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
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:
- Be aged under 16 (at 16, the child can apply for a Disability Allowance)
- Live at home with the person claiming the allowance for 5 or more days a
week - see 'Half-rate payment' below
- Meet the medical criteria - see below
- Be ordinarily resident in the State
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:
- The history of the case
- All medical reports received (your GP fills out a medical report and you
should include reports from any relevant specialists)
- Your description of the care and attention required by your child. (The
form allows you to state what extra care your child needs under a number of
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.
Reviews and appeals
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
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
Payment may continue for up to 13 weeks if the child is getting medical or
other treatment in hospital.
Your entitlement to Child
Benefit is not affected and you may also qualify for Carer's Benefit or Carer's Allowance if you meet the
You can also claim a Respite Care Grant, which is paid
automatically each year during the month of June.
How to apply
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
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.
Where to apply
Your application form and supporting documentation should be sent to:
Domiciliary Care Allowance
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.