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Written Answers. - Social Welfare Appeals.

Wednesday, 12 June 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 466 No. 7

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 156. Mr. J. Walsh Information on Joe Walsh Zoom on Joe Walsh  asked the Minister for Social Welfare Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  the average length of time taken to process appeals by the Social Welfare Appeals Office to date in 1996. [12301/96]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa The average time taken to process appeals which were finalised during the first five months of 1996 was just over 17 weeks. Appeals involving oral hearings would tend to be above this figure whereas those where the appeal can be determined on the basis of the documentary evidence would be below the average figure. This average period includes all phases of appeals and is inflated by additional time involved in the determination of a number of appeals where, for example, adjournments have been sought or [1933] where questions affecting the estates of deceased claimants are at issue. When the slowest 10 per cent of cases is discounted the average falls to 14 weeks. A survey of appeals completed in 1995 found that approximately one third were disposed of within two months of being registered in the appeals office.

The provision of a prompt service is an ever-present objective of the social welfare appeals office. It is important, however, to ensure that this objective is achieved in a manner which is consistent with the demands of fair and proper treatment and the requirement that every appeal be fully investigated and examined on all of its merits.

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