Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Ceisteanna (1279)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

1279. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the processing times for carer's allowance applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13486/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

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.

In general, social welfare schemes with a number of complex qualifying conditions can take longer to process. Before a decision can be made on entitlement to CA, 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.

The re-assignment of staff from other areas of the Longford Centralised Schemes Office to claims processing in October has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of claims awaiting decision and the processing time has already started to improve from an average of 17 weeks at the end of December 2018 to an average of 15 weeks currently.

I expect the average processing time to further reduce over the coming months.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.