Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
212. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an oral hearing can be facilitated in the case of a person (details supplied) in respect of a carer's allowance appeal overpayment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30709/20]
Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.
The person concerned was in receipt of CA for one care recipient only. This payment was in place from 22 May 2014 until it was stopped on 13 February 2019.
A review of entitlement to CA was instigated on 13 July 2018, and documentation in respect of evaluating means was requested by Department officials. Although some documentation was received not all of the documentation requested was supplied by the person concerned.
Following this, on 17 October 2018, the person concerned was notified that her entitlement to CA from 22 May 2014 was being reconsidered. Another notification issued to the person concerned on 13th November 2018. On both occasions she was informed that, should a Deciding Officer (DO) decide that she was not entitled to CA during that period or that she was entitled to lower rates than was paid, she would be liable to refund any monies paid to which she was not entitled. The person concerned was offered the opportunity to furnish any statement or evidence she felt was appropriate to the matter.
Although the person concerned furnished the Department with further information, not all documentation requested was supplied.
On 7 February 2019, a Deciding Officer reviewed all the available evidence and decided that the person concerned was no longer entitled to CA as she had failed to show that her means were not less than the statutory limit and had failed to supply documentation that was requested from her. In addition, it was decided that she was not entitled to CA from 1 December 2016 to 13 February 2019 for the same reasons.
As a result, it was further decided that she had been overpaid an amount of money which she is liable to refund to the Department.
The person concerned was notified on 7 February 2019 of this decision, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.
To date the person concerned has not requested an appeal of the decision dated 7 February 2019. It is therefore not possible to request an oral hearing from the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) on behalf of the person concerned.
The time-limit for submitting an appeal of the statutory decision is within 21 days of the decision date. While this time-limit has expired, the Chief Appeals Officer has discretion to accept late appeals where there may be valid reasons for a delay.
To request that a late appeal be accepted the person concerned should forward a completed appeal application form directly to the Social Welfare Appeals Office, including an explanation for the delay. There is further information about the late appeals application process available on the Social Welfare Appeals Office’s website at: www.socialwelfareappeals.ie/foi/appeals_procedures/.
I hope this clarifies the position for the Deputy.