My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers, ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible. A wide range of reviews on applications already in payment are carried out arising from customer requests, together with reviews undertaken by the Department.
Time to process reviews vary across schemes, depending on the different qualification criteria. Schemes that require a high level of documentary evidence from the customer, particularly in the case of illness-related/caring-related schemes, can take longer to process. Similarly, means-tested payments can also require more detailed investigation and interaction with the applicant, thereby lengthening the decision- making process. To help my Department to make timely and fair decisions on applications, customers should ensure that they complete forms fully, attaching all the supporting documentation required.
I wish to reassure the Deputy that processing of reviews is actively monitored, with all possible steps taken to improve turnaround times. This includes, where possible, the assignment of additional resources, coupled with the implementation of new business processes when required.
I can assure the Deputy of my Department's commitment to providing a quality service to all its customers.