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20 1923

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE ACT, 1923

PART IV.

APPLICATION OF NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE TO SHORT-SERVICE SOLDIERS.

Contributions in respect of Soldiers.

20. —(1) For the purpose of providing soldiers to whom this Part of this Act applies with such benefits during their term of service and after their return to civil life as are mentioned in this Part of this Act, the sum of four pence and one half-penny per week shall be paid by the Minister for Defence out of moneys to be provided by the Oireachtas to the Insurance Commissioners in respect of

(a) every soldier who at the date of his enlistment was or is a member of an Irish or British Approved Society;

(b) Every soldier who at the date of his enlistment was not a member of an Approved Society, but who, having been resident in Saorstát Eireann prior to enlistment, elects to become, and becomes a member of an Approved Society in Saorstát Eireann, or who, having been resident in Great Britain prior to enlistment, elects to become and becomes a member of the Military Forces (International Arrangements) Insurance Fund, provided he so elects and becomes a member of such Society or Fund within three months after the passing of this Act, or the date of his enlistment, whichever is the later.

(2) The weekly sums of four pence and one half-penny payable under the foregoing sub-section shall commence

(a) from the 1st day of April, 1922, in the case of a soldier who enlisted before that date and was at the date of enlistment a member of an Irish or British Approved Society;

(b) from the date of enlistment in the case of a soldier who enlisted after the 1st day of April, 1922, and was, or is, at the date of enlistment a member of an Irish or British Approved Society;

(c) from the 3rd day of July, 1922, or the date of enlistment, whichever is the later, in the case of a soldier who enlisted before the passing of this Act, and was not a member of an Irish or British Approved Society at the date of enlistment, but duly becomes a member of an Approved Society in Saorstát Eireann or of the Military Forces (International Arrangements) Insurance Fund pursuant to the foregoing sub-section;

(d) from the date of enlistment in the case of a soldier who enlists after the passing of this Act and is not a member of an Irish or British Approved Society at the date of enlistment, but duly becomes a member of an Approved Society in Saorstát Eireann or of the Military Forces (International Arrangements) Insurance Fund pursuant to the foregoing sub-section.

(3) The number of persons in respect of whom payments are to be made under the foregoing provisions of this Section shall be ascertained in such manner and the sums to be paid thereunder shall be paid to the Insurance Commissioners in such manner and at such dates in each year as shall be agreed between the Insurance Commissioners and the Minister for Defence.

(4) This Section shall not apply to a soldier who enlisted before the age of sixteen until he attains that age, and on his attaining that age shall apply to him as if he had enlisted at the time when he had attained that age.

(5) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Acts, a soldier who was or is at the date of his enlistment a Deposit Contributor, and who does not, within three months after that date, or, in the case of a soldier who enlisted before the passing of this Act, within three months after the passing of this Act, join an Approved Society in Saorstát Eireann, shall be treated as having ceased to be an insured person on and from the date of his enlistment, but on his discharge or, if he dies while a soldier, on his death he shall again be treated as a Deposit Contributor, and the balance which was to the credit of his account in the Deposit Contributors' Fund at the date of his enlistment shall be replaced to the credit of his account in the said Fund.

Treatment of soldiers as em ployed contributors.

21. —A soldier in respect of whom a sum of four pence and one half-penny per week is paid by the Minister for Defence under the provisions of this Part of this Act shall until his discharge be treated as an employed contributor subject to the following modifications:—

(a) The weekly sums paid by the Minister for Defence shall be treated for all purposes as payments of contributions at the employed rate.

(b) He shall be entitled to Maternity benefit, but not to Sickness, Disablement or Sanatorium benefit.

(c) The date of his enlistment as a soldier, or, if he enlisted before the passing of this Act, the date from which weekly sums became payable in respect of him by the Minister for Defence under this Part of this Act shall, unless he was at the date of his enlistment an insured person, be treated as the date of his entry into insurance.

(d) There shall be credited to the Approved Society or Fund of which he is a member a sum equal to five pence and one half-penny for each weekly contribution paid, and an equal sum shall be treated as having been expended on benefits, and the proper proportion thereof shall accordingly be paid out of money provided by the Oireachtas.

Reduction of benefits in the case of persons entitled to pensions in respect of disablement.

22. —The Insurance Commissioners may make regulations—

(a) providing for the reduction to such extent and for such time as they may think fit, of the amount of Sickness or Disablement Benefit to which any insured person who, having served as a soldier, has on his discharge been granted a pension in respect of disablement in consequence of his service, may be entitled in respect of his insurance under the Acts;

(b) providing for payment, pending the settlement of the claim to pension of any such person, of Sickness or Disablement benefit at the unreduced rate, and for recovery, by deduction from or suspension of any benefits which may subsequently become payable, of any sums which in consequence of such reductions have been overpaid;

(c) providing for the recovery by deduction from or suspension of any benefits which may subsequently become payable of any payment of Sickness or Disablement Benefit made in error to a soldier during the period of his service between the first day of April, 1922, and the date of the passing of this Act; and

(d) in respect of any other matters arising under this Part of this Act.

Provisions as to arrears.

23. —In calculating arrears of contributions for the purposes of the Acts no account shall be taken of any arrears accruing during any period when the person in question has been subjected to a reduction of, or been disentitled to, Sickness and Disablement Benefit by virtue of this Part of this Act.

Contributions deemed to be paid in due course.

24. —A contribution paid under this Part of this Act in respect of any week prior to the passing of this Act shall be deemed for all purposes to have been paid in the week to which it relates.

Application and definitions.

25. —(1) This Part of this Act applies only to soldiers enlisted for a period not exceeding twelve months or enlisted before the 1st day of May, 1923, for a period of service which terminates on or before the 1st day of May, 1924.

(2) In this Part of this Act

the word “soldier” means a member of the Armed Forces of Saorstát Eireann of whatever rank,

the word “enlist” includes becoming by any means a member of the Armed Forces aforesaid and cognate words shall be construed accordingly,

the word “discharge” includes ceasing by any means to be a member of the Armed Forces aforesaid and cognate words shall be construed accordingly.

(3) Every question or dispute as to whether a person is or is not a soldier within the meaning of this Part of this Act, or as to the date of the enlistment or the discharge of a soldier, shall be decided by the Minister for Defence whose decision shall be final.