Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (360)

Finian McGrath

Question:

360. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Social Protection if the deciding officers in appeal cases have experience or training in disability issues. [30129/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office is independently responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements. The role and function of the office is to provide and deliver an independent, accessible and fair appeals service in a prompt and courteous manner. Appeals Officers are statutorily appointed by the Minister for Social Protection to act as administrative tribunals and are required to exercise their functions in a quasi-judicial manner.

An Appeals Officer must decide, taking account of all of the evidence presented, including medical evidence, on the impact of a person’s illness/disability; on his/her capability for work; on whether a person is substantially restricted within the meaning of the Social Welfare Acts from taking up full time employment; on whether a person requires full time care and attention; or, in the case of Domiciliary Care Allowance, on whether the child being cared for requires significantly more care than other children of the same age.

Training is provided on an on-going basis to Appeals Officers on a broad range of issues of relevance to their role. In this context, case conferences are held regularly, which allow the salient features of particular cases to be presented and discussed by Appeals Officers. In addition, Appeals Officer conferences, which are convened twice yearly, provide an opportunity to consider broader issues with a view to ensuring consistency in the manner in which appeals are determined.

Question No. 361 withdrawn.