Social Protection | Payment disallowance oral appeals
To ask the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which oral hearings in respect of appeals against disallowance for various payments are up-to-date; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
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 am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that there are currently 7,479 appeals at various stages of the appeals process. Under Article 13 of the Social Welfare (Appeals) Regulations, 1998 (S.I. 108/1998), if an Appeals Officer is of the opinion that the case is of such a nature that it can be properly determined without a hearing, the appeal may be determined summarily. Once it is decided to hold an oral hearing it can usually be scheduled and held in a timely manner.
An oral hearing may be held virtually (online), by phone or, where it is deemed essential by the Appeals Officer, on an in-person basis.
Oral hearing arrangements will continue to be kept under regular review by the Chief Appeals Officer.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
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