Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment to the carer of a child under 16 with a severe disability that is likely to last for at least 1 year. It is not means tested.
The guidelines for Domicilary Care Allowance state that the payment is not based on the type of disability but on the resulting physical or mental impairment which means that the child requires substantially more care and attention than another child of the same age. This care and attention must be required to allow the child to deal with the activities of daily living. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.
The Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme was administered by the Health Service Executive before it was transferred to the Department of Social Protection.
To qualify, the child must have a severe disability that is likely to last for at least 1 year and:
In addition, the person claiming the allowance for the child must:
The legislation states that to qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance a child must have "a severe disability requiring continual or continuous care and attention substantially in excess of the care and attention normally required by a child of the same age".
This means that eligibility for Domiciliary Care Allowance is not based on the type of impairment or disease, but on the resulting lack of function of body or mind which means the child needs extra care and attention.
The Department's Medical Assessor looks at all the following before giving an opinion on whether your child meets the medical criteria:
Children who are being cared for on a full-time basis in residential homes or other institutions are not eligible for the allowance.
However, children in residential care who go home may receive a half-rate payment if they are at home for 2 days or more a week, for example, a child who attends residential services from Monday to Friday and goes home at weekends.
If your application is refused on medical grounds, you may submit additional information and ask for the case to be reviewed by a different Medical Assessor. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of this review, or wish to appeal on other grounds, you can appeal the decision to the Social Welfare Appeals Office.
The Domiciliary Care Allowance rate is €309.50 per month.
There is no restriction on the number of children for whom you may claim Domiciliary Care Allowance. (In other words, if you are caring for more than 1 child who qualifies for Domiciliary Care Allowance, you may claim the monthly allowance for each).
Payment is made on the third Tuesday of every month for the current month.
Payment may continue for up to 13 weeks if the child is getting medical or other treatment in hospital.
You can also claim a Respite Care Grant, which is paid automatically each year during the month of June.
To apply, fill in a Domiciliary Care Allowance form (pdf) or text “FORM DCA” followed by your name and address to 51909 (standard text rates apply).
You can also get an application form in your Intreo centre or social welfare local office or from your local Citizens Information Centre.
You should complete Parts 1 to 5 of the application form and have your child’s GP complete parts 6 and 7. Please ensure that you attach any reports or assessments relevant to your child’s disability.
Your application form and supporting documentation should be sent to:
Social Welfare Services Office
Department of Social Protection
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
You can email the Domiciliary Care Allowance section using the secure enquiry form. If you wish to talk to someone face-to-face about your entitlements, you can visit your local Citizens Information centre, social welfare local office or Intreo centre.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.