Benefits, Entitlements & Allowances
There are a number of Benefits, Entitlements and Allowances that can be applied for to help your child with Autism or Asperger Syndrome. Some of these are on an entitlement basis, based on the disability, some are means tested, some are age dependent and some are needs based.It can be very confusing trying to make sense of all these especially if you are trying to come to terms with a new diagnosis.
Domiciliary Care Allowance
This allowance helps parents pay for some of the additional costs that are incurred due to their child’s disability. The application process can be quite off-putting but it is important to fully complete the form. E.g. make sure it is explained fully the extra 24 hour care and attention your child requires over and above another typical child. It is important to ensure that you emphasise the way in which your child has needs requiring more attention/time than a typically developing peer.
Disability Allowance (16 years +)
Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get Disability Allowance from 16 years of age. If you have been in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), you will receive a letter telling you when your last payment for DCA will be and advising you to apply for Disability Allowance (DA). There is not an automatic qualification for DA, even if you have been receiving DCA up to 16 years of age so it is imperative that you ensure you apply.If you qualify for Disability Allowance you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments.
Carer’s Allowance (Means tested)
Carer’s Allowance is a payment to people living in Ireland who are looking after someone who is in need of support because of age, physical or learning disability or illness, including mental illness.The Carer’s Allowance is not payable to everyone, it is mainly aimed at carers on low incomes who live with and look after certain people who need full-time care and attention. If you are providing care to more than one person you may be entitled to an additional 50% of the maximum rate of Carer's Allowance each week.You will also qualify for free household benefits (such as Free Electricity/Natural Gas/Bottled Gas Refill Allowance, Free Television Licence, Free Telephone Rental Allowance) and a Free Travel Pass. Carer’s Allowance is not taken into account in the assessment for a medical card.
Your right to carer's leave from employment complements the Carer's Benefit Scheme. Carer's leave allows you to leave your employment temporarily for up to 104 weeks to provide full-time care for people in need of full-time care and attention. The leave is unpaid but people who take carer's leave have their jobs kept open for the duration of the leave. You do not have to be eligible for Carer's Benefit to get carer's leave.
See Revenue website on all available tax credits and tax-deductable expenses e.g. Incapacitated Child Tax Credit, Home Carer Tax Credit and Additional health care expenses for a child