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Health Services

Domiciliary Care Allowance

What is Domiciliary Care Allowance?

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment provided for a child with a severe disability, designed to help with the extra cost of caring for such a child. The allowance is not contingent on the type of disability, but rather the impact of that disability on the child's daily life.

How to Qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance:

To qualify:

  • The child must be under the age of 16.
  • The child's disability, either physical or mental, must be severe.
  • The disability is expected to last for at least a year.
  • The child must require additional care and attention substantially more than a child of the same age.
  • The child must be a resident in the Irish State.
  • The child must live at home with the person claiming the allowance for five or more days a week.

  • If a child is in full-time residential care, they are not eligible for this allowance. However, if a child is in residential care but at home for two or more days a week, a half-rate payment might be granted.

    Assessment:

    Applications are reviewed by a medical assessor who considers the information provided, including the history of the case and the described care needs of the child.

    The final decision is made by a Deciding Officer who will issue a formal decision letter with the outcome and relevant details if the application is successful.

    Appeals:

    In case of unsuccessful applications, information about how to appeal or seek a review of the decision will be provided.

    Rates of Payment:

  • Full rate (caring for the child from 5 to 7 days a week): €330.00
  • Half rate (caring for the child from 2 to 4 days a week): €165.00

  • If more than one eligible child, the allowance may be claimed for each child.

    All recipients of Domiciliary Care Allowance also qualify for the Carer's Support Grant Application Form (CSG1) in June of each year. This payment is automatic if you are entitled to a June payment for DCA, and the current rate is €1,850 per year for each carer.

    After the Child Turns 16

    Domiciliary Care Allowance stops when the child turns 16, with the last payment for the month of their sixteenth birthday. Three months prior, the department will inform the caregiver that the Domiciliary Care Allowance will end soon and provide information about available options.

    Following the discontinuation of Domiciliary Care Allowance at age 16, the child can apply for Disability Allowance (DA1) in their own right. The eligibility criteria for the Disability Allowance are different from those for Domiciliary Care Allowance, so entitlement is not automatic.

    It's important to note that all children for whom Domiciliary Care Allowance is payable are entitled to a non-means-tested medical card. The Health Service Executive (HSE) can provide more information and application forms for this benefit.

    How to Apply:

    Fill in the application Domiciliary Care Allowance (Dom Care 1) form. Your family doctor or medical specialist must fill in Parts 6 and 7 of the form, and include any other reports you have on your child’s disability and how it affects their care.

    You should apply as soon as you think you and your child meet the qualifying conditions. If your child has a pervasive developmental disorder such as autism, you may also include Domiciliary Care Allowance Specialist’s Report (Dom Care 3).

    Include a report from each specialist who cares for your child.

    You do not have to include Domiciliary Care Allowance Specialist’s Report (Dom Care 3), but it can provide more details of your child’s condition and their specific care needs. Return forms, with the relevant supporting documentation, to this address:

    Domiciliary Care Allowance Section
    Address: Department of Social Protection,
    Social Welfare Services Office,
    Government Buildings,
    Ballinalee Road,
    Co. Longford,
    N39 E4E0

    Email:domcare@welfare.ie
    Phone number: +353 43 3340000 or 0818 927770