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Social Welfare Benefits

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (451)

Paul McAuliffe

Ceist:

451. Deputy Paul McAuliffe asked the Minister for Social Protection if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed. [29294/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered with that office on 3 December 2020.  The appeal was referred to an Appeals Officer on 9 February 2021 and the Appeals Officer's summary decision was issued to the person concerned on 19 April 2021.  

An Appeals Officer's decision is generally conclusive. However, an Appeals Officer may revise his/her decision under Section 317 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, if new evidence, new facts or any relevant change of circumstances come to light after a decision is made.  The Chief Appeals Officer may revise a decision of an Appeals Officer under Section 318 of the Act, if it appears that a mistake was made in relation to the law or the facts.

A request for a review under Section 318 of the Act was received from the Department of Social Protection on 14 May 2021.  In his decision the Appeals Officer stated that his interpretation of Article 20(1)(a) of the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regulations 2007 was that the person concerned should be deemed incapable of work for the period 10 October 2020 to 3 December 2020 because her GP had certified that she was unable to attend work during that period.  In her review under Section 318 of the Act, the Chief Appeals Officer found that the provisions of Article 20(1)(a) of the Regulations did not apply in this case and that the Appeals Officer erred in law in applying the provisions to the appeal.  The Chief Appeals Officer revised the Appeals Officer's decision accordingly on 24 May 2021 and the person concerned was advised of this outcome on that date. 

A Section 318 review is the final stage in the appeal process.  Any person who is dissatisfied with the Chief Appeals Officer's revised decision may appeal that decision to the High Court on any question of law under Section 327 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005.  

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 in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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