Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill has said that it’s just not on that applicants for Carers Allowance are being forced to wait for, on average, 17 weeks for a decision on their application. Carers make many sacrifices to take care of their relatives and loved ones in their homes, and they deserve to be treated better.
“This is causing severe financial worry and stress for people. While they may end up getting their application approved, and a back payment will be made, they are incurring costs all of the time and many carers have told me that sometimes they don’t have the money in their bank account to pay for day to day essentials for themselves and their family.
“I’ve been contacted by a number of people who applied for this allowance just before or just after Christmas, and they are still waiting for a decision from the Department of Social Protection. It’s really not fair, and I don’t believe there is any justification for such delays.
“The simple solution is to move staff members from other, less busy, sections of the Department to the areas that need additional administrative capacity.
“We need less staff members working in the Job Seekers section than we did a number of years ago. Surely, some staff members can be transferred to alleviate the long waiting periods for those applying for Carer’s Allowance.
“When people engage with the State, and their applications are in order, with all associated documents provided on time, it shouldn’t take four months to make a decision on an application.
“It’s time the State’s bureaucratic systems were improved to respond in a timely and fair manner to the needs and requests of our citizens,” concluded Cahill.