Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Ceisteanna (232)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

232. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason the application for qualified adult allowance payment by a person (details supplied) was not further backdated. [24453/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an Appeals Officer, having fully considered all of the available evidence, decided to disallow the appeal of the person concerned by way of a summary decision on 31st May 2019.  The person concerned was notified of this decision.

The person concerned in their appeal sought payment of the increase for a qualified adult (IQA) on his State Pension Contributory claim to be backdated for more than the six months provided for in the Department's decision.      

Social welfare legislation provides for backdating of claims for up to six months where it is accepted that there was good cause for the delay and where entitlement throughout the period in question is established.  The circumstances in which a claim may be backdated further are more onerous to establish and are specified in legislation as follows; incapacity to make a claim or incorrect information given by the Department. 

Having considered all the circumstances the Appeals Officer did not consider that the person concerned had established cause, as provided for in the legislation, for further backdating of his claim in respect of the increase for a qualified adult 

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 the Appeals Officer in the light of new evidence or new facts or where there has been a change of circumstances which has come to notice since the date of the Appeals Officer's original decision. 

The Chief Appeals Officer has power under Section 318 of the Act  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. 

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 (Section 327) also provides that any person who is dissatisfied with either the decision of the Appeals Officer or 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.