My Department is committed to providing a quality service for all recipients. This includes ensuring that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible. Where a customer’s appeal is successful, every effort is made to implement the decision of the appeals officer without any delay.
There is no metric for the time taken to process claims following decisions from the social welfare appeals office. Different legislative conditions apply to different schemes and the claiming process is different across the schemes. As a result, deciding officers issue decisions at different stages of the claims process, depending on the scheme is being applied for or adjudicated on.
For some schemes, like carer’s allowance, a decision will be made on all the areas of entitlement at once and a decision letter will issue to the customer covering each area of entitlement.
For other schemes, like the State pension non-contributory, entitlement is assessed on a step-by-step basis. Deciding officers first examine the right to reside and habitual residence condition, HRC, and issue reports in that regard. If a deciding officer determines that this condition has not been satisfied, a decision letter will issue to the customer at that stage and the claim will not be processed any further unless additional information is supplied, thereby necessitating a review. Where the HRC is satisfied, the claim moves to the next stage, the means test, which may also be appealed.
For claims processed on a step-by-step basis, the length of time between a successful appeal and the customer receiving payment will depend on the stage of the claim process at which the claim was originally disallowed. A claim appealed on the grounds of the means test is further along in the process than a claim appealed as a result of the HRC, so those customers may receive their payment more quickly.
Customers can claim supplementary welfare allowance while their appeals are being considered.