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HSE to temporarily pay mobility allowance to 'prevent hardship'

It has also decided that new statutory provisions will be established to provide individual payments to people with severe disabilities for their mobility needs.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS agreed that the HSE should temporarily pay an allowance to recipients of the Mobility Allowance in order to prevent hardship.

It has also decided that new statutory provisions will be established to provide individual payments to people with severe disabilities who require additional income to address the costs of their mobility needs.

This evening’s announcement comes after October 2012’s announcement that it was considering legal advice over the allowance, as the upper age limit placed on it was declared illegal.

There are approximately 4,500 recipients of the allowance from the HSE, at a cost of €12 million.

The Government said it noted the interim report of the Review Group which was established following the decision on 26 February that the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant Schemes – which provided payments to certain people with disabilities – should be axed.

The decision had been described as “appalling” by the Disability Federation of Ireland (DFI) earlier this year.

An inter-departmental group, chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, will now be asked to develop detailed proposals for the operation of the new scheme or schemes, including eligibility criteria and administrative arrangements.

They are due to report back to Government by October.

It has agreed that payments should temporarily continue to be made by the HSE to people currently in receipt of the Mobility Allowance for a further number of months, pending the commencement of a statutory scheme.

It has decided this on the basis that it would prevent hardship:

and, on an interim basis, alleviate stress, anxiety and uncertainty among a vulnerable group in society and having regard to the exigencies that have arisen.

Read: Column: I cried when I heard about the mobility allowance cut – I can’t take any more>

Read: Final Mobility Allowance installment payment due on 26 June>

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