Update: Appeals in respect of Social Protection Payments, 25th June 2015

25th June 2015 - Bernard Durkan TD

Question No:         Ref No:  25392/15

To the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection

To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the extent to which she may continue to improve the time taken to process appeals in respect of various social protection payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

– Bernard J. Durkan.

*    For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015.

R E P L Y

Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection (Joan Burton T.D.):

The average appeal processing time for 2014 and to date in 2015 broken down by all social welfare scheme types is outlined in the tables below.

Appeal processing times peaked in 2011 when the average time for an oral hearing was 52.5 weeks and for a summary decision was 25.1 weeks.  In 2012 the average processing time for an oral hearing dropped to 39.5 weeks and the time for a summary decision increased slightly to 27.8 weeks.  Further improvements were achieved in 2013, when the average appeal processing time reduced to 33.9 weeks for an oral hearing and 25.8 weeks for a summary decision.  In 2014 the average appeal processing time reduced to 28.6 weeks for an oral hearing and 21.1 weeks for a summary decision.  Processing times continue to improve in 2015 as the current average processing time for an oral hearing is now 25.6 weeks and 18 weeks for a summary decision.

The reduction in processing times reflects the significant resources which have been invested in the Social Welfare Appeals Office over the last number of years.  

In addition the Department has undertaken a process of reform in many of its scheme areas aimed at reducing the time taken to respond to requests for submissions in relation to appeals. Appeal processing times are kept under continual review in the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

In addition to the improvement in processing times, these measures have also led to a significant reduction in the number of appeals on hand from 20,414 at 1 January 2013 to 9,957 at 22 June 2015.

Appeal processing times are calculated from the registration date of the appeal to the date of its finalisation.  They include all activities during this period including time spent awaiting any clarification from the appellant, time in the Department for comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal put forward by the appellant, and any further investigation, examination or assessment by the Department’s Inspectors and Medical Assessors that is deemed necessary.  The system is flexible and accessible and allows multiple reviews and submissions of fresh evidence at all stages.    For logistical reasons the process takes longer when an oral hearing is required.

Appeals processing times by scheme 01/01/2014 €“ 31/12/14

 

Average processing times (weeks)
Summary Decisions

Average processing
times (weeks)
Oral Hearings

Adoptive Benefit

17.1

Blind Pension

20.5

24.9

Carers Allowance

30.1

34.4

Carers Benefit

22.9

23.1

Child Benefit

23.8

32.9

Disability Allowance

20.8

26.7

Illness Benefit

29.5

34.8

Domiciliary Care Allowance

22.6

29.1

Deserted Wives Benefit

64.7

Deserted Wives Allowance

41.8

Farm Assist

23.2

28.3

Bereavement Grant

25.6

31.9

Family Income Supplement

26.0

32.6

Invalidity Pension

25.9

31.2

Liable Relatives

21.5

33.2

One Parent Family Payment

24.4

33.5

Maternity Benefit

22.4

44.7

Partial Capacity Benefit

48.5

48.5

State Pension (Contributory)

25.2

41.9

State Pension (Non-Cont)

20.3

29.4

State Pension (Transition)

27.0

35.1

Occupational Injury Benefit

33.6

33.7

Disablement Pension

23.6

30.6

Occupational Injury Benefit (Medical)

53.9

Incapacity Supplement

21.5

59.6

Guardian’s Payment (Con)

25.9

24.9

Guardian’s Payment (Non-con)

19.7

30.3

Pre Retirement Allowance

17.3

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Means)

18.1

27.5

Jobseeker’s Allowance

16.2

21.1

JA/JB Fraud Control

12.1

Jobseeker’s Benefit

16.7

21.1

Treatment Benefit

20.8

Respite Care Grant

24.9

27.1

Insurability of Employment

45.0

62.3

Supplementary Welfare  Allowance

14.4

22.1

Survivor’s Pension (Con)

20.2

32.5

Survivor’s Pension (Non-Con)

24.7

24.6

Widowed Parent Grant

22.2

All Appeals

21.1

28.6

Appeals processing times by scheme 01/01/2015 €“ 31/05/2015

 

Average processing times (weeks)
Summary Decisions

Average processing
times (weeks)
Oral Hearings

Blind Pension

10.3

34.5

Carers Allowance

21.9

27.6

Carers Benefit

23.2

24.7

Child Benefit

20.8

36.1

Disability Allowance

15.7

22.0

Illness Benefit

24.9

32.3

Domiciliary Care Allowance

19.5

24.6

Deserted Wives Benefit

10.0

25.1

Deserted Wives Allowance

16.2

Farm Assist

15.5

23.9

Bereavement Grant

61.1

26.0

Family Income Supplement

18.9

24.7

Invalidity Pension

27.4

30.2

Liable Relatives

15.8

One Parent Family Payment

24.1

38.8

Maternity Benefit

25.3

16.8

Partial Capacity Benefit

31.0

30.8

State Pension (Contributory)

19.9

44.1

State Pension (Non-Cont)

18.3

28.5

State Pension (Transition)

50.4

41.6

Occupational Injury Benefit

28.3

41.6

Disablement Pension

21.0

30.7

Incapacity Supplement

54.0

Death Benefit

22.6

Guardian’s Payment (Con)

18.0

29.5

Guardian’s Payment (Non-con)

15.2

21.8

Pre Retirement Allowance

15.0

Jobseeker’s Allowance (Means)

15.4

25.3

Jobseeker’s Allowance

14.4

20.7

Jobseeker’s Benefit

14.6

15.2

Recoverable Benefits & Assistance

8.0

Respite Care Grant

19.2

22.8

Insurability of Employment

26.3

61.6

Supplementary Welfare  Allowance

15.2

23.1

Survivor’s Pension (Con)

21.1

33.8

Survivor’s Pension (Non-Con)

25.4

43.7

Widowed Parent Grant

13.2

All Appeals

18.0

25.6

 

 


 

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