Thursday, 2 May 2013

Ceisteanna (126)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

126. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Social Protection if she will provide in tabular form the current waiting times per social welfare payment for the processing of appeals by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21014/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

The current average processing times for appeals of social welfare payments are set out in the following table.

These processing times are calculated from the registration date of an appeal to the date of its finalisation. They include all activities during this period, including time spent in the Department for comment by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal put forward by the appellant, and any further investigation, examination or assessment by the Department’s Inspectors and Medical Assessors that is deemed necessary. A considerable period of time is added to the process when an oral hearing is required because of the logistics involved in this process. Generally the vast majority of cases fall within average processing times but extenuating factors, which are often outside of the control of the Social Welfare Appeals Office, can cause greater delays in some cases.

Processing times of all appeal types reduced by 10.3 weeks overall in 2012 with respect to 2011, with time for an oral hearing time down by 13 weeks and the time for summary decision up by 2.7 weeks.

Because of its quasi-judicial nature, the processing of appeals takes time and reflects the fact that, by definition, the appeal process cannot be a quick one.

Table: Appeals processing times by scheme January - March 2013 – Summary and Oral

Scheme

Average processing times (weeks)

Summary Decisions

Average processing

times (weeks)

Oral Hearings

Blind Pension

26.5

-

Carers Allowance

30.7

39.5

Carers Benefit

26.0

29.0

Child Benefit

31.0

47.4

Disability Allowance

37.3

42.7

Illness Benefit

42.1

48.1

Domiciliary Care

31.9

39.2

Deserted Wives Benefit

34.0

38.6

Farm Assist

23.2

31.5

Bereavement Grant

32.8

-

Family Income Supplement

29.4

44.0

Invalidity Pension

34.0

46.5

Liable Relatives

32.8

42.9

One Parent Family Payment

32.7

38.8

Maternity Benefit

30.8

51.4

Partial Capacity Benefit

20.7

-

State Pension (Contributory)

25.6

34.3

State Pension (Non-Cont)

31.9

45.9

State Pension (Transition)

21.7

39.6

Occupational Injury Benefit

39.9

59.4

Disablement Pension

35.5

39.7

Incapacity Supplement

-

42.1

Guardian's Payment (Con)

20.0

36.1

Guardian's Payment (Non-con)

45.5

46.6

Jobseeker's Allowance (Means)

22.0

33.8

Jobseeker's Allowance

21.5

28.5

Jobseeker's Benefit

23.7

31.8

UAUBFC

-

14.2

Respite Care Grant

26.8

32.4

Insurability of Employment

23.1

59.4

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

16.8

28.0

Treatment Benefits

32.0

-

Survivor's Pension (Con)

30.8

40.6

Survivor's Pension (Non-Con)

37.5

41.4

Widows Parent Grant

34.2

-

All Appeals

28.2

38.6