Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (545)

Pat Breen


545. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection her plans to increase staffing in the carer's allowance section in view of the time it is taking to have applications processed as in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21081/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I confirm that my department received an application for carer’s allowance from the person concerned on 26 January 2018.

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 allowance, evidence must be provided in respect of the care recipient’s care requirement, the level of care the carer provides and the carer’s means. 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 carer’s allowance applications.

Additional information was requested from the person concerned on 11 May 2018. Once the information is received the application will be processed without delay and she will be notified directly of the outcome.

Staff have been re-assigned within the carer’s allowance area to work on claims processing and it is expected that this will improve the processing times for this scheme over the coming weeks. As a result at the end of April the average waiting time improved to 18 weeks.

A redesigned application form will be published shortly; this new form will allow carers to provide more information on the type and level of care they provide, with an aim to providing Deciding Officers with the information they need to expedite decisions on entitlement.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.