Domiciliary Care Allowance
The Domiciliary Care Allowance is a non-statutory monthly means-tested payment made to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home. It is usually paid to the parent caring for the child. In order to qualify, your child must have a disability and
- must be aged under 16
- must live at home
- must need substantially more constant care and attention than a child of the same age who does not have a disability
The assessment of whether or not your child needs more constant care and attention is made by the Health Service Executive (HSE). They look at the degree of additional care and attention needed by the child rather than the type of disability involved. There are no particular disabilities specified.
The allowance is not payable if your child is in full-time residential care but a pro-rata allowance may be paid if your child is in residential care but comes home for weekends and/or holidays. The allowance is payable if the child normally lives at home but is away for up to eight weeks, for example, in hospital.
The means test applies to the means of the child and not to the means of the parents. Since most children do not have personal means, the majority of children who are born with a severe disability should qualify.
The allowance ceases to be payable when your child reaches 16. He/she may then qualify for a Disability Allowance.
You are entitled to Child Benefit in the usual way and you may also be eligible for Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance if you meet the other conditions. You are also eligible for a Respite Care grant.
More information can be found from the department of health and children website
The means test takes account of the parents’ income. Some income is disregarded. If you get a Carer’s Allowance, you are no longer considered to be an adult dependant on your spouse’s social welfare payment. You may not get a Carer’s Allowance and another social welfare payment at the same time.
You should apply to:
Social Welfare Services Office,
Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs,
Carer’s Benefit may be payable if you give up work in order to provide full time care for a person who needs it. The conditions are similar to those for Carer’s Allowance except that it is not means tested and you must have enough PRSI contributions. Carer’s Benefit is paid for up to 15 months.
You can find out more information about the rules, rates, and an application form by clicking here
Respite Care Grant
Respite care grant is an automatic annual payment made to carers in receipt of Carers Allowance/Benefit (by the Dept. of Social & Family Affairs) or Domiciliary Care Allowance (by the HSE). (It is doubled if you are caring for more than one child) and is processed every June
The Grant was €1,700 in 2007, you can find more information by clicking on the link above