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 email@example.com or log on to www.citizensinformation.ie. The National Phone Service is available on 0818 07 4000 Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm.
Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes
Fossa National School is giving its pupils a headstart in learning a new language.
The school signed up to Language Sampler scheme as part of the ‘Say Yes to Languages’ initiative in primary schools organised by Post Primary languages Ireland in 2021. This is the school’s third year running the module.
Hélène Olivier-Courtney, the school’s French teacher and director of French For All Killarney School of French, covers ten schools in Kerry over the three terms.
The success of the initiative relies on an all-school approach and the active involvement of class teachers and management.
“The whole staff in Fossa certainly helped make this new journey a special and enjoyable experience for the children as we learnt French through art, songs, games and food tasting! This year, we also organised a catwalk on our last day. Our sixth-class students will have such a head start before secondary school and most importantly will have develop curiosity interest and love for the language,” said Hélène.
Opinion: Silent majority needs to stand up and call out far-right hate
By Chris Davies
Last Friday’s Dublin Riots should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It has been bubbling under the surface of Irish society for a good number of years now. The actions of a small minority last week was a culmination of years of racism, hatred and misinformation shared online by far-right groups.
Late on Friday night a disturbing WhatsApp voice note was doing the rounds on social media where a far-right actor could clearly be heard encouraging violence on the streets of Dublin.
“’Seven o’clock, be in town. Everyone bally up, tool up…Any foreigner, just kill them”
Watching the Riots unfold on social media brought me back to when I was working in Dublin a number of years back. My morning commute from Skerries to the city centre involved a dart to Connolly Station followed by a short trip on the Luas to the Jervis. Every week, without fail, I would witness at least one racial slur or attack on someone who didn’t fit the narrow minded view of what an Irish person should look, dress or talk like. I don’t know if it is the eerie silence of public transport that seems to amplify the situation, but that’s where I found it to be most common. The abuse was usually perpetrated by a group of youths or someone who was clearly under the influence of drink or drugs. The victims were always of colour, often dressed smartly enough to presume they were on their way, or coming from work. A far cry from the perpetrators who you could tell were roaming aimlessly around the city looking for trouble.
While shameful to admit, I would often look on and watch the abuse unfold, only to spend the rest of my work day thinking about the poor person who was told to “F*&K off back to your own country”. I would sit at my desk questioning why I didn’t step in and say something. There were one or two occasions where I did step in and call it out, but not nearly often enough.
This disgusting behaviour is much more visible in our cities. Since moving back to Killarney I wouldn’t witness as much direct abuse on the streets but working with the Killarney Advertiser I would be tuned in to local news and some of the comments I read on our social platforms are far worse than anything I witnessed during my time in Dublin.
There is a significant group of people in Ireland that I would call the ‘silent majority’. We are not as outspoken on issues we care about. We tend to observe and consume the news quietly, and only speak of our support or disgust on certain issues in close circles, too afraid we might offend someone. The problem with this is that we are leaving these far-right groups unchallenged, to become louder, more aggressive and more hostile as seen last week.
The past week Sinn Fein and the Social Democrats have been busy in the media expressing no confidence in Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris but I would suggest that there is a large percentage of the Irish population that bears some of the responsibility. We witness racism in our communities and online every day and we need to start speaking up and calling it out.
On the issue of immigration in Killarney, there is no doubt resources are being stretched and our tourism industry is suffering as a result of an influx of immigration. Locals have also raised concerns in relation to the placement of so many male international protection applicants in one setting and we only have to look back on the incident in Hotel Killarney last year where a number of men were involved in a harrowing stabbing incident to see how that played out.
However, being concerned around immigration is not the same as anti-immigration. It is important to raise these issues with local representatives and Kerry TD’s but also to separate ourselves from far-right groups who are only interested in encouraging violence.
The anarchy we witnessed last week should never be the answer and research shows it is completely unnecessary. Harvard University have looked at hundreds of protests over the last century, and found that non-violent campaigns are twice as likely to achieve their goals as violent campaigns and that it only takes around 3.5% of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change.
Let’s continue to protest peacefully for issues we believe in, but stand up and speak out against people and movements in our community that incite hate and violence.
Fossa School says ‘bonjour’ to French classes
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