Dáil Éireann - Volume 167 - 30 April, 1958
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Unemployment Benefit Claims: Delayed Decisions.
Dr. Browne Dr. Browne
Dr. Browne asked the Minister for Social Welfare whether, in view of the abnormally long delay recently experienced by many in getting decisions on unemployment benefit claims in contested cases, he will state if any advice or directive has been issued on his behalf which has given rise to this delay.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Kennedy) Michael Joseph Kennedy
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Social Welfare (Mr. Kennedy): There is no delay in dealing with the great majority of claims to unemployment benefit. Any contested claim to unemployment benefit inevitably takes some time to investigate and determine, but, generally speaking, there has been no marked increase in the time taken to do so.
I presume, therefore, that the Deputy has in mind the effect of the special efforts made in my Department since mid-1956 to put a stop to a variety of abuses in relation to social welfare benefits and in particular to the growing incidence of fraudulent claims to unemployment benefit in certain rural areas by the illegal affixing of stamps to insurance cards. In this connection special instructions were issued to local offices of my Department in July of last year designed to assist them to detect fraud and attempted fraud more readily. These instructions did, in fact, result in a very substantial increase in the number of contested claims to unemployment benefit and in the number of cases of fraud and attempted fraud brought to light over the past seven or eight months, and while every effort was, and is, made to deal with these cases with a minimum of delay the investigation of some proved unusually difficult and protracted.
I may say that as a result of the  special steps taken there is now evidence of a very significant reduction in the number of cases of fraudulent stamping and if employers co-operated with my Department by replying promptly to correspondence relating to claims for unemployment benefit little or no delay would occur in dealing with such cases.
Dáil Éireann 167 Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. Unemployment Benefit Claims: Delayed Decisions.