I propose to take Questions Nos. 597 and 605 together.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 3 October 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.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office is still awaiting a response from the carer's allowance section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and has contacted that section again in the matter.
When these papers have been received from the Department the case in question will be 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 appeal hearing.
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.