Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (484)

Lisa Chambers

Question:

484. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Health the requirements for persons applying for a primary care certificate in order for their application to be successful; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23500/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Scheme operated by the Revenue Commissioners provides VAT and VRT relief, an exemption from road tax and a fuel grant to drivers and passengers with specific permanent and severe disabilities who qualify under the relevant criteria set out in the Department of Finance governing regulations, the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994.

The extent of the involvement of health personnel relates to making a professional clinical determination as to whether an individual applicant satisfies the medical criteria. The Department of Finance regulations require that the eligibility on medical grounds of disabled persons who are severely and permanently disabled shall be assessed by reference to any one or more of the following medical criteria:

(a) Persons who are wholly or almost wholly without the use of both legs;

(b) Persons wholly without the use of one of their legs and almost wholly without the use of the other leg such that they are severely restricted as to movement of their lower limbs;

(c) Persons without both hands or without both arms;

(d) Persons without one or both legs;

(e) Persons wholly or almost wholly without the use of both hands or arms and wholly or almost wholly without the use of one leg;

(f) Persons having the medical condition of dwarfism and who have serious difficulties of movement of the lower limbs.

This determination is undertaken by Senior Medical Officers for the relevant local Health Service Executive administrative area, on behalf of the Department of Finance and the Revenue Commissioners. However these HSE personnel have no role in setting or amending the criteria. A successful applicant is provided with a Primary Medical Certificate which is required under the regulations to claim the reliefs provided for in the Scheme.

An unsuccessful applicant can appeal the HSE's Senior Medical Officers' decision to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, which is under the remit of the Department of Finance. The Appeal Board makes a new clinical determination in respect of the individual. After six months an applicant may reapply if there is a deterioration in their condition.