Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Questions (685)

Eamon Scanlon


685. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if discriminatory elements (details supplied) of the domiciliary care allowance scheme will be addressed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12324/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is an allowance established as a recognition of the extra care and attention that is provided by parents in their home for a child with a severe disability requiring continual or continuous care and attention which is substantially in excess of that normally required by a child of the same age.

I wish to confirm for the Deputy that the issue he raises has now been addressed. Until recently a child had to be resident with a parent for a minimum of five days per week in order for that parent to qualify for the allowance. Minister Doherty recently introduced a change to the legislation governing Domiciliary Care Allowance which is set out under the Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) (Amendment) (No. 1) (Domiciliary Care Allowance – Normal Residence of Qualified Child) Regulations, S.I no.11 of 2019.

These Regulations provide for an exception to the 5-day residence condition set out in the main Regulations to allow for the award of DCA in cases of joint custody, allowing for the payment of DCA in circumstances where the child is resident with both parents, who are living apart. Where there is agreement between the parents concerned, the DCA will be payable to the nominated parent. Where there is no such agreement, the default position will be that DCA will be paid to the parent who is in receipt of child benefit in respect of the child.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.