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Written Answers - Social Welfare Appeals

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 310.  Deputy John O’Mahony Information on John O'Mahony Zoom on John O'Mahony  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  when a decision will be made on an invalidity pension appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Mayo following a decision by a medical officer in her Department that they are unfit for work; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16505/12]

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 27th February 2012. 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 [829]be sought. When received, the appeal in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer for consideration.

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.

 311.  Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  if a decision has been made on an appeal for invalidity pension in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [16577/12]

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 and 2011 when the intake rose to 32,432 and 31,241 respectively. 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. 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.


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