Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Waiting list of over 800 for Department of Social and Family Affairs payments

30 July, 2004

Sinn Fein Councillor Joe Reilly has queried why there is waiting list of over 800 applicants in the Navan area waiting to have their cases dealt with by the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

"I contacted the department on behalf of a constituent who has been waiting four weeks for her payment and was informed that she would have to wait another six weeks due to the backlog of cases. As she is seasonal worker she will be back in employment having had to manage without an income over the summer months".

"The department informed me that there was a waiting list of over 800 applicants and while they were doing their best there would be a waiting time of up to ten weeks.The delay was due to a shortage of staff and a number of staff on holidays"

"I find it absolutely disgraceful that people have to wait such a length of time for their financial entitlements. Is there anybody in the upper echelons of the department who cares? Do he/she not understand that people need an income to survive? Why can more staff not be seconded to help clear the waiting list? Is the Navan experience being replicated all over the country?

"I call on the Minister of the Department of Social and Family Affairs to immediately put in place measures to reduce the waiting list. Applicants should not have to wait anymore that ten working days to have a decision made and implemented."

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