Fianna Fáil Cork South West Senator Denis O’Donovan, has called on Minister Joan Burton to explain why over 60% of applications for the Carer’s Allowance were refused last year.
Senator O’Donovan was speaking after figures released to him revealed that almost 2 out of every 3 applications for the Carer’s Allowance were refused last year. This is despite the Minister claiming there has been no change of policy by the Government in relation to administering the applications.
“The figures are there for everyone to see,” said Senator O’Donovan.
“There has been a very worrying trend developing in the Department of Social Protection since this Minister assumed office. I meet people in West Cork every week that care for loved ones and are in despair at the fact they have been refused this allowance.
“Is the Minister really going to stand by her claim that there has not been a directive to reduce the number of these payments being granted?
“I have seen a massive upturn in the number of distressed members of the public coming expressing their concern at their refused or delayed applications. One such person applied for the Carers Allowance to care for a loved one that had cancer.
“Up to May this year, there is an average wait of 32 weeks for applicants to hear the decision, which is also unacceptable.
“This Government of broken promises has continuously targeted the most vulnerable people and the lack of an adequate explanation has added insult to injury.”