My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed as quickly as possible.
Where any scheme area experiences delays, all possible steps are taken to improve processing times. This includes the assignment of additional resources, where available, and the review of business processes, to ensure the efficient processing of applications.
In general, social welfare schemes with a number of complex qualifying conditions can take longer to process.
To qualify for carer's allowance, the carer must show that they are habitually resident in the State, that they are providing full-time care and attention to a person who requires this level of care and that their means are less than the statutory limit.
In January 2019 the average waiting time for a decision on new CA application was 16 weeks. The re-assignment of staff to claims processing from within the CA area and from other areas of the Longford Centralised Schemes Office has improved average processing times and has led to a decrease of 33% in claims on hand since end-September.
I expect that processing times will continue to improve in the coming weeks as a result.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.