Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has said the Minister for Social Protection needs to step up and intervene in delays over Illness Benefit payments.

Deputy Eamon Scanlon said “In my office I have had dozens of complaints from ill and vulnerable people genuinely upset by disruption to their payments. For many they depend on this money. To have such irregular payments is causing a lot of distress for them and something must be done.

“As a consequence, many have contacted the social welfare offices in an attempt to get some sort of payment. This uncertainty cannot go on. At this anxious time, it is alarming that the Illness Benefit department are leaving calls to ring out or not replying to messages.

“In one particular application a constituent of mine has had ongoing difficulty from Sept 19th when the claim started until February 4th. During this entire time there has been irregular payments and difficulty from the department.

“I have seen dozens of letters, direct from the applicant and my office, call logs, and other efforts to normalise this particular Illness Benefit payment. This has been a six-month ordeal for my constituent, all the while he is completely entitled to this payment.

“There appears to be no rhyme or reason whatsoever to the timings of payments. The Minister must step in and stop the weekly chaos and uncertainty for Illness Benefit recipients in Sligo-Leitrim,” concluded Deputy Scanlon.