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Case Studies » Sickness » Disability Allowance - Case from 2018 Annual Report (ref: 2018/18)

Background: The appellant, aged 30, had a diagnosis of fibromyalgia and multiple trigger points and chronic pain, applied for Disability Allowance in August 2017. She worked up to February 2018 when she resigned as she felt unable to keep working. The claim was disallowed by the Department on two grounds: (1) that her means from employment of €459.28 per week were in excess of the statutory limit of €193 per week applicable in her circumstances and (2) she did not meet the medical qualifying criteria. The Appeals Officer examined each of the questions separately.

Consideration: In relation to means the Appeals Officer concluded that the decision of the Department was correct up to 9th February 2018 which was the appellant’s last payment date having resigned from her employment on 2nd February 2018. The Appeals Officer noted that thereafter the appellant may be deemed to have no means from insurable employment.

In relation to the medical criteria the Appeals Officer noted that the appellant’s GP specified that the appellant’s medical condition severely affected her ability in relation to one area, moderately affected her ability in three areas and mildly affected her ability in one area, all other areas marked as being normal. The appellant was attending a consultant and was being treated with appropriate medications. The Appeals Officer concluded that the medical evidence indicated that the appellant functioned normally in the majority of areas with her condition affecting her at most in five areas. The Appeals Officer noted that whilst the appellant had a chronic condition the GP expected that the condition would improve within 12/24 months. The GP indicated that the appellant was suitable for part-time work of 20 hours per week work/ training of a rehabilitative nature. While noting that the appellant experienced some challenges the Appeals Officer concluded that the medical evidence indicated that her conditions were amenable to being managed with appropriate medication. The Appeals Officer concluded that the appellant could not be deemed to be substantially restricted in undertaking suitable employment having regard to the appellant’s age, experience and qualifications.

Outcome: Appeal disallowed.