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Case Studies » Sickness » 2014/12 - Specified Disability: Low Back & Knee Pain, Depression, Gastritis


Specified Disability: Low Back & Knee Pain, Depression, Gastritis

Background: The appellant, who is 36 years of age, came to Ireland in 2007.  She made a claim for Disability Allowance in 2014 and, following the decision to disallow that claim, she made an appeal.

Oral hearing: The appellant was unaccompanied at the hearing.  The Appeals Officer read the decision and outlined the question at issue.  In response, the appellant advised as to the background to her claim and to the medical issues referred to in the report completed by her G.P.

The appellant reported that she had worked as a cleaner in hotels for a number of years until she was involved in a road traffic accident.  She stated that she experienced pain in her back, right hip and right leg.  She outlined the medication she had been prescribed, and as confirmed by her G.P. in a report on file, including a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug (NSAID) and other pain relief.   She said that she finds walking difficult and that she has difficulty lifting things.  She said also that she does not sleep very well at times due to pain.  She advised that she can drive but can find it difficult sometimes. She said that she can do housework but that her sister has to help her at times.

In conclusion, the appellant said that she would like to work again but did not think she would be able.  She submitted a letter from her G.P. outlining her medical condition.

Comment/Conclusion: The Appeals Officer observed that the up-to-date medical evidence provided by the appellant did not refer to her capability or otherwise for work.  He noted that she experienced some pain and difficulty at times when walking and when lifting things.  He noted also that she was able to drive and to do housework, although these were tasks which also presented difficulty at times.  He took account of the medical evidence which indicated a level of restriction in undertaking work.  He considered that when all the evidence was taken together, it suggested some restriction in undertaking suitable employment.  However, he concluded that it did not constitute a substantial restriction within the meaning of the governing legislation.

Decision of the Appeals Officer: The appeal is disallowed.

Decision reason(s): Disability Allowance may be paid where a person is substantially restricted in undertaking work which would otherwise be suitable with reference to their age, experience and qualifications and the specified disability must have continued for or be expected to continue for at least one year.  Having examined all the evidence in this case, and taking account of the medical evidence available, I have concluded that while there may be some restriction to the appellant in undertaking suitable employment it does not constitute substantial restriction under the meaning of the legislation. In the circumstances, I regret that the appeal cannot succeed.