Payment issues had arisen in relation to the Illness Benefit scheme last year when my Department transferred administration of the scheme from an old legacy IT payment system to its core business IT platform which is already managing many of the Department’s other scheme payments.
Since then, my Department has been working hard to resolve these issues and to ensure that claims are processed and paid promptly. Good progress has been made in this regard, with payment levels maintained at the expected norm for the past number of months.
Currently, people who are due a payment, and whose certificates and claims are in order, receive their payment promptly. In stating this, it is important to note that there are always instances where people's payments are legitimately stopped, paused, or delayed for a variety of reasons including the late submission of medical certificates.
In addition, the telephone call handling performance has been addressed and is now back to normal levels.
I trust this clarifies matters for the Deputy.