Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (303)

Denis Naughten


303. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Social Protection the basis on which a person (details supplied) in County Leitrim did not meet the substantial disability and-or restriction criteria; if she will provide a copy of the medical assessor's report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15319/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The person concerned applied for disability allowance (DA) on 2 September 2013. In order to satisfy the medical conditions for receipt of DA an applicant must be suffering from a specified disability, illness or injury which is expected to last for at least 12 months and be substantially restricted in obtaining employment suitable to a person of the same age, experience and qualifications. Disability allowance applications are medically assessed by fully qualified and experienced registered medical practitioners employed by the Department as medical assessors (MAs). These assessments are carried out by summary review of the medical and other relevant evidence submitted by the applicant and his/her doctor(s) in support of the application. An opinion on medical eligibility is provided by a medical assessor to a deciding officer based upon the medical assessor's assessment of the severity and expected duration of the medical condition(s) of the applicant.

The assessment is made in accordance with the Department's evidence-based medical guidelines and protocols, which are available for viewing on the Department's website www.welfare.ie.

In relation to the specific case concerned a medical assessor, having examined the evidence submitted, acknowledged that there was a level of restriction but was of the opinion that the person was not substantially restricted in accordance with the statutory conditionality.

The deciding officer accepted the opinion of the medical assessor and the person's application was refused on medical grounds. I understand the person has since appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.