Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (445)

Brendan Smith

Question:

445. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the measures she will introduce to reduce the delays in having applications for carer’s allowance processed and finalised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [28868/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Where any scheme area experiences delays, all possible steps are taken to improve processing times. This includes the assignment of additional resources, where available, and the review of business processes, to ensure the efficient processing of applications.

Additional resources will be applied to claim processing to reduce delays. A review of business processes is also underway and it is intended that this will identify opportunities to implement a number of improvements and efficiencies. The position is being closely monitored and kept under review by the Department to ensure that all CA applications are dealt with promptly.

My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed as quickly as possible.

In general, social welfare schemes with a number of complex qualifying conditions can take longer to process. In some cases the documentary evidence provided at initial application stage is incomplete or insufficient and this can lead to delays in processing.

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

To qualify for CA, the carer must show that they are habitually resident in the State, that they are providing full-time care and attention to a person who requires this level of care and that their means are less than the statutory limit.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.