Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Questions (194)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

194. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of cases referred to appeal in each of the past three years to date; the number of cases granted on appeal and refused in the same period; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25770/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The following table provide the details which have been requested by the Deputy for the years 2015 to 2017 and to the end of May 2018.

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

All claim decisions taken by the Department’s deciding officers are appealable to the Chief Appeals Officer. In any year about 85% of all claims are awarded and just 1% are appealed.

The figures provided in the tables for appeals which had a favourable outcome for the appellant relate to appeals which were either allowed in full or in part by an Appeals Officer, or which were resolved by way of a revised decision in favour of the appellant by a Deciding Officer/Designated Person.

There are a number of reasons why a decision which was refused at first instance might be successful on appeal and it is not necessarily the case that the first decision was incorrect. It is often the case that new evidence is provided with an appeal and that, as a result, the original decision may be revised by the Deciding Officer or Designated Person. This was the case in 37.1% of favourable appeal outcomes in 2016 (5,100 cases), 37.6% of favourable appeal outcomes in 2017 (4,283 cases) and 34.7% of favourable appeals to date in 2018 (1,507 cases).

Where the decision was not revised by the Department in light of the appeal contentions, further evidence is often provided by the appellant as the appeal process proceeds and in addition, the Appeals Officer may gain insights when they meet the appellant in person at oral hearing which may influence the outcome of the appeal.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Appeal Receipts and Outcome Decisions of Appeals Finalised 2015 – 2018

Year

Appeal Receipts

Appeals Finalised

Favourable Decisions

Appeals Disallowed

Withdrawn

2015

24,475

25,406

14,946

9,167

1,293

2016

22,461

23,220

13,754

8,336

1,130

2017

19,658

18,980

11,405

6,434

1,141

2018 (to 31/5//2018)

7,566

7,562

4,346

2,781

435