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Customer Charter

The Social Welfare Appeals Office is committed to providing an independent, accessible and fair welfare appeals service to all our customers in a prompt and courteous manner

Who are we?

The Social Welfare Appeals Office operates under the aegis of the Department of Social Protection. It provides a statutory right of appeal for persons who are dissatisfied with decisions made by Deciding Officers of the Department in regard to their social welfare entitlements and insurability of employment issues. Appeals Officers are independent in the performance of their duties.

What are our commitments to our customers?

Our aim is to provide an excellent service that reflects your needs and expectations. To achieve this, we make the following commitments.

Access to our services

  • We will treat all our customers in an equal fair and courteous manner.
  • We will ensure that our head office and hearing centres are accessible for all, including people with disabilities, where at all possible.
  • We will receive all visitors to our head office and hearing centres in a courteous manner and direct them to their destination as quickly as possible.
  • We will not allow your age, race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religous beliefs or any disability you may have affect us in how we treat you.
  • We will respect your privacy needs when you call to our office.
  • We will ensure that customers who wish to conduct their business in a language other than English can do so.
  • In exceptional circumstances, we will arrange an oral hearing at your home.

Your Appeal

  • Your appeal will be dealt with by an Appeals Officer who is statutorily appointed to determine appeals independently of the Department of Social Protection.
  • We will acknowledge your appeal upon receipt.
  • Where an Appeals Officer decides to hold an oral hearing of your case, we will endeavour to give you at least 10 days advance notice of the hearing.
  • We will do our best to notify you of the decision in your appeal within 3 to 4 weeks of your hearing, provided the Appeals Officer has all the information required to make a decision.
  • We will inform you of the reasons for the decision on your appeal, if unsuccessful.

Providing you with information

  • We will provide you with detailed, clear and correct information on the service we provide.
  • We will ensure that our forms and information leaflets are easy to understand and up-to-date.
  • We operate a phone bank system in the Office and we will endeavour to answer your call as quickly as possible.
  • We will phone you back if you ask us to.
  • We will identify ourselves to callers.
  • When you write, fax or contact us by e-mail, we will acknowledge your correspondence.
  • We will include the contact name and telephone number of the person dealing with your query in all written and e-mail correspondence.

Comments and Complaints

  • We will promote and develop our existing Comments and Complaints System.
  • We will respond to complaints within 15 working days.
  • We will invest in ongoing customer service training for our staff.
  • We will guarantee that your complaint will not affect how we we treat you in the future.

What can you do to help us?

  • When making an appeal, please ensure that you supply us with the following information:
    • Your name
    • Your full address
    • Your Personal Public Service Number (PPSN)
    • The decision you are appealing against
    • The grounds for your appeal
  • Attach all documents relevant to you appeal with your appeal form.
  • Have your appeal reference number and Personal Public Service Number (PPSN) ready when calling to or contacting us.
  • Let us know if you wish to withdraw your appeal.
  • Notify us in the event that you will be late for or unable to attend the oral hearing arranged for you.
  • Let us know your new address where you have changed address.
  • Let us know if you are unhappy with the service we provided to you or if you have any suggestions as to how we might improve our service.
  • Let us know if you wish to be accompanied at the oral hearing by a person who may be of assistance to you if you have a problem communicating with the Appeals Office due to language difficulties.

Where can I get more Information?

For further information, contact:
Social Welfare Appeals Office
D'Olier House
D'Olier Street
Dublin 2
D02 XY31

Telephone: Locall 1890 74 74 34
FAX Number: (01) 6718391
E-mail: swappeals@welfare.ie