Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
236. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 988 of 24 March 2021, if a request for an appeal of a decision in respect of a person (details supplied) has been received by her Department to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17725/21]
The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that an appeal by the person concerned was registered with that office on 19 March 2021. 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 papers 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. Hearings are currently being conducted online or by telephone. Due to the current level of Covid-19 restrictions in-person oral appeal hearings have been suspended.
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.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.