Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Carer's Allowance Data
1134. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the waiting times for the processing of the applications for carer's allowance and carer's benefit; the number of applications waiting by county, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2878/20]
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, ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible.
Processing times 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 schemes, can take longer to process. Similarly, means-tested payments also require more detailed investigation and interaction with the applicant, thereby lengthening the decision-making process. Delays can also arise if information is required from social security organisations in other jurisdictions and where additional information has been requested from the applicant but remains outstanding.
Claim processing is kept under active review. The target for the CA scheme is to process 70% of claims in 12 weeks. The average processing time for CA at the end of February was 10 weeks and 73% of claims were processed within 12 weeks. The average time taken to award a CARB claim in the same period was 9 weeks.
I have attached a breakdown of the number of applications in process by county in tabular form.
Table: Carers Allowance / Benefit claims awaiting decision 31 October 2019 vs 29 February 2020
|-||Carers Allowance||Carer's Benefit|
|-||31 October 2019||29 February 2020||31 October 2019||29 February 2020|
|Outside the state||4||1||Outside the state||6||7|
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.