Social Welfare Law Reform Making our welfare system fairer, more transparent and more consistent
In recent years, demand on Ireland’s social welfare system has significantly increased. In light of the complexity of this area of law, FLAC advocates for reform of the social welfare system. While the general public may be familiar with some aspects of the welfare system, such as how to make an initial application for a payment, many are unsure where to turn when they encounter a problem. FLAC seeks to raise awareness and inform people of their rights and entitlements, including in the appeals process.
FLAC promotes greater fairness, consistency and transparency in the administration of the welfare system, calling for practical reforms. To this end, we work with a range of partner organisations and groups to support vulnerable people. One example of this is our work on the Migrant Consultative Forum, the purpose of which is to provide a setting where migrant stakeholders and the Department of Social Protection can work together to resolve issues of mutual concern.
We work to explain complex areas of social welfare law through information guides and reports. Examples of this include guides on how to make an appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office, and the application of the Habitual Residence Condition. One issue of current focus is social welfare overpayments. Overpayments arise where someone has been overpaid by the Department of Social Protection. You can read more about social welfare overpayments in our guide.
Finally, we conduct strategic cases to press for change that promotes human rights principles in the social welfare system. For example, we have taken a number of cases to uphold social security rights of asylum seekers living in Direct Provision.
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