The Social Welfare Appeals Office was set up to provide an independent appeals service. It is for people who are dissatisfied with decisions made by Deciding Officers or Designated Persons on questions relating to entitlement to social welfare payments and insurability of employment.
The law for social welfare appeals is set out in Part 10 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 and in Regulations made under that Act. This sets out the schemes that can be appealed
and what the Chief Appeals Officer, the Deputy Chief Appeals Officers and the Appeals Officers do.
The mission of the Social Welfare Appeals Office is to provide an independent, accessible and fair appeals service for entitlement to social welfare payments and to deliver that service in a prompt and courteous manner.
The Office is headed by the Chief Appeals Officer who has overall responsibility for the administration of the appeals service. There are two Deputy Chief Appeals Officers. .
The Chief Appeals Officer, Deputy Chief Appeals Officers and Appeals Officers are appointed by the Minister for Social Protection.
The Social Welfare Appeals Office
is committed to providing an independent, accessible and fair welfare appeals service to all our customers in a prompt and courteous manner.
Who we are
The Social Welfare Appeals Office operates under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection.
People who are dissatisfied with decisions made by Deciding Officers or determinations made by Designated Persons on social welfare entitlements and insurability of employment issues have a right of appeal set out under law. Appeals Officers decide on appeals made and are independent in the performance of their duties.
Our commitment to customers
Our aim is to provide an excellent service that satisfys customer needs and expectations. To achieve this, we make the following commitments.
Access to our services
We will treat all our customers in an equal fair and courteous manner.
We will ensure that our main office and places used for oral hearings are accessible for all, including people with disabilities, where possible.
We will receive all customers coming to our main office and centres used for oral hearings in a courteous manner and direct them to their destination as quickly as possible.
We will not allow customers’ age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious beliefs or disability impact how they are treated..
We will respect customers’ privacy needs when they call to our office.
We will try to ensure that customers who wish to conduct their business in a language other than English can do so.
Your appeal will be dealt with by an Appeals Officer who is appointed by the Minister to determine appeals independently.
Where an Appeals Officer decides to hold an oral hearing of your case, we will try to give you at least 10 days advance notice of the hearing.
We will inform you of the reasons for the decision on your appeal.
Providing you with information
We will provide you with detailed, clear and correct information on the service we provide.
We will ensure that our forms and information leaflets are easy to understand and up-to-date.
We will try to answer your phone call as quickly as possible.
We will phone you back if you ask us to.
We will identify ourselves to callers.
When you contact us by e-mail, we will acknowledge your correspondence.
Comments and complaints
We will respond to complaints within 15 working days.
We will guarantee that your complaint will not affect how we treat you in the future.
What you can do to help us
When making an appeal, please ensure that you give us with the following information:
your full address
your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
the decision you are appealing against
the grounds for your appeal
Attach all documents you want considered with your appeal form.
Have your appeal reference number and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) ready when contacting us.
Let us know if you wish to withdraw your appeal.
Notify us if will be late for or unable to attend the oral hearing arranged for you.
Let us know your new address where you have changed address.
Let us know if you are unhappy with the service we provided to you or if you have any suggestions as to how we might improve our service.
Let us know if you wish to be accompanied at the oral hearing by a person who may be of assistance to you if you have a problem communicating with the Appeals Office due to language difficulties.
Data held in the Social Welfare Appeals Office
is held solely for the purposes of processing an appeal. When an appeal is closed the appeal papers are returned to the Department of Social Protection (DSP).