Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Questions (109)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

109. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the extent to which her Department continues to monitor the time taken to process appeals for various means tested payments or claims based on a medical entitlement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24226/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Social)

The processing times for appeals, which I will make available to the house, are kept under review in the Social Welfare Appeals Office and I am kept apprised of the situation by the Chief Appeals Officer. I am satisfied that significant progress has been made in addressing the Appeals backlog. The average processing time for appeals peaked in 2011 when the average time for an oral hearing was 52.5 weeks and for a summary decision was 25.1 weeks. In 2012 the average processing time for an oral hearing dropped to 39.5 weeks and the time for a summary decision increased slightly to 27.8 weeks. Further improvements were achieved in 2013, when the average appeal processing time reduced to 33.9 weeks for an oral hearing and 25.8 weeks for a summary decision, and to date in 2014. As at 31 May 2014, the time taken to process an appeal requiring an oral hearing reduced to 29.9 weeks and 22.5 weeks for a summary decision. The following table provides a breakdown by scheme of appeal processing times for all scheme types for 2012, 2013 and to the end of May 2014.

Appeals processing times by scheme

Scheme

Total weeks 2012

Total weeks 2013

Total weeks (1st January to 31 May 2014)

Adoptive Benefit

51.2

34.2

25.2

Blind Pension

26.5

15.8

31.3

Carers Allowance

33.8

28.5

20.8

Carers Benefit

24.0

18.7

24.1

Child Benefit

52.4

33.1

24.2

Disability Allowance

33.3

31.0

25.9

Illness Benefit

39.2

40.7

47.7

Domiciliary Care Allowance

32.2

38.1

22.3

Deserted Wives Benefit

49.4

25.7

64.7

Deserted Wives Allowance

32.0

62.2

41.8

Farm Assist

31.1

9.6

29.4

Bereavement Grant

24.2

26.6

13.3

Family Income Supplement

23.5

20.7

27.4

Invalidity Pension

37.1

28.8

30.5

Liable Relatives

56.2

39.3

18.1

One Parent Family Payment

36.3

45.8

36.5

Maternity Benefit

32.8

33.4

24.7

State Pension (Con)

48.9

28.9

31.6

State Pension (Non-Con)

37.9

35.1

28.3

State Pension (Transition)

35.3

29.9

52.5

Occupational Injury Benefit

36.5

28.3

52.9

Occupational Injury Benefit (Medical)

103.5

35.0

44.1

Disablement Pension

39.4

155.9

29.8

Incapacity Supplement

45.2

41.0

28.6

Guardian's Payment (Con)

37.1

64.9

20.5

Guardian's Payment (Non-Con)

39.2

27.5

19.6

Pre-Retirement Allowance

54.6

37.3

28.2

Jobseeker's Allowance (Means)

42.0

-

22.6

Jobseeker's Allowance

36.3

26.5

5.3

JA/JB Fraud Control (2 cases)

126.1

22.8

24.6

Jobseeker's Benefit

36.4

27.0

19.8

Respite Care Grant

28.0

24.6

61.8

Insurability of Employment

68.0

56.5

4.6

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

18.1

20.7

20.0

Treatment Benefits

24.3

27.7

20.8

Survivor's Pension (Con)

32.9

22.7

36.0

Survivor's Pension (Non-con)

26.0

43.1

34.1

Widows Parent Grant

23.2

26.3

22.6

All Appeals

33.1

29.0

25.1