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At least 60% of domiciliary care allowance applications refused

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said the department received 4,339 claims for domiciliary care allowance in 2012.

The protest against disability cuts last year.
The protest against disability cuts last year.
Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

FIGURES RELEASED BY Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton show that just 34 per cent of people who apply for the domiciliary care allowance (DCA) are awarded the payment.

In response to a question from Fianna Fáil TD Willie O’Dea in the Dáil yesterday, the minister said the department received 4,339 claims for domiciliary care allowance in 2012 and that there are no backlogs in the allowance.

This allowance is a monthly payment to the carer of a child with a disability so severe that the child requires care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age.

O’Dea called on the minister to explain why over 60 per cent of the applications were refused and asked if she was going to stand by her claim that there has not been a directive to reduce the number of these payments being granted.

Burton said there can be a problem where a person does not provide all of the data and details necessary to support an application which can mean having to revert to seeking additional information.

“There are certain areas in which deciding on claims may be more difficult,” she added.”It must be remembered that a claim is made by an individual, but it is the medical adviser who supplies the actual data to support it.”

Thousands of families throughout the country have been left devastated by the refusal of their application for these allowances, O’Dea said today.

“In the last 3 months I have seen a massive upturn in the number of distressed members of the public coming to my constituency office to express their concern at their refused or delayed applications.”

“One such person applied for the Carers Allowance to care for a loved one that had cancer; that family member has since died,” he added. “Is the minister seriously saying that someone caring for a dying loved one didn’t deserve to receive the Carers’ Allowance?”

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