Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Questions (623)

Peter Fitzpatrick


623. Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason for the delay in an invalidity pension appeal by a person (details supplied). [37051/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, has decided to allow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision on 05 September 2019.  The person concerned has been notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision. 

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has also advised me that a number of new Appeals Officers have joined the Appeals Office over the past 12-18 months, to replace staff leaving on retirement.  While it is regretted that there has been a delay in this case, given the complexity of the appeals process it takes some time for new staff to be trained up and develop expertise and this has led to somewhat longer processing times during this period.  The Chief Appeals Officer has advised me that appeal processing times continue to be a priority for her Office.

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. 

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.