Carers in Cavan Monaghan affected by 20 week backlog for carers allowance

ARTS COMMITTEE SCREENSHOT6,375 carers patiently await payment
1968 carers in Cavan & Monaghan in receipt of Carers Allowance
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan Monaghan Niamh Smyth has been informed by the Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar that there is a 20 week waiting time for the new carer’s allowance.
Deputy Niamh Smyth said, “I find it quite worrying that such a backlog was allowed to happen. I have had a number of concerned applicants attend my clinics throughout Cavan and Monaghan and contact by Bailieborough office about a delay in the processing of their carer allowance application.
“I have queried this with the Minister, only to be informed that as of June there was a 20 week waiting time. As of the end of June a total of 6,375 applications nationwide were awaiting a decision on their application. According to the latest figures from the Department of Social Protection, up until the end of June 2016, 1,968 carers are in receipt of the carers allowance in Cavan and Monaghan and the numbers are increasing year on year. These people are doing great work, behind closed doors. It goes unnoticed daily and there shouldn’t be any delay in providing financial support to them.”
Deputy Smyth said, “Could you imagine, if we hadn’t these great people doing what they do in the homes of people throughout Cavan and Monaghan. Our already stretched help service would collapse. I can’t understand why situations like this are allowed to happen. The Department say they are working on an Improvement Review of the process to speed things up and that it’s expected that these measures will ‘over the next few months’ lead to a reduction in the average waiting time. I am appealing to Minister Varadkar to temporarily hire more staff to deal with the backlog.”

Parliamentary Questions raised by Deputy Niamh Smyth on this issue.

QUESTION 331: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in counties Cavan and Monaghan in receipt of, Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit and Respite Grant between 2011 and 2016, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Niamh Smyth.

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 21st July, 2016.View answer here:

QUESTION 130: To ask the Minister for Social Protection the waiting time for applications to be processed under the Carer’s Allowance Scheme, and the strategies he has implemented to alleviate the exorbitant waiting times; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Niamh Smyth

* For WRITTEN answer on Thursday, 14th July, 2016. View Answer here: