Written answers

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Appeals Data

Photo of Brendan  RyanBrendan Ryan (Dublin Fingal, Labour)
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623. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number and percentage of appeals in the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown local authority area that were allowed by appeals officers, partially allowed by appeals officers, revised by a deciding officer and designated persons decision, disallowed by appeals officers and withdrawn, respectively, for each the years 2016 the 2018 and to date in 2019, for all payments and benefits under her remit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9499/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that statistics are not maintained on a local authority or on a county by county basis, and it is not in a position to supply the information sought by the Deputy in relation to the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown local authority area.

The outcome of all appeals by scheme for the years 2016 to 2018 and for January 2019 are available at the following link:

The figures provided for appeals which had a favourable outcome for the appellant relate to appeals which were either allowed in full or in part by an Appeals Officer, or which were resolved by way of a revised decision in favour of the appellant by a Deciding Officer / Designated Person.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

There are a number of reasons why a decision which was refused at first instance might be successful on appeal and it is not necessarily the case that the first decision was incorrect. It is often the case that new evidence is provided with an appeal and that, as a result, the original decision may be revised by the Deciding Officer or Designated Person. This was the case in 37.1% of favourable outcomes in 2016, 37.6% of such outcomes in 2017, 31.5% of such outcomes in 2018 and 31.3% of such outcomes in January 2019.

Where the decision was not revised by the Department in light of the appeal contentions, further evidence is often provided by the appellant as the appeal process proceeds and in addition, the Appeals Officer may gain insights when they meet the appellant in person at oral hearing which may influence the outcome of the appeal.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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