Deputy Thomas Pringle has called on Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty to provide compensation for recipients who were out of pocket as a direct result of the delays in processing Illness Benefit saying “many have been financially compromised as a result”.
Delays have been experienced in the past two months affecting up to 50,000 people across the country evidently caused by the Department’s move to a new IT system for real-time processing of the weekly payment.
Speaking to the Minister in the Dáil Deputy Pringle said that despite the Minister’s commitment to resolve these delays over the weekend, he is still being contacted by constituents in Donegal who have yet to receive their payments.
He said “Some are being asked by your Department to prove they have not in fact been paid by presenting banking statements. This is completely unjustified. The burden should not be placed on the recipient.
Deputy Pringle also said “I am calling on the Minister to compensate those who have been financially compromised as a directly result of the Department’s failings.
“No one was told a change was taking place and as a result overdraft fees have been charged and credit ratings have been compromised through no fault of their own. In any other sector these people would be compensated. We should expect the same here.”
Speaking after the debate Deputy Pringle said the Minister admitted the changeover was badly managed and badly communicated and has said it was supposed to be a seamless process.
He added that a number of issues have been blamed that gave rise to numerous other issues “popping up”.
“The Minister has also said the problems have been resolved this week but failed to comment on the issue of compensation” continues Pringle. “I am calling on anyone who may not have been in receipt of the payment as of yet to get in touch with my office and I will be able to directly contact the Minister’s office on any individual case as a matter of priority”.
“While the Minister has failed to comment on the issue of compensation at this time I will be pursuing this issue further and am hopeful the Minister will respond in due course,” concludes Pringle.Tags: