Thursday, 10 May 2018

Ceisteanna (293)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

293. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the percentage of decisions overturned on appeal for each social welfare payment by written and oral appeals in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20757/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

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 understand the Deputy’s question relates to outcomes of appeals dealt with by Appeals Officers by reference to whether the appeal was dealt with summarily or by way of an oral hearing.

The following table provides the details requested by the Deputy in respect of appeals finalised in the full year 2017.

Overall, 60.1% of the 18,980 appeals which were finalised in 2017 had a favourable outcome for the appellant, i.e. were either allowed in full or in part, or resolved by way of a revised decision by a Deciding Officer/Designated Person.

There are a number of reasons why a decision which was refused at first instance might be successful on appeal and it is not necessarily the case that the first decision was wrong.

Where new evidence is provided with an appeal the original decision may be revised by the Deciding Officer or Designated Person as was the case in some 37 per cent of favourable appeal outcomes in both 2017 and 2016. In the period January to April 2018 this was the case in 38 per cent of favourable outcomes. Where the decision was not revised in the Department in light of the appeal contentions, further evidence is often provided by the appellant as the appeal process proceeds and in addition, the Appeals Officer may gain insights when they meet the appellant in person at oral hearing which may influence the outcome of the appeal.

Decisions concerning entitlement to a social welfare payment often require a high level of judgment and may involve complex legal questions. The Courts have found that decision makers are required to be free and unrestricted in discharging their functions.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Table: Outcome by Percentage of Appeals Decided by Appeals Officers 2017

Scheme

Oral Hearing

Summary Decision

% Allowed

% Part Allowed

% Disallowed

%Allowed

% Part Allowed

% Disallowed

State Pension (Non-Contributory)

40.8%

23.5%

35.7%

25.2%

7.9%

66.9%

State Pension (Contributory)

20.6%

13.2%

66.2%

10.7%

1.5%

87.8%

State Pension (Transition)

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

50.0%

0.0%

50.0%

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension

37.5%

0.0%

62.5%

33.3%

0.0%

66.7%

*Bereavement Grant

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Jobseeker’ Allowance

46.3%

8.9%

44.7%

25.0%

4.6%

70.3%

Jobseeker’s allowance (Means)

36.4%

16.4%

47.2%

11.3%

4.8%

83.9%

One Parent Family Payment

50.0%

18.1%

31.9%

38.3%

7.4%

54.3%

Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non-Contributory) Pension

25.0%

25.0%

50.0%

50.0%

12.5%

37.5%

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

52.4%

6.4%

41.2%

25.7%

2.7%

71.6%

Farm Assist

30.9%

21.8%

47.3%

11.1%

13.3%

75.6%

Jobseeker’s Benefit

36.2%

13.0%

50.7%

24.1%

5.0%

71.0%

Deserted Wife’s Benefit

33.3%

33.3%

33.3%

50.0%

0.0%

50.0%

Maternity Benefit

42.9%

0.0%

57.1%

12.7%

5.5%

81.8%

Paternity Benefit

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

25.0%

0.0%

75.0%

Adoptive Benefit

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

*Treatment Benefits

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

Partial Capacity Benefit

45.5%

9.1%

45.5%

52.6%

0.0%

47.4%

Disability Allowance

69.7%

2.3%

28.0%

70.0%

1.3%

28.7%

Blind Pension

50.0%

50.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

Carer’s Allowance

55.9%

6.7%

37.3%

34.6%

5.7%

59.7%

Domiciliary Care allowance

69.9%

3.8%

26.4%

64.0%

0.5%

35.5%

Carer’s Support Grant

48.6%

2.7%

48.6%

23.6%

1.4%

75.0%

Illness Benefit

47.3%

3.6%

49.1%

26.7%

1.3%

72.0%

Injury Benefit

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

13.0%

0.0%

87.0%

Invalidity Pension

69.5%

1.5%

29.0%

48.8%

0.8%

50.4%

Disablement Benefit

50.0%

12.1%

37.9%

28.6%

5.1%

66.3%

Incapacity Supplement

60.0%

20.0%

20.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

*Medical Care

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

Carer’s Benefit

47.8%

8.7%

43.5%

30.8%

0.0%

69.2%

Child Benefit

48.6%

9.7%

41.7%

16.8%

8.1%

75.1%

Working Family Payment

36.8%

8.8%

54.4%

33.3%

5.9%

60.8%

Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory)

60.0%

0.0%

40.0%

25.0%

12.5%

62.5%

Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)

69.2%

0.0%

30.8%

25.0%

12.5%

62.5%

Widowed Parent Grant

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

0.0%

100.0%

Back to Work Family Dividend

50.0%

0.0%

50.0%

20.0%

0.0%

80.0%

Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment

57.1%

42.9%

0.0%

46.2%

7.7%

46.2%

* 1 case