Title of Payment: Family Income Supplement (FIS)
This case relates to an application by the Appellant for Family Income Supplement. The appellant had been employed and was awarded FIS in August 2012. This payment was renewed for 52 week periods in accordance with governing legislation and on 6 August 2015 a renewal for a further 52 weeks was approved. On 16 October 2015 the appellant lost his job. He applied for Jobseekers Benefit which he received. He then secured a new job on 9 November 2015 and made a new application for FIS in respect of his new employment.
The Appellant’s application was refused. The Deciding Officer (DO) considered that the appellants’ previous FIS claim was still in existence: “FIS is a 52 week payment so once it is approved the rate remains the same for the 52 weeks…Your current FIS claim is due to expire on 24/08/2016.”
The Appellant sought help from MABS who requested that the Deciding Officer review and revise her decision on the grounds that the DO had effectively linked two separate FIS claims. The DO wrote to MABs on 6 January 2016 reaffirming her decision. On 12 January 2016, the Appellant appealed the DO’s decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) on the grounds that as his entitlement to FIS ceased when his employment ended, his new application should have been assessed as an entirely new claim.
By way of summary decision dated 22 March 2016 the Appeals Officer denied the appeal on the basis that the appellant’s claim for renewal of his FIS payment in August 2015, in respect of his former job, was connected to his application for FIS in relation to his employment in November therefore once awarded, the FIS rate payable remains the same for the 52 week period so the appellant would have to wait until August 2016 to secure an increase on his payment.
On 1 September 2016 Cork MABS requested a review of the Appeals Officer’s decision in accordance with section 318 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 as amended on the basis that the Appeals Officer erred in law and in fact in failing to consider the appellant’s new application for FIS in November 2015.
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