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Departmental Staff Redeployment

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 14 April 2016

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Ceisteanna (67)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

67. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection her policies regarding the provision of cover staff, or funding for cover staff, in her Department's disability allowance section so that cover is provided for persons on sick leave and inordinate delays in processing of claims are prevented. [7228/16]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Social)

My Department has limited sanction to recruit temporary clerical officers to cover critical long term staff absences. The staffing needs for all areas within the Department, including the Disability Allowance (DA) scheme area, are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the competing demands arising, to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources with a view to providing an efficient service to those who rely on the schemes operated by the Department.

The DA scheme area is continuously monitored and reviewed to ensure customers are responded to quickly as possible and that claims are processed as expeditiously as possible. The DA scheme area has been successful in improving response times for new applications over the past year. In February 2016, there were 4,422 DA new claims awaiting a decision. This is a reduction from 4,944 in February 2015. The average time to award a DA new claim is currently 11 weeks, which again is a reduction from 12 weeks in 2015. These outcomes were achieved in the face of an increase in volume of new applications being received in the period in question.

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