Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Social Protection Barry Cowen has called on the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton to explain the surge in the number of welfare claimants who have suddenly been denied payments without reasonable explanation.

 

Deputy Cowen was commenting on the annual report of Ombudsman Emily Reilly, which revealed that 31% of complaints related to the Department of Social Welfare.

 

“This confirms my fears that over the past number of months, people who had previously received welfare payments particularly on medical grounds have suddenly lost those payments without reasonable explanation,” said Deputy Cowen.

 

“You only have to look at what’s happened with the Domiciliary Care Allowance. Thousands of children with severe intellectual disabilities have suddenly lost their DCA entitlements in a so called ‘review’ that failed to take into account medical evidence of the severity of their disabilities.  

 

“Minister Burton must come clean about what is going on here. She and her Department have failed to properly communicate with those welfare recipients that have suddenly lost entitlements. The total lack of communication and explanation has just added to people’s worry and distress.

 

“I will be pressing Minister Burton for a full explanation in the Dáil.  We cannot accept a situation where her Department continues to deny benefits to people without reason