What is Domiciliary Care Allowance?
Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment of €309.50 per month by the Department of Social Protection to a Carer who proves that their child needs a greater degree of care in comparison to a child of a similar age.
In recent times, this allowance is getting harder to get approved. I think a more accurate description is when you prove your child needs a substantial amount of care in excess of a child of a similar age.
Domiciliary Care Allowance is not means tested and you will not be asked to provide a financial statement. If you are granted Domiciliary Care Allowance then you may also be entitled to a range of entitlements, allowances, benefits & tax credits.
Why are parents finding it difficult to get this payment?
It is a combination of the rules tightening up and parents not applying correctly. The Department uses a set of guidelines in determining the medical eligibility of your son or daughter for this allowance. Each application is assessed on an individual basis, taking account of all the information supplied in the application form.
Do not focus your application on your child’s disability but on the degree of extra care this creates.
What else should parents include?
As a parent you should write a daily log that shows any additional support you provide for your child especially around
- Communication & learning
- Feeding & food sensitivities
- Any delays in dressing, washing and hygiene
- Any additional learning or schooling issues
The more relevant information you can supply the better. Write down any extra measure you take to keep your child safe and out of harms way. Above all just make sure you demonstrate clearly how you support your child and provide extra care.
Does your child see professional?
If so document your appointments over the last 12-months. I also recommend that you go back to your GP, therapist, consultant, SNA and other professional that assist your child and ask them to write you up a reports to support your application. This can be a deciding factor in getting your cased approved. It will be hard for the Department to reject your case when qualified professionals are providing supporting evidence.
Where can parents get additional support?
Citizen information can answer any general enquiry you may have around Domiciliary Care Allowance. I find that parents get great support from other parents and from groups such as DCA Warriors which is a fabulous Facebook group supporting other parents through the process.
Is Domiciliary Care Allowance under review from the government?
Domiciliary Care Allowance and Disability Allowance are both under review. The government want to introduce a change in the age Domiciliary Care Allowance stops and Disability Allowance begins. At present these changes are on hold. If nothing changes then your child will receive Domiciliary Care Allowance until they turn 16-year old. They can transition to Disability Allowance from 16-years.
How to apply?
You can request the application form from the Department of Social Protection or if you want send me an email and I will forward it on to you.
Any last bit of advice?
The most important tip I can give you is appeal, appeal, appeal. If you believe your child is entitled to this payment then get prepared and put your strongest case forward.
When the payment is granted always separate it from your personal finances. Parent of special needs children have many additional financial pressures. By separating the payment out you will always have the financial resource to pay for private therapies, equipment and service that your child may need going forward.
After paying for everything, if there is any money left over then I strongly recommend opening up a trust for your child future. Because the quality of life that your child will have when you are no longer around to look after them, will depend on how much of their entitlements you been able to save for them.