Written answers

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Department of Social Protection

Guardian's Payment Appeals

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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188. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection if she will review the case of a person (details supplied) who her Department has informed that the person is no longer entitled to the guardian's payment; if her Department will provide the person with a copy of the full file; and if she will ensure the matter is investigated fully [34231/15]

Photo of Joan BurtonJoan Burton (Minister, Department of Social Protection; Dublin West, Labour)
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Based on the evidence available, the Deciding Officer decided that the person concerned was not entitled to guardian’s payment (non- contributory) in respect of her granddaughter, who was over 18 years of age and not certified as having been in full time education at a recognised school or college for the period from 5th June 2009 to 9th June 2011, resulting in an overpayment.

It was also decided that the person concerned was not entitled to the rate of guardian’s payment (non- contributory) in payment during the period 2005 to 2008 as her granddaughter was in employment during that time, resulting in a further overpayment. The total sum overpaid to the person concerned amounts to €18,959.00.

The person concerned appealed the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. The Appeals Officer, in a decision dated the 30th November 2012, upheld the decision of the Deciding Officer. Under social welfare legislation the decision of an Appeals Officer is final.

If the person concerned has new facts or evidence, that was not previously available to the Deciding Officer or the Appeals Officer, they should forward it without delay to the Deciding Officer and the person’s entitlement will be reviewed.

Weekly debt repayments of €29.00 have recently re-commenced from the person’s invalidity pension payment, in respect of the overpayment of guardian’s payment (non-contributory). When determining a rate of debt repayment, the Department gives due consideration to the ability of the debtor to repay the debt in the shortest timeframe at a rate that does not cause undue financial hardship. If the person concerned wishes to have their debt repayment plan reviewed on financial hardship grounds it is open to them to submit documentary evidence to that effect for consideration by a Recovery Officer. A request seeking a review of a debt repayment plan, together with relevant supporting documentation, should be sent to Debt Management Unit, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo.

A copy of the person’s guardian’s (non- contributory) file is currently being prepared and will be sent to her home address.


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