Motorised Transport Grant

Introduction

The Motorised Transport Grant is a means-tested Health Service Executive (HSE) payment for people with disabilities who need to buy a car in order to retain employment. This payment is also for people with disabilities who need to have a car or other vehicle adapted in order to enable them to drive and, as a result, earn a living.

In 2013, the Department of Health announced that the Motorised Transport Grant scheme was closed to new applicants. An alternative scheme is being devised to replace it. This alternative scheme will be called the Transport Support Scheme.

Rules

To be eligible to receive this grant, you must satisfy the following conditions:

  • You must be over 17 years (the upper age limit has been removed)
  • Your disability must impede your use of public transport
  • You must hold a driving licence
  • You must be physically and mentally capable of driving
  • You must require a car or other vehicle in order to retain employment. The HSE must be satisfied that you are capable of holding down the job.
  • You must satisfy a means test

You must require a car or other vehicle in order to retain employment. The grant may also be considered in exceptional circumstances for people with severe disabilities who are over 17 years, but who live in very isolated locations and cannot use public transport.

It may be possible for you to get a grant if you are unemployed but could take up work, which is available to you, if you had a car. Self-employed people may be able to get a grant.

Normally, the grant is payable where you drive yourself. It may be possible to get approval to have a grant paid where you own the car and arrange for its adaptation and another named person drives it because you are not physically or medically able to drive.

How are means assessed?

Your means and your spouse/partner's means, if any, are taken into account in the means test for the grant. Means are determined on the basis of net income (gross income less PAYE, PRSI and superannuation deductions) and includes income from such things as investments and lettings. Payments for rent or mortgage are deducted from income.

The following payments are not taken into account in accessing your means:

  • Blind Welfare Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Foster Care Allowance
  • Higher Education Grants
  • Living Alone Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Income up to the maximum amount approved by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) from employment of a therapeutic or rehabilitative nature
  • Monies received from charitable organisations other than remuneration
  • Special compensation awards that are exempted by legislation, for example, Thalidomide
  • Travel and meal allowances paid to participants on Government-approved schemes
  • Repayments received under the Health (Repayment Scheme) Act 2006

Carer’s payments

If your spouse/partner is receiving Carer's Allowance/Benefit, the payment is ignored. Instead, your income is assessed as being your primary payment plus any increases for qualified children, plus the Supplementary Welfare Allowance increase for a qualified adult.

Where Carer's Allowance/Benefit is paid in respect of you to someone who is not your spouse/partner it is ignored and your income is assessed as being your primary payment plus any increases for qualified children.

Capital

The formula used in the assessment of the income from capital is the same as that used by the DSP in the means test for Disability Allowance.

What if you got a Motorised Transport Grant before?

When a grant has previously been paid towards the purchase of a vehicle, a grant towards the replacement of the car will not normally be paid, unless due to extenuating circumstances, until 3 years from the date that the previous grant has been paid.

As the Motorised Transport Grant has been discontinued you cannot apply for a grant towards the replacement of a car.

How is Mobility Allowance affected?

If you receive a Motorised Transport Grant, while getting Mobility Allowance, you will become ineligible to receive Mobility Allowance for a period of 3 years. The payment of a Motorised Transport Grant is subject to the condition that the Health Service Executive (HSE) will not be called upon at any future date to contribute towards the running costs of the vehicle. You will be eligible for the Mobility Allowance again, 3 years after the date of payment of the Motorised Transport Grant.

Is there other financial help for drivers and passengers with disabilities?

Severely and permanently disabled people who use specially adapted vehicles as drivers and passengers are eligible for a range of tax exemptions and refunds. These schemes are run by the Revenue Commissioners and the rules are set down in legislation. Qualifying for the HSE Motorised Transport Grants does not guarantee that you will qualify for the tax exemptions, nor does failure to qualify mean that you are not eligible.

Are there parking cards for people with disabilities

European Parking Cards are available to people with certain disabilities and people who are registered blind, whether they are drivers or passengers. The parking card can be used by a disabled person in any vehicle in which he or she is travelling. The parking card scheme for disabled drivers and passengers applies to public car parking areas only.

Rates

The maximum motorised transport grant is €5,020.50.

A grant of up to 75% of the cost of the motorised transport may be paid, subject to the maximum grant. The cost of the motorised transport is the purchase price:

  • Less Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) and VAT if you are eligible for the VRT exemption and VAT refund
  • Less trade-in price, where appropriate

If your assessed means for the year are greater than the national average industrial wage (€33,165 for 2010 applications), the excess is deducted from the maximum grant payable for your situation.

For example, where a person with assessed annual means of €35,000 wants to buy a car which costs €15,000 (after the deductions mentioned above) the grant is calculated as follows:

  • 75% of the actual cost of the car (€15,000) is €11,250. This is greater than the maximum grant (€5,020.50), therefore the maximum grant payable is €5,020.50.
  • The assessed means (€35,000) are greater than the average industrial wage (€33,165) by €1,835. This excess is deducted from the maximum grant payable (€5,020.50 less €1,835) to give €3,185.50 as the grant that is paid.

How to apply

New applications are no longer accepted.

Where to apply

You may get help and advice on car adaptations from:

Irish Wheelchair Association

National Mobility Centre
Ballinagappa Road
Clane
Kildare
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)45 893094/5
Fax:+353 (0)45 861144
Homepage: http://www.iwa.ie
Email: maats@iwa.ie


Disabled Drivers Association

Ballindine
Claremorris
Mayo
Ireland

Tel:+353 (0)94 936 4054 or +353 (0)94 936 4266
Fax:+353 (0)94 936 4336
Homepage: http://www.ddai.ie
Email: kenneth.fox@ddai.ie

Page edited: 9 March 2017