The person concerned submitted an application for child benefit to my Department in April 2018 in respect of her son who was born in April 2015. I understand from the Appeals Office that child benefit was awarded from May 2018 as it was decided that the person concerned had not shown good cause for not submitting her application within the prescribed time. The person concerned appealed the Deciding Officer's decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all the available evidence, decided that the person concerned had not shown good cause for not submitting her application within the prescribed time and, therefore, disallowed the appeal.
Under the legislation the decision of an Appeals Officer is final and conclusive and may only be reviewed under Section 317 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 by an Appeals Officer in the light of new evidence or new facts. If there is any new evidence or new facts pertinent to this case that were not brought to the attention of the Appeals Officer during the determination of the appeal, they may be submitted to the Social Welfare Appeals Office for consideration.
The Chief Appeals Officer has power under Section 318 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 to revise any decision where it appears to her that the Appeals Officer’s decision was erroneous by reason of some mistake having been made in relation to the law or the facts. A request for such a review by the Chief Appeals Officer may be made by writing to her at the Social Welfare Appeals Office, D’Olier House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2.
If it is decided to take this course of action, it will be necessary that the person concerned sets down specifically the reasons which she believes renders the Appeals Officer’s decision incorrect having regard to his/her interpretation or application of the law or the facts.
The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (Section 327) also provides that any person who is dissatisfied with either the decision of an Appeals Officer or of a revised decision made by the Chief Appeals Officer may appeal that decision or revised decision, as the case may be, to the High Court on any question of law.
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 trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.