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.
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.
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.
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.
At the end of June 2019 the average waiting time for a decision on a new CA claim was 13 weeks. This is well improvements from a high of 18 weeks in the last year, the Department will continue to work to reduce this figure.
There is currently some 4,000 applications on hand awaiting processing.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.