Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (172)

John McGuinness

Question:

173 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal against the decision not to grant invalidity pension in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Tipperary and if she will expedite a response. [35710/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

An application for invalidity pension, by the person concerned, was disallowed by a Deciding Officer of the Department on 7 September 2011. In light of additional medical evidence submitted, the case was reviewed by another Medical Assessor who also expressed the opinion that person concerned was unsuitable for invalidity pension. Notification of the Deciding Officers decision, which remained unchanged, issued on 16 February 2012.

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that a letter of appeal was received in that office on 6 June 2012. In the normal course, an appeal against the decision of a Deciding Officer must be made within 21 days of a decision being notified. Appeals received outside of this time limit may be accepted at the discretion of the Chief Appeals Officer. This limit is not rigidly enforced but in view of the length of time which has elapsed since the person concerned was notified the decision and in the absence of any explanation for the failure to make the appeal within the prescribed time, it was considered that the acceptance of an appeal would not be warranted at this late stage.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.