No limit set on compensation for flood damage from assistance scheme

Minister says Government wants to be “generous and fair”

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney Said the Government wanted to be “generous and fair” to people who needed help. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney Said the Government wanted to be “generous and fair” to people who needed help. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

 

No limit has been set on the amount of compensation people affected by flooding can be paid under a Government assistance scheme. Applications from all households, regardless of income, will be considered.

About 260 properties have been affected by recent flooding and 230 remain under threat according to Department of the Environment estimates.

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney said there was a number of ways homeowners, businesses and farms could claim money to help them recover from flood damage. He said the Government wanted to be “generous and fair” to people who needed help.

Means-tested

“If a couple are out of their home because of flooding, with the means test, they’ll get full compensation for the cost of putting their homes back together,” he said.

The amount paid is calculated according to the severity of the damage and the household’s ability to pay the costs.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Social Protection confirmed no limit had been set on what could be paid to a household under the scheme.

The department said the officer administering the scheme would decide the amount needed for essential repairs and to replace losses.

“The income test for humanitarian assistance is significantly more generous than that which applies in the case of means-tested social welfare schemes generally. . . All household income will be considered,” she said.

Applicants are asked to submit estimates for repairs and replacements. “Where structural work is an issue, the Department may get advice from a loss adjustor,” the spokeswoman said.

The scheme will not provide funding for commercial and business losses.

Businesses can apply for an immediate grant of up to €5,000, and €20,000 for more extensive damage under the small and medium enterprises programme, which is being administered by the Irish Red Cross.

More than 130 applications have been received and 109 have met the criteria for compensation to date.

The Minister has introduced a hardship recognition plan and a €2 million scheme for farmers, to be paid at market rate, for fodder destroyed in the bad weather. This support will cover the loss of silage, hay, straw and concentrates due to flooding that is not covered by insurance.

Property tax

It has advised homeowners whose main residence is flooded and who are receiving help through the Department of Social Protection Humanitarian Relief Fund to apply to have their 2016 LPT payment deferred.

A spokeswoman said an annual 4 per cent charge would be applied during the deferral time and the total amount would have to be paid before the property is sold or transferred.