Thursday, 24 September 2020

Questions (177)

Michael Healy-Rae


177. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection the status of a carer's allowance application by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [26086/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer on 14 April 2020.

Having considered the evidence in this appeal, the Appeals Officer was of the opinion that the case could not be properly determined on a summary basis and in those circumstances decided to convene an oral hearing. However due to the restrictions arising as a result of COVID 19 in person appeal hearings were suspended since mid March 2020 and it had not been possible to schedule an oral hearing in this case prior to that suspension.

The Chief Appeals Officer has advised me that in person oral hearings have resumed recently for some essential cases and the use of video technology for remote hearings is also being examined. The use of video technology will need to ensure the maintenance of fair procedures, confidentiality, compliance with data protection and other legal requirements.

It is the intention of the Appeals Officer to hold an oral hearing in this case as soon as is practicable and the appellant will be given advance notification of the hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for 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.