How much is Disability Allowance in 2023?

Disability Allowance 2023 is a weekly payment of €220 by the Department of Social Protection to a person between the ages of 16 to 65 whose disability is severe enough to affect their ability to work.

What is the difference between Domiciliary Care Allowance & Disability Allowance?

Domiciliary Care Allowance is not a means-tested payment and is more based on your child requiring substantial care by the parents. Disability Allowance is for people who cannot work long term and is means-tested on the applicant. A financial statement of your child’s savings, income, assets, bank accounts, etc., must be declared to the Department.

A parent’s income or financial circumstance are not considered when your child is applying for their Disability Allowance.

Does Domiciliary Care Allowance automatically transfer to Disability Allowance?

The transition to Disability Allowance is not automatic. Parents need to complete the Disability Allowance form and send it off to the Department of Social Protection.

Parents often assume that their child needs to finish school before they can apply, but this is incorrect. School-going children over the age of 16 can apply for Disability Allowance 2023.

Why is Disability Allowance so important?

For most children with additional needs, it may be their only source of income and will offset many of their future financial expenses.

When children are granted their Disability Allowance, they may also be entitled to additional entitlements such as a Medical Card, Free Travel, and Household Benefits Package.

How to complete the Disability Allowance form?

You can request the application form from the Disability Allowance section by phone: 0818 927 770, or you can download the form here.

I know completing the Disability Allowance form can be frustrating for parents. Your child has already been receiving their Domiciliary Care Allowance based on a diagnosis that hasn’t gone away, and now you must do it all again. It can be very upsetting to go back over all these forms again, but it is important.

Rather than just completing each section, I recommend you provide additional support to strengthen your child’s application around how they would struggle to hold down a job.

The more relevant information you can supply, the better.

Disability Allowance

Does your child’s doctor need to complete the form?

You will need the support of your child’s GP in completing the form. I also recommend you engage with your child’s Therapist, Consultant, SNA and other professionals and ask them to write reports to support your application.

It doesn’t help when they write a few lines to say they support the application. The report should describe how your child would struggle to hold down employment and some working examples. This can be a deciding factor in getting your case approved. It will be hard for the Department to reject your case when qualified professionals provide supporting evidence.

Does Disability Allowance cause negative issues in the future?

Receiving Disability Allowance will not prevent your child from working in the future. It is easier to transition off Disability Allowance, and your child will receive additional support because they have their payment.

Remember, all our capacity is changeable.

How much can my child have in savings before impacting Disability Allowance?

The Department of Social Protection currently allows your child to have up to €50,000 in savings before penalising them. This is the most generous limit of all the entitlements but is subject to change at any time.

€50,000 is a lot of money; however, your child can only have €36,000 without impacting their Medical Card and depending on what other entitlement your child will need access to in the future, the thresholds can be much lower.

My recommendation to my families is always to keep your child’s savings in their name below €5,000. This is why parents need to set up a Special Needs Trust, as having money in your child’s name may impact their future access to basic entitlements.

Can your child work and still get Disability Allowance?

There is no restriction on the number of hours your child can participate in work. However, there is an income limit. Your child can earn up to €140 a week (after paying PRSI, pension contributions and union dues); this should not affect their payment. If your child earns between €140 – €350, they will receive a reduced Disability Allowance payment. Any salary over €350 per week is assessed in full and will probably lead to a refusal of Disability Allowance.

Where should the Disability Allowance be paid into?

The Disability Allowance can only be paid into an account that your child owns, or it can be collected at the post office each week. I encourage my families to have their child’s payment go directly into a special needs bank account. This is a much better long-term solution and ensures your child has the full range of banking facilities with the support of parents.

I also suggest one parent should become an Agent on behalf of their child to assist them in dealing with the Department of Social Protection.

Disability Allowance payment dates 2023?

Disability Allowance is paid weekly in advance on a Wednesday. The first payment date is the Wednesday following the effective date of the claim.

Disability Allowance will stop when a child turns 66, so the last payment will be for the month of your son or daughter turning 66. This is the point when they can apply for the State Pension.

Disability Allowance 2023 waiting time?

Disability Allowance aims to decide 90% of new claims within 10 weeks of receipt. I recommend photocopying everything you send to the Department just in case your file goes “missing!”

Can Disability Allowance be reviewed?

The Department of Social Protection will regularly review Disability Allowance to see if your child still meets the criteria. This can be stressful, but similar to when you applied, have all your information ready, reports, supporting letters and be prepared. Please don’t assume that because your child was awarded Disability Allowance, they won’t be means-tested again.

This is why it is essential not to leave the Disability Allowance build-up in your child’s name. This is the number one reason any reduction in your child’s Disability Allowance may occur.

Where can parents get additional support?

Citizens Information can answer any general enquiry you may have about Disability Allowance. I find that parents get great support from other parents and groups such as Facebook group supporting parents through the process. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dacrossroads

Financial Wellbeing also has a YouTube video with more information

Here is a link to a YouTube video on how to complete the form by Inclusion Ireland

Can Parents continue to claim entitlements if their child has Disability Allowance?

It is essential that your child has Disability Allowance to allow parents to maintain entitlements such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Incapacity Child Tax Credit, etc.

“Learn more – For a full list of entitlements, click on our A-Z Guide of Special Needs Entitlements.”


What to do if Disability Allowance is refused?

The most important tip I can give you is appeal. If you believe your child is entitled to this payment, get prepared and put your most robust case forward. You must appeal the decision within 21 days to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. Also, as I said already, get the support of a professional to assist you and keep a record of everything you have sent to the Department.

Is the Disability Allowance sufficient for my child to live on?

Talking to parents, it seems that €220 per week while the child lives at home and the parents cover all expenses is appropriate. After the parents pass away and their child has to provide for themselves, the reality kicks in. Parents often assume that the state will cover all costs if their child has to go into care. Still, again most children don’t even get their full Disability Allowance as residential providers implement the Long Stay Charge.

This frightens me and most of the parents I speak with. The only low-risk solution we can come up with is setting up a Trust Fund for your child in advance of this. When you start to fund your child’s Trust, the younger your child is, the more impact it can have on their future.

If you would like to find out more about how to put away your child’s Disability Allowance regularly without impacting their access to entitlement, then attend one of our webinars