The backlog of claims and processing times for carer’s allowance were unacceptable in 2012 but significant improvements have been made in the past year by my Department and the backlog of carer’s allowance applications has been eliminated. New applications are now being actioned on receipt and applications received in the last 6 months are now decided within 8 weeks.
The total number carer’s allowance applications which were awaiting decision at mid-June 2012 were approximately 11,600. At present, the number is approximately 2,900 cases. Most of these applications are already processed and are awaiting further information from customers or are part of the appeals process.
It should be noted that the processing time for individual applications can vary depending on the complexity of the applicant's circumstances and the completeness of the information they provide in support.