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Jobseekers appeals taking over 25 weeks to process

The Social Welfare Appeals Office is currently dealing with 13,444 appeals.

JOBSEEKERS WHO FEEL they have been wrongly refused Jobseeker’s Allowance payments or if a claimant wants to appeal a decision on their means test by a Deciding Officer from the Department of Social Welfare they have a right to appeal.

However, the Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said that this week that the average waiting times for appeals to be processed for Jobseekers is in excess of 25 weeks.

Improvement

In a reply to a parliamentary question, she said that appeals for Jobseeker’s allowance which is means tested appeals is down from 46.9 weeks in 2010 to 29.7 weeks in 2013 and appeals for Jobseeker’s allowance payment appeals is down from 43.0 weeks to 26.7 weeks in 2013.

She added that 13,444 appeals are currently registered with Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Of that figure, 2,751 are disability allowance appeals, 1,645 are carer’s allowance appeals, 1,422 are Jobseeker’s allowance (means) appeals and 1,101 are Jobseeker’s allowance (payments) appeals.

Details of average processing times for these schemes for 2010 to 2013 which are provided in the attached tables point to significant improvements in appeal processing times, particularly in cases where an oral hearing was required.

Disability allowance and carers

In the case of disability allowance appeals, the average processing time for an oral hearing reduced from 51.1 weeks in 2010 to 36.2 weeks in 2013. Carer’s allowance appeals which required an oral hearing took an average of 47.3 weeks in 2010 reducing to 33.5 weeks in 2013.

Minister Burton said the appeal processing times are calculated from the registration date of the appeal to the date of its finalisation.

She said:

A major programme of process redesign and modernisation is underway in the Department in relation to many of its scheme areas aimed at reducing backlogs and reducing the time taken by the Department to respond to requests from the appeals office for submissions in relation to appeals.

It is anticipated that with these improvements, the processing times for appeals will continue to improve throughout 2014.

The full break down of the appeals waiting times can be seen here:

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If you can’t view the table, click here>>>

Read: Dole cut for long-term unemployed who refuse to work in local authorities>

Read: Concern about ‘cherrypicking’ unemployed as government privatises job scheme>

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