saothair as suitable in his case, or

(d) has failed or neglected to avail himself of any reasonable opportunity of obtaining suitable employment,

and the period of disqualification shall commence on the day on which the loss or leaving of employment, refusal, failure or neglect (as the case may be) occurred.

(6) For the purpose of this section, employment shall not be deemed to be suitable employment in the case of any person if it is employment in a situation vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute.

(7) Unemployment assistance and unemploymentbenefit shall not both be payable in respect of the same day or days.

Appointment of social welfare officers.

141.—(1) The Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for Finance, appoint such and so many persons as he thinks proper to be social welfare officers for the purpose of this Chapter.

(2) Every social welfare officer shall investigate into and report to the Minister upon any application for or in respect of unemployment assistance and any question arising on or in relation to such unemployment assistance which may be referred to him by the Minister, and may, for the purpose of such investigation and report require an applicant for unemployment assistance or the spouse or any employer of the applicant to furnish him with such information and to produce to him such documents as he may reasonably require.

(3) A social welfare officer shall, for the purposes of this Chapter, have power to do all or any of the following things—

(a) to enter at all reasonable times any premises or place liable to inspection under this section,

(b) to make such examination and enquiry as may be necessary for the purposes of this Chapter,

(c) to examine either alone or in the presence of any other person, as he thinks fit, in relation to any matters on which he may reasonably require information for the purposes of this Chapter, every person he finds in any such premises or place and to require every such person to sign a declaration of the truth of the matters in respect of which he is so examined.

(4) The occupier of any premises or place liable to inspection under this section, and any other person who is or has been employing any applicant for unemployment assistance, and the servants and agents of such occupier or other person, and any applicant for unemployment assistance shall furnish to a social welfare officer all such information and produce for inspection all such registers, cards, wages sheets, records of wages and other documents as the social welfare officer may reasonably require for the purposes of this Chapter.

(5) If any person—

(a) wilfully delays or obstructs a social welfare officer in the exercise of any duty or power under this section, or

(b) refuses or neglects to answer any questionor to furnish any information or to produce any document when required to do so under this section, or

(c) conceals or prevents or attempts to conceal or prevent any person from appearing before or being examined by a social welfare officer appointed under this section,

he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable—

(i) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, or

(ii) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

(6) A person shall not be required under subsection (5) to answer any question or to give any evidence tending to incriminate himself.

(7) Every social welfare officer shall be furnished with a certificate of his appointment, and on applying for admission to any premises or place for the purposes of this section shall, if so requested, produce the said certificate.

(8) The premises or places liable to inspection under this section are any premises or places where a social welfare officer has reasonable grounds for believing that—

(a) persons are, or have been, employed, or

(b) there are, or have been, self-employed persons,

and any premises or place where a social welfare officer has reasonable grounds for believing that any documents relating to persons in employment or to self-employed persons are kept.

False statements and offences.

142.—(1) If, for the purpose of obtaining or establishing entitlement to any payment of unemployment assistance for himself or for any other person, or of avoiding the making by himself or any other person of any repayment under this Chapter, any person makes any statement or representation (whether written or verbal) which is to his knowledge false or misleading in any material respect or conceals any material fact, he shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

(2) An employer or servant or agent of an employer who aids, abets, counsels or procures an employee in the employment of that employer to commit any offence under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence under this section and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

(3) A person convicted of an offence under this section shall be disqualified for receipt of any benefit, or any assistance (other than supplementary welfare allowance), or family income supplement for a period of 3 months immediately following the date of the conviction and such period of disqualification shall be treated as if it were a period in respect of which any such benefit, assistance or supplement was paid.

(4) Where a person is convicted of an offence under subsection (1) or (2) and by reason of that offence any unemployment assistance was received by an employee of his which he was not entitled to receive, such person shall be liable to pay to the Minister on demand a sum not exceeding the amount of such assistance which by reason of the said offence was paid to that employee while in his employment and that sum, if not so repaid, may be recovered by the Minister as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction.

(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (4) or any other provisions of the Social Welfare Acts or regulations made under or applying the provisions of those Acts under which amounts of unemployment assistance may be recovered, the amount recovered by the Minister in any case may not exceed the amount of unemployment assistance received by the employee which he was not entitled to receive.

(6) Regulations under this Chapter may provide for offences consisting of contraventions of or failures to comply with such regulations and for the imposition, at the discretion of the court on summary conviction of such offences, of fines notexceeding £1,000 or of imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or of both.

(7) Where an offence under this Chapter or under regulations made under this Chapter is committed by a body corporate and, in the case of an offence under subsection (1), where the offence is committed by an employee or officer of the body corporate, every person who at the time of the commission of the offence was a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate or was purporting to act in any such capacity shall also be guilty of that offence.

(8) It shall be a good defence to a prosecution for an offence under subsection (7) for a person to show that the offence was committed without his knowledge and that he exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the offence as he ought to have exercised, having regard to the nature of his position as director, manager, secretary or other officer and to all the circumstances.

(9) Any summons or other document required to be served for the purpose of proceedings under this Chapter on a body corporate may be served—

(a) by leaving it at or sending it by post to the registered office of the body corporate,

(b) by leaving it at or sending it by post to any place in the State at which the body corporate conducts business, or

(c) by sending it by post to any person who is a director, manager, secretary or other officer of the body corporate or is purporting to act in any such capacity at the place where that person resides.

Information to be furnished by employers to Minister.

143.—(1) An employer shall furnish to the Minister in writing in respect of any person who is or was in his employment such particulars, including particulars as to periods of employment, as are required by the Minister to enable determination or review of a claim to any unemployment assistance by or in respect of that person.

(2) Regulations may specify the particulars which an employer shall furnish under subsection (1) and prescribe the manner in which such particulars shall be so furnished.

(3) A person who fails to comply with this section or regulations made hereunder shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both, or

(b) on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding £10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both.

Notification of increase in means.

144.—(1) Where a person is in receipt of unemployment assistance or has made an application for unemployment assistance which has not been finally determined, and his means have increased since the date of latest investigation thereof, or if no such investigation has taken place since the date of making the claim, the person shall, within 7 days of such increase in means, give or cause to be given to the Minister notification of the increase.

(2) A person who fails or neglects to comply with the provisions of subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,000.

Overpayments.

145.—(1) Every payment of unemployment assistance received by any person while he was disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance or while the statutory conditions relating to such a payment were not complied with by him or which he was otherwise disentitled to receive or any amount received which was in excess of that which he was entitled to shall be repayable by such person to the Minister on demand made in that behalf by a deciding officer and, if not so repaid, may be recovered by the Minister as a simple contract debt in any court of competent jurisdiction or by deduction from any payment or payments of unemployment assistance to which such person subsequently becomes entitled.

(2) Every sum repaid to or recovered by the Minister under this section shall be paid into or disposed of for the benefit of the Exchequer in such manner as the Minister for Finance shall direct.

Calculation of means.

146.—(1) In the calculation of the means of a person for the purposes of this Chapter, the following things and no other things shall be deemed to constitute the means of a person—

(a) the yearly value ascertained in the prescribed manner of all property belonging to him or to his spouse (not being property personally used or enjoyed by him or by his spouse or a farm of land leased either by him or by his spouse under a lease which was certified by the Irish Land Commission to be bona fide and in accordance with sound land use practice) which is invested or otherwise put to profitable use or is capable of being, but is not, invested or put to profitable use;

(b) all income which he or his spouse may reasonably expect to receive during the succeeding year in cash, whether as contributions to the expenses of the household or otherwise, but excluding—

(i) all moneys earned by his spouse from insurable employment and insurable self-employment,

(ii) any moneys received by way of disability benefit, maternity allowance, unemployment benefit, unemployment assistance, supplementary welfare allowance, child benefit or family income supplement,

(iii) any income arising from a bonus under a scheme administered by the Minister for the Gaeltacht for the making of special grants to parents or guardians resident in the Gaeltacht or Breac-Ghaeltacht (as defined in such scheme) of children attending primary schools,

(iv) in the case of a qualified applicant under a scheme administered by the Minister for the Gaeltacht and known as Scéim na bhFogh-laimeoirí Gaeilge, any income received under that scheme in respect of a person who is temporarily resident with the qualified applicant, together with any other income received in respect of such temporary resident,

(v) an amount of an allowance, dependent's allowance, disability pension or wound pension under the Army Pensions Acts, 1923 to 1980, or a combination of such allowances and such pensions so far as such amount does not exceed £80 per year,

(vi) any moneys received from a charitable organisation, being a body whose activities are carried on otherwise than for profit (but excluding any public or local authority) and one of whose functions is to assist persons in need by making grants of money to them,

(vii) any income arising from employment of a casual nature by a health board as a home help,

(viii) any moneys received by way of training allowance from an organisation while undergoing a course of rehabilitation training provided by the organisation (being an organisation approved of by the Minister for Health for the purposes of the provision of such training),

(ix) any moneys, except so far as they exceed £104 per year, received by such person or by the spouse of such person in respect of work as an outworker under a scheme that is, in the opinion of the Minister, charitable in character and purpose,

(x) where he or his spouse is engaged on a seasonal basis in the occupation of fishing, one-half of so much of the income derived there-from as does not exceed £120 per year and one-third of so much of such income as exceeds £120 per year but does not exceed £300 per year,

(xi) payments by a health board in respect of a child who is boarded out,

(xii) any moneys received under a statutory scheme administered by the Minister for Labour in respect of redundancy or by way of financial assistance to unemployed persons changing residence;

(c) the yearly value ascertained in the prescribed manner of any advantage accruing to him or to his spouse from—

(i) the use of property (other than a domestic dwelling or farm building owned and occupied, furniture and personal effects) which is personally used or enjoyed by him or by his spouse, and

(ii) the leasing by him or by his spouse of a farm of land under a lease which was certified by the Irish Land Commission to be bona fide and in accordance with sound land use practice;

(d) all income and the yearly value ascertained in the prescribed manner of allproperty of which he or his spouse have directly or indirectly deprived themselves in order to qualify for the receipt of unemployment assistance, but where such income or the yearly value of the property so ascertained has reduced since the date of calculation, the calculation may be revised, subject to such conditions and in such circumstances as may be prescribed:

Provided that any such regulations shall not cause the income or yearly value of the property taken to be part of the means to be increased;

(e) the yearly value of any benefit or privilege enjoyed by him or by his spouse, including the estimated value to the household in the succeeding year deriving from all income earned by his spouse from insurable employment and insurable self-employment; and

(f) all moneys earned by him from insurable employment and insurable self-employment.

(2) For the purposes of subsections (1) (b) and (1) (e), the income of a person shall, in the absence of other means of ascertaining it, be taken to be the income actually received during the year immediately preceding the date of calculation.

(3) In this section, ‘spouse’, in relation to a person, means a spouse who is living with, and not apart from, that person.

Administration of unemployment assistance.

147.—(1) Provision may be made by regulations as to the time and manner of payment of unemployment assistance, and as to the information and evidence to be furnished by applicants and recipients when applying for payment of unemployment assistance.

(2) Regulations made under this section as to the time of payment of unemployment assistance may provide for extinguishing the right to any sum payable by way of unemployment assistance where payment thereof is not obtained within 6 months or such shorter period as may be prescribed from the time at which that sum is receivable in accordance with the regulations.

(3) Regulations may also provide—

(a) for enabling a person to be appointed to exercise, on behalf of an applicant for or recipient of unemployment assistance who may be or become unable for the time being to act, any right orpower which the applicant or recipient may be entitled to exercise under this Chapter and for authorising a person so appointed to receive and deal with any sum payable by way of unemployment assistance on behalf of the applicant or recipient,

(b) where it appears to the Minister that the circumstances so warrant, for enabling a person to be appointed to receive and deal with on behalf of an applicant for or recipient of unemployment assistance so much of the assistance as the Minister considers reasonable in the circumstances:

Provided that in no case shall the amount to be dealt with in this manner exceed the total amount payable less the amount payable by virtue of section 137 (1) (i),

(c) for the appointment of a person to receive on behalf of an applicant for or a recipient of unemployment assistance who dies any sums payable by way of unemployment assistance to or in respect of such applicant or recipient.

(4) Regulations may also provide that probate or other proof of title of the personal representative of any deceased person may be dispensed with in the case of payment of any sum representing unemployment assistance, and that in any such case the sum may be paid or distributed to or among the persons appearing in the manner provided by the regulations to be entitled to receive the said sum or any part thereof, either as being persons beneficially entitled thereto under any testamentary instrument or as next of kin, or as being creditors of the deceased person, or to or among any one or more of such persons exclusive of the others.

(5) Notwithstanding section 136 (1) (b), regulations may provide for extending, subject to any prescribed conditions, the time within which application for unemployment assistance must be made.

(6) Regulations made under this Chapter prescribing a form of application for any purpose may require that all or any of the statements made by the applicant in such form be verified by statutory declaration and that such statutory declaration may be taken and received by a deciding officer or by any other officer of the Minister or such other person authorised by the Minister in that behalf.”.

(2) The following are hereby repealed—

(a) sections 11 and 12 of the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1985 ,

(b) section 1 of the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1989 , and

(c) subsection (2) of section 50 of the Act of 1991.

(3) Section 21 of the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act, 1985 and section 22 of the Social Welfare Act, 1989 , in so far as they relate to unemployment assistance, shall cease to have effect.

(4) Section 2 (1) of the Principal Act is hereby amended by the substitution for the definition of “day of unemployment” of the following definition:

“‘day of unemployment’, in relation to Part II, has the meaning assigned in section 29, and in relation to Chapter 2 of Part III, has the meaning assigned in section 136 (6);”.

(5) Section 300 (5) of the Principal Act is hereby amended by—

(a) the deletion in paragraph (a) (as amended by section 17 of the Social Welfare Act, 1986 ) of “or a qualification certificate under Chapter 2 of Part III is revoked”, and

(b) the deletion in paragraph (aa) (inserted by section 35 of the Act of 1991) of “or a qualification certificate under Chapter 2 of Part III is revoked”.

(6) Where, immediately before the day appointed for the commencement of this section, a person is entitled to or in receipt of unemployment assistance, any decision by a deciding officer or an appeals officer in relation to the means of that person for the purposes of his qualifying for a qualification certificate shall be deemed to be a decision under section 136 (1) (g).

(7) (a) Subsection (1) shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order or orders and different days may be so appointed for the coming into operation of the subsection as respects different provisions of the Chapter inserted in the Principal Act by the subsection and where an order under this paragraph relates to part or parts only of that Chapter, the order may provide for the repeal of specified provisions of the existing Chapter on a specified day or days.

(b) Subsections (2) to (6) shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order or orders and different days may be so appointed for different provisions of those subsections.