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Opposition TDs force Dáil debate on domiciliary care allowance

The allowance is given to the carer of children with severe disabilities who need close supervision. Opposition TDs say there have been significant problems with the payment recently.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton
Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE DÁIL’S TECHNICAL group, made up of Independent and United Left Alliance TDs, is to table a Dáil motion calling on the government to radically reform the domiciliary care allowance.

The domiciliary care allowance is a monthly payment given to the carer of a child with severe disabilities who requires close supervision or attention.

Many families have encountered significant problems accessing and retaining the allowance since the administration of the DCA was transferred from the HSE to the Department of Social Protection in 2009, the Technical Group said today.

The Department lacks the ‘appropriate level of expertise’ to assess the eligibility of claimants, TDs said. In a statement, the Group said it has received ‘ongoing and escalating’ appeals from people to ask the government to address the  increase in application refusals and rulings in ineligibility for the allowance among those who have come to depend on the payment.

The Dáil will spend three hours debating the issue between next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last week the Taoiseach was forced to fight off accusations from Fianna Fáil that the government was specifically targeting autistic children with the proposed cuts to domiciliary care allowances.

Previously: Disabilities – 1,700 Domiciliary Care Allowance applications scheduled for review >

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