Thursday, 30 May 2019

Questions (160)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

160. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of social welfare appeal hearings facilitated in each of the past three years to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23133/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

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.

Appeals legislation provides that it is a matter for an Appeals Officer to decide whether an appeal can be fairly determined by means of a summary decision or if an oral hearing is required. In addition it is open to an appellant to request an oral hearing of their appeal. If an oral hearing is requested it will generally be given, except in cases where there is nothing manifestly to be gained from such a hearing, for example where the appeal question relates to PRSI contribution conditions or means and the underlying calculations are not being contested.

The information sought by the Deputy is set out in the following table.

Year

Number of Appeal Decisions finalised by way of Oral Hearing

2016

6,527

2017

5,412

2018

5,397

2019 - 1st January to April 30th

1,698

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.