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Transition from Domiciliary Care Allowance to Disability Allowance – By Allan

Our children grow up fast. I can remember my daughter being born like it was yesterday, and now she is 20 years old. I receive many calls throughout the year from my families when their child turns 16, so I have written this article to prepare parents for the transition from Domiciliary Care Allowance to Disability Allowance.

Domiciliary Care Allowance

Domiciliary Care Allowance will automatically stop when your child turns 16. Your child can then apply for Disability Allowance, which is their payment.

To qualify, your child must have a permanent physical or intellectual disability that substantially restricted them in undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of their age.

Important

Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment on your child, the parents’ financial circumstance are not assessed. Any money your child has in their bank accounts, income, shares, savings or property (other than their family home) will be assessed. If your child’s financial situation changes or they inherit money in the future, then this too can impact their Disability Allowance, depending on the amount.

Parents often assume that their child must finish school before they apply. However, this is not the case. The government are trying to change this rule and save themselves money, but we won’t get into that here.

To avoid delays in receiving your payment, I recommend you complete the application form and send it to the Department of Social Protection at least 3-months before your child’s 16th birthday.

Below is a link to the form and a video by Inclusion Ireland to assist you in completing the form

Disability Allowance Application Form

Disability Allowance Application Video

 If your child’s application is approved, then they will receive €232 per week ( February 2024 figures) from age 16, and this will stop at age 66.

The weekly payment must be paid to your child, so I always recommend my families to get the Disability Allowance paid into the Special Needs Bank Account if your child is vulnerable when it comes to managing money.

What happens next?

After being granted the Disability Allowance, your child can apply for a Free Travel Pass. If you believe your child would struggle to use public transport independently, then you can request a Companion Travel Pass, allowing your child and one other adult to travel with them for free as their Carer/Companion.

Your child’s Medical Card generally ends when they turn 16, but they are entitled to keep it going forward once they have Disability Allowance. The child or a parent must complete the full Medical Card application but only put your child’s details on it. Do not include any of your financial records, bank accounts, etc., only your son’s or daughter’s details.

It is always a good idea to write a cover letter explaining that you are completing the form on behalf of your child and that they are receiving Disability Allowance.

If nobody in the household is claiming the Household Benefits Package, then your child on Disability Allowance may be able to claim this, as it is not means test.

What happens to parents’ entitlements?

Once they meet the criteria, parents can continue to receive their own entitlements, such as Carer’s Allowance, Incapacity Child Tax Credit, Medical Card, etc. You should also note that the Carer’s Support Grant is only automatically paid if you have Carer’s Allowance after your child turns 16; otherwise, you must complete the application form each year. Remember, the Carer’s Support Grant is not a means test and is available to all families once one parent doesn’t work outside the home for more than 18.5 hours per week.

I hope this article helps shine a light on the changes to your child’s entitlements when they turn 16.