Thursday, 26 February 2004

Questions (139)

John McGuinness

Question:

138 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children if a primary medical certificate will be issued to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 8; and if a mobility allowance will also be sanctioned in this case. [6449/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Health and Children)

The medical assessment for the purpose of the disabled drivers and disabled passengers tax concessions scheme is carried out by the senior area medical officer in the relevant health board. This function is to assist the Department of Finance which has statutory responsibility for the scheme.

Accordingly, my Department has asked the regional chief executive of the Eastern Regional Health Authority to investigate this case and reply directly to the Deputy as a matter of urgency.

A mobility allowance is a means tested monthly health board allowance. The purpose of this allowance is to provide financial support to eligible people who are unable to walk or use public transport and is intended to enable them to benefit from a change in surroundings — for example, by financing the occasional taxi journey.

A maximum amount of €142 per month, from 1 January 2004, is available only to eligible persons who do not benefit from the disabled drivers and disabled passengers tax concessions scheme. Those who benefit from both the disabled drivers and disabled passengers — tax concessions — scheme and mobility allowance will receive a mobility allowance up to a maximum amount of €71 per month from 1 January 2004.

The granting of a primary medical certificate is not a prerequisite for the provision of a mobility allowance. The application for mobility allowance would be considered separately. The individual concerned should apply directly to the health board.