Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Department of Finance
Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme
133. To ask the Minister for Finance if the disabled drivers and disabled passengers scheme criteria will be reviewed to include those who temporally use a wheelchair but who demonstrate a degenerative or progressive illness that will result in permanent dependency for using a wheelchair; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38412/18]
The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme provides relief from VAT and VRT, an exemption from motor tax and a grant in respect of fuel expenditure, on the purchase of an adapted car for transport of a permanently and severely disabled person within the terms of the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.
The scheme and qualifying criteria were designed specifically for those with severe physical disabilities and are, therefore, necessarily precise. To qualify for the scheme an applicant must be in possession of a primary medical certificate, which can be obtained from a Senior Medical Officer of the HSE, if an applicant meets one of the medical criteria set out in the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.
It is important to note that an applicant who is unsuccessful in securing a primary medical certificate can appeal the decision of the Senior Medical Officer to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal. An applicant can also re-apply for a primary medical certificate after six months if there is a deterioration in their condition.
From time to time representations are received on behalf of individuals who feel they would benefit from the scheme but do not qualify under the criteria. While I have sympathy for these cases, given the scale and scope of the scheme, I have no plans to expand the medical criteria beyond what is provided for in the Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.