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Social Welfare Appeals

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 6 March 2012

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ceisteanna (204, 205, 206, 207)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

247 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding an appeal of a claim for disability allowance in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; and if a response will be expedited. [12317/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Social Protection)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the disability allowance claim of the person concerned was disallowed following an assessment by a Medical Assessor who expressed the opinion that she was medically unsuitable for the allowance. An appeal was registered on 16 February 2012 and in accordance with the statutory procedures the relevant department papers and the comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the matter raised in the appeal have been sought. In that context, an assessment by another Medical Assessor will be carried out. The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Social and Family Affairs and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions on social welfare entitlements.

Peadar Tóibín

Ceist:

248 Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Social Protection the position regarding a widower’s pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12320/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the person concerned has appealed the Department's decision and his appeal has been referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing on 8 March 2012. The person concerned has been notified of the arrangements for 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 on social welfare entitlements.

Question No. 249 withdrawn.

Pat Breen

Ceist:

250 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a decision will issue to a person (details supplied) in County Clare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12326/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer having fully considered all the available evidence, including that adduced at oral hearing, disallowed the appeal of the person concerned. Notification of the Appeals Officers decision on 24 February 2012. 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 on social welfare entitlements.

Question No. 251 withdrawn.

Pat Breen

Ceist:

252 Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Social Protection when a person (details supplied) in County Clare will receive a decision on their appeal in respect of their application for carer’s allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12338/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case. There has been a very significant increase in the number of appeals received by the Social Welfare Appeals Office since 2007 when the intake was 14,070 to 2010 and 2011 when the intake rose to 32,432 and 31,241 respectively. This has significantly impacted on the processing time for appeals which require oral hearings and, in order to be fair to all appellants, they are dealt with in strict chronological order.

While every effort is being made to deal with the large numbers awaiting oral hearing as quickly as possible, it is not possible to give a date when the person's oral hearing will be heard, but s/he will be informed when arrangements have been made. 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 on social welfare entitlements.

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