Social Welfare Appeals Office - Frequently Asked Questions


What can I do if I am not happy with a decision made by the Deciding Officer?

If you are dissatisfied with a decision made about your social welfare claim, you have a right to appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

What is the Social Welfare Appeals Office?

The Social Welfare Appeals Office operates independently of the Department of Social Protection. It decides on appeals cases where a person is not satisfied with a decision of the Department.  It is headed by a Chief Appeals Officer and has its own Appeals Officers who decide on appeals.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office headquarters are in D’Olier House in Dublin, although Appeals Officers work at many locations around the country.p>

Should an oral hearing be required, the hearing will be held at a central location as near as possible to where you reside.p>

How do I make an appeal?

If you are dissatisfied with a decision of the Deciding Officer, you should make an appeal as quickly as possible, but in any event, within 21 days of receiving the decision. The Chief Appeals Officer has discretion to extend this period in certain circumstances.p> You can make an appeal by completing a form (called Form SWAO 1), which you can get from your local Social Welfare Office, or by downloading the SWAO 1 form from the ‘Your Appeal’ area on the Social Welfare Appeals Office website> Alternatively, you may set out the grounds of your appeal in a letter or by email to> The most important thing is that you set out your case fully.p> You may send your appeal directly to the Chief Appeals Officer or your local Social Welfare Office will be happy to pass the form or letter on to the appeals office for you. If your are sending it directly, you should address it to:

Chief Appeals Officer
Social Welfare Appeals Office
D'Olier House
D'Olier Street
Dublin 2