Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (143)

James Bannon

Question:

142 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for Social Protection the reason for the delay in processing maternity benefit in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Longford. [35557/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

All claims for Maternity Benefit received after the 6 month time period provided for under Section 241(2) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, are considered late claims. Provision is made under legislation to allow payment of a late claim where there is good cause.

A Maternity Benefit claim form (MB10) was received from the person concerned on 13th February 2012 in respect of her daughter, born on 5th July 2011. When a claim is received outside the permitted 6 month period the claimant must have "good cause" for the delay in making her claim.

Initially, the claimant did not provide the Department with any reason which is considered "good cause" and her claim was disallowed.

The claimant appealed this decision and has cited current financial hardship and illness as reasons why the Department should accept her late claim. Provisions are in place to accept a late claim for the reasons of financial hardship or incapacitation provided the Department is satisfied that such is the case. Unfortunately, she did not provide sufficient evidence which would support her claim.

A Department official was in direct contact with the claimant by telephone on 11th July and has explained to her what supporting documentation would be required by my Department so that her claim can be reviewed. Upon receipt of the documentation to support her claim for financial hardship and incapacitation the persons claim will be reviewed immediately.