What is Domiciliary Care Allowance 2023?
Domiciliary Care Allowance in 2023 is a tax-free payment of €330 per month to parents who have children with special needs. Parents need to apply to the Department of Social Protection and show proof that their child needs substantial care when compared to a child of a similar age.
If you have more than one child with special needs, then you have to apply separately for each child. You will then receive €330 per child.
Does your child need a diagnosis for Domiciliary Care Allowance?
The good news is a formal diagnosis is not essential. The process is more challenging, so you must put additional information into your application. This is a relief to some of my families, who can struggle for years before getting any official diagnosis.
Is Domiciliary Care Allowance means-tested?
Domiciliary Care Allowance is one of the few entitlements that is based on something other than the parents’ financial situation. It is based on the care needs of children. It is essential to apply for the Domiciliary Care Allowance first before you send off any other application.
How is Domiciliary Care Allowance paid?
It is important to send off your application without delay. Even if you are awaiting additional information, the Department will use the date they receive your application as the start date from when they will pay.
Your Domiciliary Care Allowance will be paid from the month after your application is granted, and your payment will be on the third Tuesday of every month.
You can apply for the payment to be backdated by up to 6 months if you can show a good reason for a delay.
How to Complete the Domiciliary Care Allowance Form?
Part 1 is the parent’s personal details and Part 2 is your child’s information. For Part 3, only put your bank details in, not your child’s. Don’t have money building up in your child’s name.
Then you need to start showing clearly the care needs in Part 4. Write down any extra measures you take; the more relevant information you can supply, the better. Above all, demonstrate how you support your child and provide additional care above that of a child of a similar age.
Remember to attach any additional support you have to each question.
Does your child see professionals?
If so, document your appointments on the form. I also recommend you return to your GP, Therapist, Consultant, SNA and other professionals who assist your child and ask them to complete the Dom Care 3 to support your application.
The Dom Care 3 should describe how your child needs additional support 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.
Where can parents go for support?
Citizen Information can answer any general questions you may have. Parents can also get great support from other parents who have been through the process and groups such as DCA Warriors is a fabulous Facebook group supporting parents through what can be a stressful time.
What to do if your application for Domiciliary Care Allowance is rejected?
This is when parents need to understand the Department’s set of guidelines and how they assess the medical eligibility of your son or daughter for this allowance. It is important that if you are appealing that you focus your application on the extra care you have to provide for your child, not on your child’s diagnosis or disability.
The most important tip I can give you is appeal, appeal, 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.
Just don’t give up. I have met with many parents who have struggled to get Domiciliary Care Allowance in place but have persevered. Eventually, it gets approved and this will open access to other entitlements.
As a last resource, you might want to contact solicitor Gareth Noble, who has a high success rate in winning appeals.
When does Domiciliary Care Allowance end?
Domiciliary Care Allowance typically ends when your child turns 16. It can cease before 16 if your child no longer meets the criteria, such as moving into full-time residential care.
When your child turns 16, they can apply for Disability Allowance, which will be their payment. Parents can continue receiving other entitlements such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Incapacity Child Tax Credit, Household Benefits Package, Carer’s Support Grant, etc. if they meet the criteria.
For a full list of entitlements, click on our A-Z Guide of Special Needs Entitlements.”
Where to get the Domiciliary Care Allowance form?
You can request the application form from the Domiciliary Care Allowance section by phone: (071) 915 7100. Alternatively, you can apply online.
Domiciliary Care Allowance waiting time 2023?
Domiciliary Care Allowance aims to decide 90% of new claims within 10 weeks of receipt. 8-12 weeks is a good guide on when you should hear back on your application. I recommend photocopying everything you send to the Department just in case your file goes “missing!”
Can Domiciliary Care Allowance be reviewed?
The Department of Social Protection can review Domiciliary Care Allowance to see if you still meet the criteria. This can be stressful, but similar to when you applied, have all your information ready, reports, supporting letters and be prepared.
If you like to find out more about how to put away some of your child’s Domiciliary Care Allowance on a regular basis without impacting their access to entitlement, then attend one of our webinars