Doherty Makes Changes to Domiciliary Care Allowance to Facilitate Separated Parents


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Doherty Makes Changes to Domiciliary Care Allowance
to Facilitate Separated Parents

Friday, 25 January, 2019: Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D., today announced that she has made changes to the current regulations governing the Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme to facilitate parents who are sharing in the care of their disabled child but living apart to qualify for the scheme.

The change in the regulations will provide for an exception to the current residence condition for a Domiciliary Care Allowance in those particular joint custody circumstances where the child resides with neither parent for the required five days each week. Now, in such cases, the Allowance will be paid to the parent nominated in writing by both parents or, where no such nomination occurs, to the parent who is in receipt of Child Benefit in respect of the child concerned.

Speaking today, Minister Doherty said:

“Under the previous conditions of the Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme the child for whom the allowance was claimed needed to reside with the applicant for at least five continuous days each week. In cases where parents are living apart, but sharing in the raising of their child, depending on the residency arrangements it was possible that neither parent would meet this requirement and the allowance would not be payable.

I firmly believe that where a child has care needs resulting from a disability, then, regardless of who provides that care on a rota basis, the Domiciliary Care Allowance should be awarded. This change to the scheme’s regulations will ensure this.”

ENDS

Note for Editors

Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 who has a severe disability and requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. It is not means assessed. Currently some 39,000 parents are receiving the Allowance in respect of 43,000 children, at a cost of €170m per year.

Full details on the Domiciliary Care Allowance scheme and how to apply are available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website here

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Last modified:25/01/2019