PEOPLE signing on for Jobseekers Benefit in Bandon face a wait longer than the national average waiting time for their claims to be processed according to Gearóid Buckley, Labour Party Councillor for Bandon.
Cllr Buckley said, “While I accept that waiting times have reduced greatly in recent times, Bandon still has the longest waiting time in Cork South-West. According to figures released for the month of April there is a waiting time of nearly five weeks for Jobseekers Benefit applications to be process. This is just too long.
“The waiting time for Jobseekers Allowance is nearly seven weeks. This is an excessive and needless delay. People need to be able to access their entitlements in a far speedier manner.
“It is bad enough to lose you job, but to have to wait over a month for confirmation of your income is a terrible situation to be in.
“I would call on the Minister to examine the possibility of recruiting more staff to assess the applications that are still flooding in around the country.
“I would also urge that there be a greater level of communication between social welfare officials and applicants. As a local councillor, I have been inundated with calls from constituents who find it very hard to get basic information about their claims.
“There are a great many people who are not aware of their entitlements or how to access them. An information campaign is needed to educate people, especially those who never thought they would need to rely on the State for financial assistance,” he said.