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Case Studies » Sickness » 2014/22 - Inguinal Hernia, Palpitations and Shoulder Pain


Specified Disability: Inguinal Hernia, Palpitations and Shoulder Pain

Background: The appellant, aged 56 years, is married and has children.  He came to live in Ireland in 2001 and had been working in a meat factory until 2012, when he got an Inguinal Hernia.  In completing the ability/disability profile, his GP assessed the appellant as being affected to a moderate degree in the areas relevant to his medical condition.  His claim for Disability Allowance was rejected and, at the time he made his appeal, he was in receipt of Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Oral hearing: The appellant was accompanied by his daughter.  He reported that in 2003, he had experienced chest pain while working.  He was taken to hospital and had cardiac bypass surgery.  He said he was back at work within two to three months as his work permit was due to expire and he would have lost his job had he not returned at that point.


The appellant stated that he had worked until 2012 when he got an Inguinal Hernia.  He said that this had occurred following an angiogram where the needle had been misplaced.  He has been attending a Surgical Consultant and is due to see him again to discuss possible treatment.  Currently, a conservative approach is being adopted having regard to his heart problems and the fact that the pain is likely to return even if he has surgery.

The appellant said he gets pain if he lifts anything and that his chest is very sore in the morning.  He reported chest pain following activity, and said the muscle in his heart gets tired.  He said that he walks every day and then gets bed rest.  He referred also to a frozen shoulder which he had sustained about a year ago and to the physiotherapy he had attended.  In addition, he mentioned an allergic reaction, which was causing an itch and said that he had been advised that this requires investigation.

In conclusion, the appellant said that he can drive short distances and that he watches television.  He advised that his job was still there if he was capable of returning.

Comment/Conclusion: The Appeals Officer considered that this was a marginal case.  He noted that his G.P. had assessed the appellant as affected to a moderate degree across a range of abilities relevant to his diagnosis and that his job was still open to him.  He observed that there was no real evidence of major heart problems which might prevent him doing any kind of suitable work.  However, he noted that the kind of work the appellant had done had always been of a physical nature and that his record of work since coming to Ireland was good, as well as the fact that he had returned to work within two to three months of bypass surgery.   Having regard to the date of his claim, the Appeals Officer considered that the appellant would not be in a position to return to work within a one year period and he took the view that his current Hernia difficulties would substantially restrict him in undertaking any kind of suitable employment.  Accordingly, he allowed the appeal.

Decision of the Appeals Officer: The appeal is allowed.