The case concerns the Appellant’s claim for Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory), formerly Orphan’s (Non-Contributory) Allowance, in respect of her grandchild.
According to the Appellant’s instructions, she first applied for Guardian’s Payment in or around October 2012. In September 2013 she reapplied, and this claim was refused on 8 January 2014. The Appellant applied for the third time in May 2014. This application was rejected on 1st July 2014. The Appellant sought a review of the refusal. The Appellant attended CLM in or around August 2014 and was provided with advice and representation with respect to the review of the Deciding Officer’s decision.
On 20 March 2015 the Deciding Officer issued a decision with respect to the review. The Deciding Officer confirmed her earlier decision, asserting that the Appellant was not eligible for a Guardian’s Payment as her grandson did not satisfy the definition of an orphan. The Deciding Officer found that the evidence did not demonstrate abandonment of the child by his father as required under the legislation, noting that, while incarceration limited the father’s ability to provide day-to-day care for his son it did not constitute abandonment.
On 30 March 2015 CLM on behalf of the Appellant submitted a Notice of Appeal in respect of the Deciding Officer’s decision.
On 21 April 2015, the Deciding Officer revised her decision (the Appeal’s Office having forwarded the Appellant’s grounds of Appeal to the Deciding Officer), and determined that the Appellant was entitled to Guardian’s Payment with effect from 19 December 2014 on the basis that the Appellant’s son was not residing at the Appellant’s address from this date. According to the record, this decision is consistent with a December report by a Social Welfare Inspector (SWI); the SWI being satisfied that the Appellant was looking after her grandson and would continue to do so indefinitely.
The Appellant was awarded €2,910 in arrears (from 19 December 2014 until 30 April 2015). The Deciding Officer further advised that an investigation into whether the Appellant was eligible for arrears of the payment from an earlier date would be undertaken, and that the Social Welfare Appeals Office would be notified of this decision in due course.
On 18 August 2015 CLM wrote to the Deciding Officer seeking an update as regards the Appellant’s entitlement to payment from an earlier date. On 16 October 2015 the Deciding Officer wrote to the Appellant confirming her entitlement to payment from September 2014. This decision resulted in a further € 1,972.25 arrears being issued.
As the Appellant was in receipt of the One Parent Family Payment, Guardian’s Payment was awarded at half rate. Guardian’s payment and the One Parent Family Payment may be paid concurrently.