Written Answers - Social Welfare Appeals

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 732 No. 5

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  64.  Deputy John McGuinness  Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness   asked the Minister for Social Protection  Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton   when an oral hearing will be arranged in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; the timeframe for a decision in this case; and if she will expedite the matter. [12209/11]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal from the person concerned was referred to an Appeals Officer who proposes to hold an oral hearing in this case.

There has been a very significant increase in the number of appeals received by the Social Welfare Appeals Office since 2007 when the intake was 14,070 to 2010 when the intake rose to 32,432. This has significantly impacted on the processing time for appeals which require oral hearings and, in order to be fair to all appellants, they are dealt with in strict chronological order. In the context of dealing with the considerable number of appeals now on hands, the Department has made a further 9 additional appointments to the office in recent weeks.

While every effort is being made to deal with the large numbers awaiting oral hearing as quickly as possible, it is not possible to give a date when the person’s oral hearing will be heard, but s/he will be informed when arrangements have been made.

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 on social welfare entitlements.

  65.  Deputy John McGuinness  Information on John McGuinness  Zoom on John McGuinness   asked the Minister for Social Protection  Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton   if an early appeal will be arranged in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny; the timeframe for a decision in the case and if she will expedite the matter. [12212/11]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 25 February 2011. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 24 March 2011 and the appeal will be referred to an Appeals Officer, in due course, who will decide whether the case can be decided on a summary basis or whether to list it for oral hearing.

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 on social welfare entitlements.

  66.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Social Protection  Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton   the reason carer’s allowance was refused in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; if she will expedite the process of the appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12233/11]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The application for Carers Allowance by the person concerned was disallowed by the Deciding Officer on the grounds that the care recipient was not so incapacitated as to require full time care and attention.

[845]The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered in that office on 2 November 2010. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 10 March 2011 and the appeal will be referred to an Appeals Officer, in due course, who will decide whether the case can be decided on a summary basis or whether to list it for oral hearing.

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 on social welfare entitlements.

  67.  Deputy Bernard J. Durkan  Information on Bernard Durkan  Zoom on Bernard Durkan   asked the Minister for Social Protection  Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton   if she will review the refusal of mortgage support in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12235/11]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton  The Health Service Executive (HSE) has advised that the person concerned was refused a mortgage interest supplement on the grounds that in the opinion of the HSE the claimant was not in a position to meet the loan repayments when the loan agreement was entered into.


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