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Domiciliary Care allowanceThe following are tips I’ve picked up over the years when working with parents of special needs children. It can be stressful going through the process of applying or appealing a decision on Domiciliary Care Allowance but with a little preparation you can increase your chances.

Always remember that eligibility for Domiciliary Care Allowance is based on the resulting lack of function to your child’s body or mind demanding a degree of extra care and attention.

What this means in plain English is that the department are not disagreeing that your child has Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy  or some other type of special needs. But what they are disputing is that you are giving your child additional care over and above that of a child of similar age.

Parents have to understand, this is the criteria that you are being judged on, not your child’s illness.

The Department uses a set of guidelines in determining the medical eligibility of children for this allowance. Each application is assessed on an individual basis taking account of all the information supplied in the application form.

This is a combination of the parent’s information and their doctor’s assessment. Any experts used to support the claim such as a therapist or consultants will also be considered.

My advice to parents is if you believe you are entitled to this allowance then you need to put an honest and strong case forward or else is will be rejected. This means keeping a detail diary of the care you provide for your child with special needs. In other words, what exactly are you doing for your child over and above another parent would typically do. The more information you can supply the better.

Show examples where you assist your child in communication, interaction, learning, feeding, dressing, hygiene and sleeping. If possible write down any additional measures you have in place to keep your child safe and out of harm’s way. List your monthly appointment for your child and any medication you administer. If your child has additional behavioural issue, show how you have to deal with these issues.

Above all just make sure you demonstrate clearly how you support your child and provide extra care. I hope this give you a better understanding on how best to fill in your Domiciliary Care Allowance form. Good luck because from my experience you will need it!

If you want professional support through this process, feel free to email allan@financialwellbeing.ie or call 021 482 3635.