Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1111)

Alan Kelly

Question:

1111. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of half and-or reduced rate carer's allowance reviews carried out in each month from September 2018 to date; the results of the reviews; the number of allowances increased, unchanged and reduced respectively as a result of these reviews in each month in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45424/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's Allowance (CA) is a means-tested payment, made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that they require that level of care. An increased payment can be made where full-time care is being provided to two people.

Before a decision can be made on entitlement to CA, evidence must be provided in respect of the carer’s habitual residence in the State, the level of care they provide, their means and also that the person being cared for has such a disability that they require full-time care and attention.

Carer's allowance reviews take place in a number of circumstances as follows:-

- If the decision on a new claim is negative the customer has the option of a review.

- Once claims are in payment, my Department undertakes periodic reviews as part of its control strategy to ensure that there is continued entitlement.

- A customer can at any stage request a review of their entitlement.

As outlined above, a wide range of reviews are carried out arising from customer requests, together with reviews undertaken by the Department. I am advised that numbers are not readily available with respect to reviews of claims conducted at the request of customers however I can advise the Deputy that:

- 2,905 control reviews were completed in 2018 yielding control savings of some €12.5m.

- 2,914 control reviews were completed to the end of September 2019 yielding control savings of some €15.3m.

I am further advised that while the Department record the number of control reviews undertaking and the saving achieve it does not keep a record of the number who receive increased, decreased or remain unchanged.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.