Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says carers across the two counties are being put under severe pressure as a result of delays in the processing of their applications for Carer’s Allowance payments by the government.
Deputy Smith was commenting after being told by officials that the average waiting time for the processing of these payments now stands at 16 weeks.
“Carers across Cavan and Monaghan are coming under severe financial pressure as a result of these extraordinarily long delays, which are now running at four months. I’ve been contacted by a number of people who have been left exasperated by the delays in receiving the payment”, said Deputy Brendan Smith.
“Carers go above and beyond to look after their loved ones. It’s simply cruel to force them to wait so long to get their application processed and their payment made.
“Until an application for Carers Allowance is approved, the carer is not entitled to receive the Carer’s Support Grant, formerly the Respite Care Grant, which is used by most full time carers to obtain respite care for the person they are caring for.
“For many, this is the only means by which of getting a break to let them recharge their batteries and these delays in getting their Carer’s application approved are causing them severe anxiety.
“Minister Doherty needs to reassign staff in the Department of Employment Affairs & Social Protection to the Carer’s Department section to ensure that the average wait drops. It’s totally unfair on carers and the Minister must intervene,” concluded Deputy Smith.