O’Mahony calls on Minister to address social welfare appeal times

WITH close on 4,000 people awaiting finalisation of their appeals for Jobseekers’ Allowance, Mayo Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony is calling on the Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton, to redeploy staff to allow for quicker processing of the appeals.

Deputy O’Mahony was told by Minister Burton in the Dáil that she has been assured by the Chief Appeals Officer that the methods used by the Social Welfare Appeals Office are constantly reviewed.

“I’m aware that every effort is being made to reduce the waiting time for appeals but I am also aware that, in some instances, people are being made to wait for months before a decision is made on their appeal. Redeployment of staff has worked well in other departments to ease a crisis and I don’t see any reason that the same could not work for Social Welfare appeals.

“People waiting for their appeals to be finalised are at their wits’ end with worry and for so many of them there is no other income. If the Minister took on board my views in relation to redeployment of staff, the appeals decisions could be made much quicker and people would know what their circumstances were,” he said.

The full breakdown of cases on appeal is as follows: Jobseekers Allowance 3,945; One Parent Family Allowance, 671; Disability Allowance, 3,238; Illness Benefit, 2,177; Carers’ Allowance 1,402.

 

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