Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (593)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

593. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if an oral hearing can be held in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38872/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that a one-person family payment appeal by the person concerned was referred on 14 October 2020 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 Social Welfare Appeals Office cannot hold in-person oral hearings at the moment due to Covid-19 restrictions but the matter is being kept under review. In the meantime it is open for the person concerned to provide any additional information she may feel is relevant for the consideration of the Appeals Officer.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has confirmed that it previously dealt with a disability allowance appeal for the person concerned. That appeal was disallowed on 23 July 2020. The Deputy will be aware that he sought a review of the Appeals Officer's decision. That review was carried out under section 317 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005. The outcome of that review was that the decision was not to be revised. The person concerned was notified of this outcome on 13 November 2020. Should any further new evidence or new facts become available it is possible for another review to be carried out under section 317. It is also open to the person concerned to seek a review by the Chief Appeals Officer of the Appeals Officer's decision under section 318 of the Act on the grounds that the decision was erroneous by reason of some mistake having been made in relation to the law or the facts. If the person concerned decides to take this course of action, it will be necessary for her to set down specifically the reasons why she believes the Appeals Officer’s decision to be incorrect having regard to his or her interpretation or application of the law or the facts.

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.