The appellant applied for Carer’s Allowance in respect of the care provided to his father. The appellant’s claim was disallowed by the department on the basis that he was not providing full time care and attention. A review under Section 317 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 by way of oral hearing was recommended following further evidence being submitted by the appellant. Section 317 provides that an Appeals Officer may at any time revise any decision of an Appeals Officer, where it appears to the Appeals Officer that the decision was erroneous in light of new evidence or new facts brought to his or her notice since the date on which it was given.
The appellant stated when he made his application he provided care for 4 hours per day for 6 or 7 days per week. His father was admitted to hospital in January 2018 for approximately two weeks and was waiting for two surgical procedures. The appellant outlined that his father’s health had deteriorated since his hospital admission and he had lost two stone in weight. All his meals needed to be supervised. The appellant had to provide personal care to his father such as helping him out of bed, dressing, washing and toileting. His father needed help with mobility and medication due to failing sight. The appellant also continued to bring his father to appointments and anywhere he needed to go. The appellant outlined that his hours of caring had increased since his father's hospitalisation and he went over to his house at 8.30 a.m. most days and spent the whole day there. Other family members stayed with his father if the appellant needed to go anywhere. The appellant outlined that his mother had her own health issues and was unable to physically look after his father.
Having examined all the evidence, including that adduced at oral hearing, the Appeals Officer concluded that while the appellant was providing care and assistance to his father at the time of his application, the amount of care he was providing at that time could not be considered to be full time care and attention as required under the legislation.
However, taking account of his evidence at oral hearing and the fact that his father’s health had deteriorated necessitating more personal care since his discharge from hospital, the Appeals Officer concluded that from the date his father was discharged from hospital, the appellant could be regarded as providing full-time care and attention within the meaning of the social welfare legislation from that date.