Number of children waiting over three months for disability assessment 'appalling', says FF

The number of children who are being kept waiting for their statutory right to a disability assessment is increasing, new figures show.

According to new figures released to Fianna Fáil’s Spokesperson on Disability, Margaret Murphy O’Mahony TD, the number of children on waiting lists has increased from 3,217 at the end of Q2, 2016, to 4,120 at the end of May – an increase of more than 28%.

The 2005 Disability Act states that assessments of need must commence within three months of receipt of a completed application, and must be completed within a further three months.

“It is appalling that a bad situation has gotten ever worse over the past eight months,” she said.

“To have so many children unable to receive their legal entitlement within the set timeframe is fundamentally wrong and must be tackled as a matter of urgency.

“The HSE data also indicates that of some 5,727 completed applications received in last year, 3,108 assessment reports were completed. That’s 210 fewer than in 2015 despite 89 fewer applications being received.

“Not surprisingly, some parents have opted for to take legal action in order that their child’s rights can be vindicated. In the light of these latest figures which show a further deterioration in the situation, more may feel compelled to go to court.

“Minister McGrath needs to stop the constant handwringing, and get on with delivering the extra capacity in the system to reduce these scandalous waiting times.”

Margaret Murphy O'Mahony

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