Social Welfare Appeal 27-04-2005
Type of Social Welfare: Invalidity Pension
Deciding Body: Appeals Officer
Appellant suffered a subarachnoid haemorrhage in 1998. Postoperatively he developed a haemorrhagic infarct which manifested as left hemi paresis. He also developed epilepsy, which is exacerbated by fatigue and lack of sleep. As of June 2004, he required extra sleep in the afternoons due to side-effects of medication and brain surgery. Appellant’s official certified incapacity is C.V.A./Brain haemorrhage. Following his injury, Appellant was first allowed Disability Benefit and then switched to Invalidity Pension 15 months later. Beneficiaries of Invalidity Pension are allowed to participate in work like activities, such as the FAS Community Employment Scheme (CE), if the purpose of the work is therapeutic/rehabilitative (i.e. to counteract depression, etc).
Appellant was granted an exemption to participate in a CE scheme in 2001. He remained on Invalidity Pension until August of 2004, when he reapplied for an exemption to Rule 4 of the Rules of Behaviour for Invalidity Pensioners. He wished to continue to work part time in a FAS Community Employment Scheme. This application required a medical examination which found Appellant to be capable for work. Based on this examination, a Deciding Officer found Appellant not entitled to Invalidity Pension from September of 2004. To qualify, Appellant needed to be found incapable of any work. The September decision was appealed on the grounds that the side effects of Appellant’s medications included fatigue and irritability, rendering Appellant completely incapable of work in a normal setting. As evidence, Appellant listed his medications and their respective dosages and the symptoms of his condition (loss of hearing, trouble with concentration, short term memory loss, insensitivity, depression, and a weak left side). However, a second Deciding Officer upheld the decision denying the claim. He stated the Appellant provided no new medical evidence.
Appellant appealed this decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office. Appellant provided evidence from Appellant’s GP and a Consultant Neurologist outlining Appellant’s condition and difficulty with fulltime work due to seizures and rest. Both recommended him for Invalidity Pension. He provided a follow-up letter from the Consultant Neurologist stating he suffered from on going partial seizures involving his left upper limb requiring changes in medication and regular visits in outpatient care, and confirming his condition rendered him incapable of any work. Also provided was a letter confirming Appellant’s participation in counselling at a Counselling Service.