Thursday, 15 July 2021
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Social Welfare Schemes
269. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons awaiting determination of their application for a domiciliary care allowance; the current wait time; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38898/21]
Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) section has a target of processing 90% of all new applications within a ten week timeframe. This target has been consistently achieved and exceeded every month since April 2020. As at the 30th June 2021, there were 1,852 claims awaiting decision and the average processing time was 8.5 weeks.
Processing times can be affected by the volume of applications received in a given timeframe and the availability of staff resources at that time. Claim processing activity is prioritised and the management of the DCA section in the Department monitor this activity on an ongoing basis and respond to any changes which impact on processing times.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.
270. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons awaiting determination of their application for the children’s allowance; the current wait time; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38899/21]
Child benefit is the principal way the State assists families with the costs of raising children. It is paid in respect of all qualified children up to the age of 16 years, or to the age of 18 in respect of children who are in full-time education or who have a disability.
The Department invites child benefit applications by contacting the parents of new born children, following receipt of a notification of a birth registration from the General Registrars Office (GRO) or auto processes the payment for the new baby where child benefit is already in payment to the family. The Department also processes claims where the children have been born outside the state or where a family move to Ireland.
There are currently 1,670 undecided Child Benefit claims on hand, 1,294 of those claims have been received in the last two weeks. The average processing time for a Child Benefit claim is 2 to 3 weeks.
The restoration of birth registration services following the recent cyber attack on the HSE has resulted in the Department dealing with a higher number of claims than normal in recent weeks. The processing of the delayed birth registrations will be prioritised by the Department as soon as they are received. Any arrears of payments due on claims will be included with the first payment of Child Benefit.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.