Thursday, 20 January 2022
Department of Finance
172. To ask the Minister for Finance the number of applications for disabled driver VAT relief in each of the years 2017 to 2021; the number of successful applications; the number of appeals consequently lodged; the number of successful appeals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2716/22]
The Disabled Drivers & Disabled Passengers Scheme (DDS) provides relief from VRT and VAT on the purchase and use of an adapted car, as well as an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant.
The Scheme is open to severely and permanently disabled persons who also meet one of six specified medical criteria, as a driver or as a passenger and also to certain organisations. In order to qualify for relief, the applicant must hold a Primary Medical Certificate issued by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer (SAMO) or a Board Medical Certificate issued by the Disabled Driver Medical Board of Appeal. Certain other qualifying criteria apply in relation to the vehicle, in particular that it must be specially constructed or adapted for use by the applicant. In the event that a PMC is not granted by the relevant Senior Area Medical Officer an appeal may be made to the independent Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (DDMBA) who operate out of the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire.
The number of applications for a Primary Medical Certificate and the number of those that were successful are a matter for the Department of Health. The below table outlines the number of appeals heard and of those, that were successful and unsuccessful.
|Number of Appeals Assessed||401||386||424||116||148|
|Number of Successful Appeals||12||20||9||4||12|
|Number of Unsuccessful Appeals||389||366||415||112||136|
*260 appeals outstanding at 01/2017
**Appeal hearings were lower than usual for 2020 due to both public health considerations and the Supreme Court Case in June 2020. Appeal hearings resumed in early 2021 following an amendment to the Finance Bill to provide for the existing medical criteria in primary legislation which, following the approval of the Finance Act 2020, allowed assessments to recommence.
***2021 appeal hearings have also been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.