I have estimated at this stage I must have cost the Department of Social Protection around €6m and the Revenue just under €3.5m.

Again, recently I just had a private consultation with a mum who never heard of Incapacity Child Tax Credit and didn’t realise that she could claim Carers Benefit when she had a change in her job circumstances. This will make a difference of €13,384 for her family this year alone.

I would like to say this was a rare occurrence but it is not. In particular, I find the following groups of parents most likely to be leaving hundreds if not thousands of euros behind in unclaimed entitlements.

  • Newly diagnosed children
  • Parents who have a change in job circumstance (maternity, redundancy, retirement, etc.)
  • When a child with special needs turns 16-yrs old
  • A parent who thinks that it’s impossible to get entitlements so never apply
  • Parents who are so busy with the care that they just don’t have the time to do research
  • Families that are making changes to their home for their child (extensions, bathroom, security, etc.)

The system of finding out what you are entitled to is flawed and nobody is proactive because if we all knew what we are entitled to claim then it would cost the government millions.

David, Dolores and I are doing our best to cover the country and get the information out there through our workshops, newsletter, radio interviews and private consultation but even I realise we are still only getting the message out to a small fraction of the parents who have children with additional needs.

With this in mind, we have recently updated our two E-Booklets which we have made available for free to all parents, organisation, schools or charities that would like to help parents find out.

  • A-Z Special Needs Entitlement
  • 7 Steps to A Brighter Financial Future

To receive a free email copy just send your request to dolores@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635 and leave your email address.

Alternatively, you can check out these useful websites

  • www.citizensinformation.ie
  • www.welfare.ie
  • www.revenue.ie

If in doubt just apply, the Department of Social Protection won’t be long in telling you that you don’t qualify and maybe, just maybe there might be an additional payment that you can receive which will allow you to better fund your child’s Trust.