Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (564)

Bernard Durkan


564. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if an appeal will be accepted in the case of a person (details supplied); if an oral hearing will be facilitated at an early date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38216/20]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

An application for jobseeker's allowance by the person concerned was disallowed by a Deciding Officer of the Department on 10 February 2020. I am informed by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that no appeal from the person concerned was received in that office until 14 July 2020.

In the normal course, an appeal against the decision of a Deciding Officer must be made within 21 days of a decision being notified. Appeals received outside of this time limit may be accepted at the discretion of the Chief Appeals Officer. In view of the length of time which elapsed between when the person concerned was notified of the decision and their submitting an appeal, the absence of any explanation, to date, for the failure to submit an appeal within the prescribed timeframe and their failure to submit grounds of appeal, I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an appeal has not been registered in this case.

However, the Appeals Office has now sought the grounds of appeal and an explanation for the failure to submit an appeal within the prescribed timeframe and, on receipt of the response, will determine whether a late appeal can be accepted and will notify the person concerned promptly. Should an appeal be accepted and referred to an Appeals Officer they will determine whether the appeal may be finalised by way of summary decision or if an oral hearing is required.

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.