Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2740, 2758)

James Browne

Ceist:

2740. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of social welfare appeals lodged in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by type of appeal per scheme and by county of appellant; the percentage of appeals allowed for each scheme in each of the years by county and type of appeal, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32987/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Moynihan

Ceist:

2758. Deputy Michael Moynihan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of claims approved of following an appeal of the original decision in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [33245/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2740 and 2758 together.

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.

Appeals which had a favourable outcome for the appellant consist of appeals which were either allowed in full or in part by an Appeals Officer, or which were resolved by way of a revised decision in favour of the appellant by a Deciding Officer / Designated Person.

In any year about 85% of all claims are awarded by the Department and just 1% are appealed. Nevertheless, the Department continues to work to ensure that these cases are dealt with as quickly as possible.

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 incorrect. It is often the case that new evidence is provided with an appeal and that, as a result, the original decision may be revised by the Deciding Officer or Designated Person. This was the case in 37.6% of such successful outcomes in 2017, 31.5% of such outcomes in 2018 and 36.9% of such outcomes to the end of June 2019.

Where the decision was not revised by 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.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office does not maintain appeal statistics on a county by county basis and it is therefore not in a position to supply that specific information.

The statistics required by the Deputy are available at the following link:.

Social Welfare Appeals

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.