Waiting times for Domiciliary Care Allowance spiralling out of control – John Brady TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Social Protection John Brady TD has called on Minister Regina Doherty to take urgent steps to tackle the waiting times for the processing of Domiciliary Care Allowance.
Speaking this morning, Teachta Brady said:
“When we talk about Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), we are talking about the most vulnerable children in the State, those aged under sixteen, with a severe illness or disability.
"This allowance is typically paid to parents who are providing around the clock care for their children.
“Despite the added costs associated with such a severe illness or disability and the huge pressure on parents, the current average processing time for DCA is 20 weeks or 5 months. I raised concerns at the waiting times last month when the waiting time was 18 weeks having increased previously from 15 weeks in May.
“In May, the Minister for Social Protection at the time Leo Varadkar assured me that he was aware of the long waiting times for DCA and he was working to resolve this issue.
"Four months later, and the waiting times are worse which begs the question as to what actions were actually taken, if any, in May.
“I understand that those working in the DCA section are currently going through applications received in April. They are five months behind.
"With that, the telephone lines to the DCA Section remain closed since the end of last month meaning parents are unable to telephone the Department to query their application.
“This situation is going on for far too long. The Government are failing the most vulnerable children in the State along with their parents. Minister Doherty must address this issue immediately.”