Extra resources need to clear Disability and Carers application backlogs– Smyth

GardaiCarers waiting 16 weeks for applications to be finalised while Disability Allowance applicants waiting 14 weeks

Fianna Fail TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has called on the Minister for Social Protection to put extra resources in place to deal with social welfare applications. This follows on from confirmation that it is taking 14 weeks to process Invalidity Pension claims and Disability Allowance Applications and a further 16 weeks for Carers Allowance Applications.  The information was received by the Deputy following the submission of a Parliamentary Question to the Minister Regina Doherty TD.

Commenting Deputy Smyth says, “I queried this matter following numerous calls to my Constituency Offices for help and guidance on Disability Allowance Application and Carers Allowance who were submitted for assessment some months ago. Some of these people are without any money until such a time that their Disability Allowance is granted.”

“I’ve been advised by the Minister that 5,374,Disability applications were waiting to be assessed in January 2019. Some people are out sick from work for various reasons. They are on Illness Benefit which you can only remain on for a maximum of 2 years based on your stamps. Some cases that I have seen are being advised with weeks left on this Ilness Benefit Payment to apply for Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension – depending on their circumstances. Applications for Invalidity Pension are also taking 14 weeks to process.  I want to urge people to allow 14 weeks for this process.

“Similarly, I have been advised that it is taking 16 weeks to process Carers Allowance applications. In January 3,911 applications were pending, 2887 has been cleared and 1,325 claims were registered.  There is a supplementary payment available to some in the interim but this is determined on a case by case basis. Others are left with no income over these 14 weeks while waiting on their application to be processed.”

“I would appeal to members of the public to apply early and contact my offices if they have any questions regarding same.I’m also appealing to the Minister Regina Doherty to put extra resources in place to deal with the backlogs,” concluded Deputy Smyth.

 Please find attached three Parliamentary Questions on this matter for your review.

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 06/03/2019
Question Number(s): 288 Question Reference(s): 10995/19
Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Asked by: Niamh Smyth T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the length of time it is taking to process disability allowance applications; and the number of applications waiting to be processed.

REPLY

My Department is committed to making decisions on entitlement 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 disability allowance (DA), evidence must be provided in respect of the person’s medical condition, the extent to which it restricts them from taking up employment, their means and their habitual residency.

In January 2019, the average waiting time for new DA applications was 14 weeks and the number of applications waiting to be processed was 5,374. Work is on-going to improve these times and reduce the claims on hand.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 06/03/2019
Question Number(s): 295 Question Reference(s): 11086/19
Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Asked by: Niamh Smyth T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of invalidity pension applications to date; the processing times of applications; the volume of applications being dealt with to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

In January 2019, a total of 1,191 applications for IP were received and 1,249 applications were processed.  The average time taken to process a new IP claim in January was seven weeks.  The Department is committed to ensuring that claims are processed as expeditiously as possible.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

______________________________________________
For Written Answer on : 06/03/2019
Question Number(s): 297 Question Reference(s): 11106/19
Department: Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Asked by: Niamh Smyth T.D.
______________________________________________

QUESTION
To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of carer’s allowance applications to date; the processing times for such applications; the volume of applications being dealt with to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY

The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in respect of carer’s allowance is detailed in the attached tabular statement.

 Tabular statement attached/…….

The number of carer’s allowance claims registered, cleared, pending and the average time to award at the end of January 2019.

 Claims registered Claims cleared  Claims pending  Average time to award

(weeks)

 1,325  2,887 3,911  16

 

 

 

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