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During the same period there were 1,138 disability allowance reviews, resulting in 76 claims being closed, the Medical Independent (MI) has been told.
In 2016 there was a total 16,473 illness benefit claim reviews, resulting in 1,628 claims being closed at year end. There were 601 disability allowance reviews last year, resulting in 68 claims being closed.
Medical assessment may be carried out to determine an individual’s continued eligibility to receive illness benefit or disability allowance. These assessments are carried out by doctors in the cases of illness benefit claims. Illness benefits include disability and carers’ allowances, among other payments.
Separately, MI has learned that a recent recruitment drive means that the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection now has its full complement of medical assessors.
In August 2016 MI had reported that the Department had abandoned its plans to recruit an outside agency to provide extra social welfare medical assessors. The plans had been developed over the previous two years.
“The Department has successfully appointed new medical practitioners as medical assessors and currently has the maximum complement of 30.5 full-time equivalent medical assessors,” a spokesperson for the Department recently told MI.
“In addition, a recruitment process was recently completed through the Public Appointment Service (PAS) to ensure a panel of medical assessors is available to fill any vacancies arising in order to maintain these numbers.”