KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Domiciliary Care Allowance
The Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability.
The child must need ongoing care and attention substantially over and above that usually needed by a child of the same age. It is not means tested. You can find out more about what severe or substantially means in the DCA Medical Guidelines, a document used by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) when assessing applications for DCA. The guidelines state that the payment is not based on the type of disability, but on the level of physical or mental impairment which results in the child needing substantially more care and attention than another child of the same age.
How would a child qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance?
To qualify, the child must have a severe disability that is likely to last for at least one year and be aged under 16 and usually and live at home with the person claiming the allowance for five or more days a week, meet certain medical criteria and be ordinarily resident in the State.
In addition, the person claiming the allowance for the child must provide for the care of the child and be habitually resident in the State.
The legislation states that to qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance a child must have "a severe disability requiring continual or continuous care and attention substantially in excess of the care and attention normally required by a child of the same age".
“This means that eligibility for DCA is not based on the type of impairment or disease, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind which means the child needs extra care and attention," Martha Slattery, Information Officer with Tralee Citizens Information Service, said.
"This care and attention must be required to allow the child to deal with the activities of daily living. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.”
So, when you submit an application for DCA, Martha advises that a Medical Assessor for the DSP (Department of Social Protection) looks at all the following before giving an opinion on whether your child meets the medical criteria:
* The history of the case
* All medical reports received (your GP fills out a medical report and you should include reports from any relevant specialists)
* Your description of the care and attention required by your child. (The form allows you to state what extra care your child needs under a number of headings.)
Rate of Domiciliary Care Allowance
The Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) rate is €309.50 per month. “There is no restriction on the number of children for whom you may claim DCA. In other words, if you are caring for more than one child who qualifies for DCA, you may claim the monthly allowance for each one. Payment is made on the third Tuesday of every month for the current month.
How to apply for Domiciliary Care Allowance
To apply, fill in a Domiciliary Care Allowance form which you can get from your local CIC.
You should complete Parts 1 to 5 of the form. Please ask your child’s GP/specialist to fill in parts 6 and 7 (the medical section) of the form. You should also attach any reports or other information you have about your child’s disability and the impact it has on their care needs.
The completed form should detail your child’s conditions, any specific care needs your child might have as a result of their disability and will help the Department’s medical assessor to form an opinion on eligibility. Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) refers to a group of disorders characterised by delays in the development of socialisation and communication skills. Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett’s Syndrome are generally referred to under this category. If your child has a PDD, Martha advises that you have the option to get the medical professional/specialist dealing with your child complete an additional medical form called DomCare3 form to support your application. “This is particularly helpful if you don’t have a recent comprehensive report on your child’s medical condition and care needs.”
What happens when my child reaches the age of 16?
DCA stops when a child reaches 16 so your last DCA payment will be for the month of their 16th birthday. The Department of Social Protection will write to you three months before your child’s 16th birthday to remind you that DCA will shortly stop and tell you about the available options.
If you need further information about any of the issues raised here or you have other questions, you can call a member of the local Citizens Information Service in Kerry on 0818 07 7860. They will be happy to assist you and if necessary arrange an appointment for you. Kerry HELPLINE 0818 07 7860 Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm. Alternatively you can email on firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie. The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.
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Speaking about the importance of developing a future pipeline of tourism business, Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said that “creating a strong pipeline of future business is key for the recovery of tourism”.
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“One of the effects of the recent pandemic was the need to utilise and maximise outdoor dining options and this infrastructure shows what can be achieved in an imaginative way. It will greatly enhance Killarney’s reputation as a destination for top quality tourism experiences.”
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“It is fantastic to see Killarney’s outdoor dining infrastructure being so well received by trade and visitors alike,” Miriam Kennedy, Head of Wild Atlantic Way at Fáilte Ireland, said.
Councillors in the Killarney Municipal District approved planning permission for the infrastructure which was completed by Daniel Canty Construction.
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