Title of Payment: One Parent Family & Family Income Supplement
The Appellant is a lone parent with four children. In September 1994, following the birth of her first child, she applied for and was awarded the One Parent Family Payment (OPFP). In 1996 the Appellant gave birth to twins and she was awarded the relevant “qualified child” increases on her claim. In December 2010, she applied for an increase in respect of her fourth child. This increase was not awarded, and there is no record to show that the Department of Social Protection [“the Department”] processed her claim. A review of the Appellant’s claim commenced in October 2011.
Following interviews and correspondence with the Department of Social Protection over a number of months, a decision was issued by a Deciding Officer on 12th February 2013. The Deciding Officer asserted that the Appellant was cohabiting with her ex partner and was therefore not entitled to the OPFP. The Appellant initially sought a review of this decision, and then submitted an appeal on the basis that she was not cohabiting. She did not attend the appeal hearing and the appeal was disallowed by way of a summary decision.
The Appellant was awarded Family Income Supplement (FIS) on 10th May 2012. The Appellant received a letter from the Department, dated 3rd October 2013, advising that her FIS claim was being reviewed because she was believed to be cohabiting with her ex partner. On the 6th February 2014, the Appellant received a decision from the Department advising that because she was found to be cohabiting, her FIS payment was being stopped with immediate effect, and that she had incurred an overpayment of €25,000. CLM Limerick lodged an appeal of this decision on behalf of the Appellant.
CLM Limerick sought a review of the Appeals Officer’s decision with regard to the Appellant’s OPFP Appeal. The Appeals Officer’s decision was upheld. A further review was sought under s. 318 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 [as amended], and the Chief Appeals Officer revised the decision of the Appeals Officer, finding in favour of the Appellant. Please refer to Case No: G0058.
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