Senator Frank Feighan has been informed by the Minister for Social Protection, Leo Varadkar, that there are 77 outstanding compensation claims by Arigna miners currently being processed.
Minister Varadkar informed Senator Feighan in the chamber today of the number of outstanding claims being investigated by the Department of Social Protection regarding Arigna miners seeking disablement benefits because of work-related illnesses.
“The Minister informed me today that since 2010 to date, his Department has received a total of 247 claims for disablement benefit from former Arigna miners in respect of a variety of diseases and injuries. Of these, 89 have been awarded, 81 were found to be ineligible and 77 are still under investigation,
“Regarding the majority of the 77 cases, the Department is waiting for additional information or evidence to be supplied by the claimants. A small number of these are awaiting a medical assessment by a Department medical assessor.
“In 2010, the National Coalminers Group secured agreement with the Department of Social Protection to extend disablement benefit to former miners suffering from work related illnesses.
“Since this review scheme was established in October 2010, which I strongly lobbied for on behalf of coalminers, hundreds of miners have applied for and received disability arrears under this scheme.
“I hope that all of those who still meet the criteria under this scheme will receive payment as soon as possible.”