Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1905)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1905. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the action she plans to take to address the need to expedite the processing of carer's allowance and benefit applications (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36911/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

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.

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to persons who are providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that 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.

At the end of July 2019 the average waiting time for a decision on a new CA claim and CARB claim was 14 weeks. 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. Work is currently underway to re-assign a number of staff on a temporary basis to assist with claim processing. The position will be kept under active review to ensure waiting times are reduced.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.