Fianna Fáil Dublin City Councillor, Paul McAuliffe has said the latest delays in processing Carers Allowance applications exposes even more dysfunction in the Department of Social Protection.

McAuliffe, who is the party’s General Election Candidate in Dublin North West said, “Earlier this week, a number of constituents were in contact with me regarding the length of time they have spent waiting for a decision to be reached on their application for the Carers Allowance.

“It later transpired following my representations on their behalf that the Carers Allowance Office is only currently processing applications submitted on Monday August 24th. Therefore there is a minimum 10 week delay in applications being processed.

“This is an unacceptable delay that is likely as a result of the poor resources available to a limited number of staff working in the office, processing the forms.

“Those submitting this application are taking time out of work to care for vulnerable and sick relatives and won’t have a steady income. Very many will be depending on the approval of this allowance to ease the financial burden imposed by being a primary carer.

“It’s even more frustrating that those so willing to be a carer are in fact saving the State money by taking on the responsibility of caring for someone in their home. There’s a clear lack of realisation that people’s lives are affected by this backlog and the subsequent delays.

“Given the recent scandal surrounding the shocking delays in Illness Benefit Payments, it appears that this Government is not properly resourcing the Department of Social Protection to be able process applications and issue payments in an appropriate or timely manner. That needs to change.,” he concluded.