Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (298)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

301 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for an application for family income supplement; the number of applicants currently waiting for same to be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34792/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

The Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible.

The average waiting time for new family income supplement (FIS) claims at the end of June was 19 weeks. At the end of June, there were approximately 6,686 new FIS applications and approximately 7,811 renewal applications awaiting decision. The volume of FIS claims on hands and the delays in processing are a consequence of continued strong claim intake.

The Department has introduced a number of measures to address the efficiency of claim processing for FIS in light of the current waiting times, including the assignment of temporary staff and the facility to assign overtime working where appropriate. It is intended to commence in the near future a comprehensive business process improvement initiative in the FIS area, the focus of which will be to optimise performance and provide improved customer service.

These measures will, over time, lead to a reduction of the number of claims on hand. The position is being closely monitored and kept under review by the Department.

Question No. 302 answered with Question No. 297.