Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Questions (308)

Bernard Durkan


308. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will indicate the total number of applications for disability allowance currently on hand, the likely timescale within which it is expected that a decision will be made; the degree if any to which she can speed up the processing of such cases; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11633/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

There are approximately 6,800 applications for disability allowance awaiting decision of which some 5,000 are new applications. The average number of weeks to award a disability allowance application is currently approximately 17 weeks. A recent analysis of the applications pending decision indicated that approximately 60% of them had been waiting for a decision for 12 weeks or fewer. Great improvements in the processing of these claims has already taken place over the past few months.

With regard to the processing of disability allowance claims generally, following completion of a major service delivery modernisation project for the scheme, a plan is being put in place to ensure adequate capacity to deal with day-to-day intake of new claims along with a programme to eliminate the backlog. Temporary staff has been assigned to the disability allowance area to assist in reducing the backlog. The target is to have the backlog of disability allowance applications actioned by the end of quarter 2 2013.