Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Questions (395)

Michael Ring


470 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason an oral hearing was not scheduled for a person (details supplied) in County Mayo so that they can personally give evidence to support their appeal; and the resources they are now supposed to live on as there is no income coming into this household. [3920/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

A deciding officer disallowed the unemployment assistance claim of the person concerned from 16 January 2001 to 23 September 2003 on the grounds that he was not unemployed for this period. He has been employed on a part-time basis and did not inform the Department of this. He has also failed to supply information regarding his means. A letter outlining the decision and informing him of the overpayment which he has incurred issued to him on 4 December 2003.

The person concerned appealed the decision to the social welfare appeals office. Where the appeals officer is of the opinion that the case is of such a nature that it can properly be determined without an oral hearing, the appeal may be determined summarily. Following an examination of the case an appeals officer upheld the deciding officer's decision. Under social welfare legislation decisions in relation to claims are made by deciding officers and appeals officers. These officers are statutorily appointed and I have no role in regard to making such decisions. An appeals officer's decision is final in the absence of new facts or fresh evidence.

Question No. 471 answered with QuestionNo. 467.