asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will state why the claim of Miss Annie Kerrigan, Book No. Ballybofey 907, for unemployment benefit was rejected on the 21st August, 1933, and whether Miss Kerrigan is now in receipt of benefit.
Ceisteanna.—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Benefit Claim.
A claim to unemployment benefit made on the 19th July last by Miss Annie Kerrigan, Unemployment Book No. "Ballybofey 907," was disallowed by the insurance officer under Section 8 (2) of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920, for six weeks from and including the date of the claim on the ground that the claimant lost her employment in circumstances which disqualified her for the receipt of benefit. She appealed to the Court of Referees which recommended that the claim be disallowed. The insurance officer accepted this recommendation.
Miss Kerrigan's claim was allowed from the date on which the six weeks' disallowance terminated and payment of benefit which has become due has been made to her. Any further benefit for which she may qualify will be paid to her in due course.
Might I ask the Minister if he will consider it desirable in future to instruct the Court of Referees, or the Insurance Officers, to state explicitly to claimants the grounds upon which their requests for benefit are rejected and not refer them simply to the relevant section of the Statute, which usually is not available in most cases?
I will give no such undertaking.
The present situation is that claimants are referred to a section in the Statute which is not available in rural areas and claimants are frequently completely at a loss to know why their claims have been refused.
It is an Insurance Officer's function to refer to the Statute, not to interpret it.
There are plenty of lawyers available, anyhow.
Surely it will not interfere with the administration of the Act if the Insurance Officer will state the grounds upon which an application is refused?
The grounds are very clearly set out in the Act.