Written Answers - Social Welfare Appeals.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 699 No. 1

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  97.  Deputy David Stanton  Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of applications received for domiciliary care allowance from April to December 2009, inclusive; the number refused; the number appealed to the social welfare appeals office; the number of same for which the decision was overturned on appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1779/10]

  125.  Deputy David Stanton  Information on David Stanton  Zoom on David Stanton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin   the number of domiciliary care allowance applications received by her Department each month from April to December 2009 inclusive; the number of these claims which were refused each month; the number of same for which appeals were submitted; the reason children were judged not to be eligible; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1780/10]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  I propose to take Question Nos. 97 and 125 together.

Domiciliary Care Allowance is payable in respect of children who have a disability so severe that it requires the child needing care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age. The care and attention received must be given by another person, effectively full-time so that the child can deal with the normal activities of daily life. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.

Eligibility for Domiciliary Care Allowance is not based primarily on the medical or psychological condition, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind necessitating the degree of extra care and attention required. Each application is assessed on an individual basis taking account of the evidence submitted by the applicant.

In the period 1st April 2009 to 31st December 2009 a total of 3,389 applications were received, of which 2,823 cases have to date been fully processed by the Department. Of these applications, 1,031 were awarded and 1,792 refused as they were deemed not to be eligible for Domiciliary Care Allowance. 566 applications are still to be decided. The tabular statement sets out the number of applications received and the number of applications processed each month from April to December 2009. During 2009, decisions made on 564 claims were reviewed [119]at the applicants request as new or additional medical evidence was available, of these 117 claims were subsequently allowed.

Where claims are deemed to be ineligible on medical grounds, it is because it is considered that the requirement of care and attention and/or supervision is not substantially in excess of another child of the same age who does not have a disability. Where a person is not satisfied with the decision of a Deciding Officer they may appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

There were 836 appeals of Domiciliary Care Allowance decisions received by the Social Welfare Appeals Office in 2009 which variously consisted of appeals in relation to the commencement date of the claim, satisfying the Habitual Resident Condition or meeting the medical criteria for the scheme. The Social Welfare Appeals Office made decisions on 11 cases in 2009 and overturned the decision in 6 cases.

All claims that have had the original negative decision revised have been processed by the Department and payment has issued to the customers.

Number of DCA Applications received and processed per month from April 2009 to December 2009

Month Applications Received Claims Awarded of the 2,823 processed to date. Claims Refused of the 2,823 processed to date.
April 155 7 8
May 399 48 84
June 482 124 145
July 499 136 249
August 301 139 259
September 496 123 212
October 366 214 420
November 394 156 241
December 297 84 174
Total 3,389 1,031 1,792


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