Written Answers. - Social Welfare Appeals.

Liam Aylward

Question:

782 Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs if he will process the appeal by a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny for unemployment assistance in order that his application under the back to work scheme can be processed. [20390/00]

The person concerned had been in receipt of unemployment benefit and assistance since July 1995. To establish that he satisfied the statutory conditions of being available for and genuinely seeking work, he was interviewed by an inspector of the Department in February 2000. The inspector was not satisfied with his efforts to secure employment and referred him to the local jobs facilitator. He was then enrolled in a pre-employment course to improve his employment prospects. The person concerned failed to attend this course.

The deciding officer, having considered the inspector's report, was of the opinion the person concerned was not genuinely seeking work. His claim was disallowed accordingly.

The person concerned appealed this decision to the social welfare appeals office. His case has been considered by an Appeals Officer who is of the opinion that an oral hearing is necessary. This will be arranged as soon as possible.

Social welfare legislation decisions in relation to claims must be made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in regard to making such decisions.