7 September 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

There was strong criticism at Monday’s meeting of Monaghan Co Council of the delays being experienced by social welfare applicants in having their claims processed.
A proposal was adopted, put forward by Matt Carthy with seconding from his Sinn Féin party colleague Brian McKenna, calling on Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to put in place the necessary resources in order to reduce the “scandalous” waiting time applicants for social welfare payments were forced to endure before a decision was reached.
The proposal also called for a review of the waiting time and of the refusal rates for such applications, which the councillors felt were “significantly higher than should reasonably be expected.”
A letter from the Dept of Social Protection to the Council circulated at Monday’s meeting acknowledged previous representations from the authority on this topic, and continued:
“I would like to communicate with the Council members that the Department is committed to delivering the best possible service to its customers. Currently the average time taken to award a carer’s allowance application is 28 weeks and the average time taken to award a disability allowance application is estimated at 16.5 weeks.
“I acknowledge, in particular, that the time taken to process carer’s allowance applications at present is not satisfactory but I can assure you that the Department is taking appropriate action to resolve the situation.
“Major service delivery modernisation projects are underway to improve the efficiency of administration of …

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