I propose to take Questions Nos. 340 and 355 together.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an application for carer's allowance by the person concerned was disallowed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection on 21 November 2018 and this was upheld by a review of the Department on 25 April 2019. An appeal by the person concerned was registered in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 27 May 2019. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were returned to the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 8 August 2019.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office has also advised me that this appeal has been referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing. The Appeals Officer is being advised of the Deputy's question and this response.
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.