Written Answers. - Grant Payments.

Michael Ring

Question:

112 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason a person (details supplied) in County Mayo did not receive the respite grant for 2003. [17288/03]

In 1999, the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs introduced the respite care grant for recipients of carer's allowance. In 2000, the respite care grant was extended to beneficiaries of domiciliary care allowance.

At this time it was decided that: the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs would be responsible for paying the respite care grant to those providing care who are beneficiaries of the carers allowance/benefit only, or the carers allowance/benefit and domiciliary care allowance; and the Department of Health and Children, via health boards, would be responsible for paying the respite care grant to those providing care who are beneficiaries of domiciliary care allowance but who are not in receipt of the carers allowance/benefit.

The assessment of entitlement to and payment of the domiciliary care allowance – which is a pre requisite for payment of the respite care grant – is a matter for the relevant health board. Accordingly, a copy of the Deputy's question has been forwarded to the chief executive officer, Western Health Board, with a request that she examine the case and reply directly to the Deputy as a matter of urgency.

As my Department only has responsibility for payment of the respite care grant in the case of domiciliary care allowance recipients, the Deputy may wish to contact the Department of Social and Family Affairs.