Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Ceisteanna (140)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

143 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will ensure that the back to school allowance will be granted promptly to applicants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32732/12]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Social Protection)

The back to school clothing and footwear allowance (BSCFA) entitlements of some 115,350 families in respect of 205,125 children have now been automatically established with reference to their primary scheme entitlement and with no application form required. Letters have issued to the people identified in this way, informing them of their entitlement and notifying them that payment will issue in week commencing 16 July.

Customers who do not receive an automated payment are required to complete an application form which will be processed from a centralised unit in the Department. A text message acknowledging receipt of application forms will issue to everyone who submits a claim form and provided their mobile phone number.

Some 16,000 claims have been received for manual processing in the central unit by the end of June. At present claims which were received on 22 June are being processed. While it is expected that the period between receiving the claim and providing a decision will increase as the intake of claims is expected to increase during July, I can assure the Deputy that every effort will be made to process applications promptly.