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Domiciliary Care Allowance is paid to more than 24,000 parents in respect of 26,000 children at an estimated cost of €100 million in 2011. The Respite Care Grant cost a further €45 million.

The trends that I am seeing is one group are applying for Domiciliary Care Allowance and struggling to get the allowance. The second group are parents who have the allowance for a number of years and are now being selected for a review of all their entitlements.

Some facts for you: In 2011, out of 351 reviews the Department of Social Protection carried out for Domiciliary Care Allowance, 187 families were found to be no longer entitled to Domiciliary Care Allowance. That is 53% refusal rate which is hard to understand.

Also in 2011, 2,420 people appealed their decision — both reviews and first time applications — and 1,259 (52%) of those appeals were successful.

To be fair on the government there are parents out there abusing the system. However, parents should be better support financial to provide the vital care and early intervention that makes all the difference not subjected to trial like interviews to justify their child’s disability.

If you haven’t already done so I would strongly recommend that you start to prepare and gather documentation to support your case if you have Domiciliary Care Allowance. If you are apply for the first time then you will need to gather substantial proof if you want to succeed.

Don’t count on the department assessing your case to truly understand the care you have to provide for your child with special needs. If you want professional support and guidance through this process, feel free to email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635.

Down load the Domiciliary Care Allowance application form here Domiciliary Care Allowance