Friday, 7 September 2018
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Illness Benefit Data
1252. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the date on which it was decided to change the application forms for illness benefit; the consultations that took place; the persons or bodies with which consultation took place; the dates on which consultations took place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36257/18]
My Department recently introduced a new claim form (called “IB1”) and a new medical certificate (called “MED1”) to replace the previous MC1 and MC2 forms for certification of the Department’s Illness and Injury Benefit schemes. This change is part of a programme of modernisation in the Department’s Illness Benefit section which took effect from Monday 6 August. The Department’s intention in implementing this modernisation programme - including the changes to forms - is to improve the certification processes and to make claim and payment procedures more efficient for everyone involved – GPs, patients and the Department. The introduction of the new forms was discussed with the Irish Medical Organisation in advance.
The majority of certificates and claim forms being received each day by the Department are the new scannable versions and these claims are being processed without any delays.
Some GPs have continued to use the old forms after this changeover date. In order to facilitate the continued payment of Illness and Injury Benefit to our customers, my Department has, to date, continued to accept old MC1 and MC2 forms where provided by GPs. While the continued use of old forms is causing delays to our processing times, my Department is doing everything possible to ensure that customers are paid as quickly as possible.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.