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Still no news on Mobility Allowance replacement

It had been said that an inter-departmental group was due to submit a report on the issue this month.

THERE IS STILL no news on the replacement scheme for the Mobility Allowance, with the Disability Federation of Ireland saying people continue to be worried about the situation.

The Department of Health had said in June that an interdepartmental group was to report to Government on the operation of the new scheme by October.

It had also announced that the HSE was to temporarily pay an allowance to recipients of the Mobility Allowance in order to prevent hardship.

The allowance is paid to people who have a disability and are unable to walk or use public transport, and are aged over 16 and under 66. The Mobility Allowance was means-tested.


Today, the Department of Health told that in June last following a review and consultation the Government decided that new statutory provisions should be brought forward to provide individual payments to people with severe disabilities who require additional income to address the costs of their mobility needs.

It said that the inter-departmental group, chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, has been working to develop detailed proposals for the operation of a new statutory scheme for consideration by Government.

People will continue to receive the temporary payments for a further period pending the commencement of new statutory provisions,”in the interests of preventing hardship, and, on an interim basis, alleviating stress, anxiety and uncertainty among a vulnerable group in society”, said the Department.

However, there are still no details yet on what the new replacement scheme could be.

The Disability Federation of Ireland said today:

We are not unduly concerned as timelines often slip when Government Departments are delivering on commitments.  However, people and their families continue to be worried about the situation regarding the mobility allowance and the motorised transport grant, and this comes on top of other on-going concerns, for example, reviews of medical cards.

In October 2012 it was announced that the Government was considering legal advice over the allowance, as the upper age limit on it had been declared illegal.

In February 26, it was decided that the Mobility Allowance and the Motorised Transport Grant Schemes should be axed.

The Government “is very conscious of the needs of people with a disability” and “has a clear policy to support, subject to the resources available to it, the independence of people with disabilities”, said the Department of Health.

It added that all of these matters “will be taken into consideration when making a decision on future arrangements”.

Read: HSE to temporarily pay mobility allowance to ‘prevent hardship’>

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