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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 544-551
 Header Item Carer's Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Disability Allowance Appeals
 Header Item Invalidity Pension Appeals
 Header Item Registration of Marriages
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 835 No. 1

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Written Answers Nos. 544-551

Carer's Allowance Appeals

 544. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the position regarding a carer's allowance appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13922/14]

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 3 February 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When these have been received from the Department, the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal 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 in relation to social welfare entitlements.

  Question No. 545 answered with Question No. 494.

  Question No. 546 withdrawn.

Disability Allowance Appeals

 547. 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 person (details supplied) in County Roscommon will receive a decision on their application for disability allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13955/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an oral hearing of the appeal of the person concerned was scheduled for 24 March 2014. The person concerned will be notified of the Appeals Officer’s decision when the appeal has been determined.

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.

Invalidity Pension Appeals

 548. 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 person (details supplied) in County Mayo will receive a decision on their invalidity pension appeal; the reason for the delay; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13961/14]

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 9 January 2014. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant papers and comments by or on behalf of the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought from the Department of Social Protection. These papers were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on 26 February 2014 and the case will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an 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 in relation to social welfare entitlements.

  Question No. 549 withdrawn.

Registration of Marriages

 550. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton the reason Irish citizens born in the Six Counties have to supply a birth certificate with an apostille stamp; if her attention has been drawn to the added cost and time required for this process, in order to apply to register a marriage; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [13967/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton Section 46 of the Civil Registration Act 2004 provides for the notification of marriages. A couple who wish to marry must attend a registrar’s office and notify the registrar of their intention to marry in writing. Both parties to the marriage are required to provide evidence as to their identities, civil status, age and nationality. If either party was born outside of the State, a birth certificate bearing an apostille stamp from the country of birth is required. This step is necessary to help ensure that the intended marriage is not for unlawful purposes. The requirement is also crucial in combatting the presentation of false documents to registrars.

The Department recognises that the requirement for an apostille stamp on a birth certificate for people born outside the State may result in added costs and extended turnaround times. However, the integrity of the marriage registration process remains paramount and must be maintained.

Departmental Staff Data

 551. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton if she will provide a breakdown of the staff grade of deciding officers in 2014 compared to 2012. [13971/14]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton All staff assigned to scheme areas in the Department of Social Protection are appointed by the Minister as Deciding Officers under section 299 of the Social Welfare (consolidation) Act 2005.

Deciding Officer powers are not revoked on reassignment or promotion. Therefore, given the numbers involved a breakdown by grade is not readily available. The Department has requested the data from the HR shared services People Point who now has responsibility for statistical reporting for the Department. The information requested will be forwarded to the Deputy at the earliest opportunity.


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