Department apologises as terminally ill Cork man did not receive illness payment in six weeks

File photo.

A Cork man who is terminally ill with inoperable brain cancer has not received an illness payment in six weeks.

James, who was employed all of his life and lives in Mallow, stopped working on September 1 after being diagnosed in July.

He had been in receipt of illness benefit. However, he has not received a payment since November 4.

In a response, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection apologised to James and confirmed that he will receive full payment including the arrears by early next week.

James told Liveline on RTÉ Radio 1 that he has been giving in his certs to his welfare office and that he's been in touch with the illness benefit department office weekly.

"I have been in contact with them weekly, I hand in my certs religiously into my own local welfare office," he said.

He was told that his issue would be escalated and dealt with immediately but he is still out of payment six weeks later.

I am on a lot of medication, which is a great help. Every day is a plus and a bonus to me. I feel like this is something I could do without.

Without treatment, James wants to enjoy what life he has left. He said his medication is expensive and the benefit had helped to contribute to those costs.

"I'm not in a position to work now," he said.

"It would help me with my medication which is quite expensive. I feel that I'm entitled to it, I worked all my life and it would be of great benefit to me."

After contacting Liveline, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection issued the following statement:

"The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection would like sincerely to apologise to [James]," the statement said.

We have investigated the matter and identified an error which has now been corrected.

"Full payment including arrears have been arranged and will be in [James]’s account by early next week.

"The Department wishes to confirm that it is making its normal level of weekly payments for Illness Benefit – 50,000 per week.

"Regrettably, however, occasionally as with all schemes, we do have administrative errors which result in non-timely payments to our customers.

"We endeavour to always deliver a good service to our customers."

Listen to James' interview with Joe Duffy in full here:

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