Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (331)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

331. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the waiting time to process a carer's benefit application; and if she is satisfied with the level of staffing in the carer's benefit department. [5119/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible.

Before a decision can be made on entitlement to carer’s benefit (CARB), evidence must be provided in respect of the care recipient’s care requirement, the level of care the carer provides, the carer’s hours of employment and their PRSI record. In general, social welfare schemes with a number of complex qualifying conditions can take longer to process. This is compounded if the documentary evidence provided at initial application stage is incomplete or insufficient; this is often the case with CARB applications.

The average processing times for CARB applications has improved in the latter half of 2017. At the end of December 2017, the average waiting time for new CARB applications was 10 weeks with 615 CARB applications awaiting decision. The staffing needs of the area are regularly reviewed, having regard to workloads and the competing demands arising, to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.