Submission: draft Social Welfare Appeals Regulations

This submission to the public consultation on proposed changes to the Social Welfare Appeals Regulations, endorsed by Age Action, Crosscare and the Disability Federation of Ireland,  highlights some of the challenges our clients encounter in navigating the social welfare appeals regulations and system and makes recommendations for further change to address the needs of vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, the migrant and ethnic groupings living in Ireland, children impacted by adverse decisions and those who have other vulnerabilities such as language, literacy or digital skills challenges.

Social welfare entitlements are a central piece of both protection against poverty and employment protection in the State. Those experiencing unemployment and those who cannot work or can only work part-time due to illness, disability, or caring responsibilities and retired people who receive state supports rely on these essential supports.

Check out Casebase, Community Law & Mediation’s free-to-access database of social welfare appeals case studies with information on the types of social welfare appeals made to the Social Welfare Appeals Office and their outcomes. Casebase is a useful resource for people who are considering appealing a decision on their entitlement to a social welfare payment; or for advocacy organisations who are assisting a person with an appeal.

The submission can be read in full here, and a supplemental note endorsing the submission of our colleagues in FLAC and supporting the concerns they raise in relation to the independence of the Appeals Office under the draft regulations can be read here.