Social Protection | Easing the requirements for domiciliary care allowance
To ask the Minister for Social Protection if she will consider easing the qualification requirements in respect of domiciliary care allowance, given the number of cases referred to appeal; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is payable to a parent / guardian in respect of a child aged under 16, who has a severe disability and requires continual or continuous care and attention in the home, that is substantially over and above the level of care and attention normally required by a child of the same age and the child must be likely to require to require this level of care for at least 12 months.
Eligibility for DCA is determined primarily and essentially by reference to the degree of ongoing care and attention required by the child rather than the child’s disability. To qualify for DCA , it must be established that the level of care and attention required by the relevant child is substantially in excess of that normally required by children of the same age and likely to be required for at least 12 months, as provided for in the qualifying conditions for the scheme, in accordance with the governing legislation.
Due to the nature and purpose of the scheme, all applicants are encouraged to provide any additional information and / or documentary evidence that is relevant, such as medical professional report(s) or otherwise with the initial application, (including in cases where a review(s) is subsequently requested), which may assist the department’s deciding officers and medical assessors to make an appropriate decision on entitlement and at the earliest possible date.
Any scheme changes, including changes to the qualifying conditions for DCA, would need to be considered in an overall policy, legislative and budgetary context.
In the last Budget, I announced that I would be amending the scheme to allow for payment of Domiciliary Care Allowance in respect of children who remain in hospital after birth due to illness or disability. I am introducing Regulations to that effect.
I trust this clarifies the position for the Deputy.
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