Written answers

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Eligibility

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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37. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will consider extending the eligibility for domiciliary care allowance from 16 to 18 years of age given the families that avail of this much needed support will have already shown that they meet the high bar of requirements for this grant and in the majority of cases these needs do not diminish at the arbitrary cut-off point; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5472/22]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for parents caring for a child with a severe disability.

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) ceases to be payable when a child reaches age 16 years. Disability Allowance (DA) can then be paid from age 16 if the qualifying conditions for that scheme are met.

Following a commitment made in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities 2015 -2024, the “Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities” (MWP) report was published in April 2017. The report undertook to better identify how people with disabilities could be supported to achieve their employment ambitions. A number of MWP report recommendations focused on the need to support young adults through education, training and social inclusion according to their capacity, and to change the qualifying age for disability allowance from 16 to 18 years of age while leaving Domiciliary Care allowance in payment where applicable to 18 years of age.

An extensive national consultation process was organised to engage people with disabilities, parents of children with disabilities, and sectoral representatives to seek their views on the specific recommendations in the report.

Consideration of the most appropriate measures to be taken is continuing. It is imperative when deciding on any changes to the age limits for the relevant schemes that such changes have a positive effect on those in receipt of the payments and that we avoid any unintended negative consequences.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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