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Migrant Access to Social Security and Healthcare: Policies and Practice in Ireland

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Abstract

This study on Migrant Access to Social Security and Healthcare: Policies and Practice in Ireland aims to increase understanding of how the Irish social security system, including healthcare, operates in respect of non-Irish workers and their families.

It provides an overview of the welfare system in Ireland, outlining policies and administrative practices that influence migrant access to social security, particularly focusing on ‘discretionary conditions’.* The access of non-EEA and EEA nationals is compared, where relevant, to that of Irish nationals. The study explores the nexus between migration and social security policymaking, and discusses practical challenges and policy gaps in that regard.

It is difficult to draw conclusions based on available administrative data on the proportions of Irish and non-Irish nationals in receipt of welfare payments, however the study finds no evidence of a large or systematic over-representation of immigrants among welfare recipients in Ireland.

* Discretionary here refers to conditions that permit Deciding Officers to exercise a degree of judgement as to whether eligibility conditions have been met. 

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Author: Emma Quinn, Egle Gusciute, Alan Barrett, Corona Joyce
Publisher: Economic and Social Research Institute
Date of Publication: 17 July 2014
Geographical focus: Ireland
ISBN: 978 0 7070 0365 8

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