The Department of Social Protection needs to considerably improve how it deals with customers, according to a Castlebar Councillor.

Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne says he's received a number of queries from people who are experiencing delays in receiving the Illness Benefit, since the changeover to a new automated system.

Delays were first reported in August, and are still occurring two months later.

Councillor Kilcoyne says people have contacted him to say their payments stopped after the new IT system failing to record receipt of forms they had already sent in, and he says people are frustrated at the time it takes to get through by phone to the Illness Benefit section of the Department.

Speaking with Midwest News, Councillor Kilcoyne said Minister Regina Doherty and her department need to reconsider how they deal with customers....

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