Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (143)

Catherine Murphy


143. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Education and Skills the rationale for assessing a carer's respite grant as a source of income for a carer in respect of an income assessment for a SUSI grant application in respect of their dependants; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the respite grant is paid in respect of therapeutic services and residential respite care for the person being cared for to allow the carer to take a one week break per calendar year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5283/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I understand from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection that the Respite Care Grant name was changed in 2016 to the Carers Support Grant to better reflect how the grant is used by carers. Carers can now use the grant in whatever way they wish, it may be used to pay for respite care or other services, but it is not a requirement to do so.

Under the terms of the student grant scheme, the Carers Support Grant is treated as an income disregard where it is paid to recipients of the Carers Allowance and the Domiciliary Care Allowance and is therefore not included in the calculation of reckonable income. Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit are also qualifying payments for the special rate of grant.

If an individual applicant considers that she/he has been unjustly refused a student grant on the grounds of his/her initial classification as an independent or dependent student, she/he may appeal, in the first instance, to SUSI. Where an individual applicant has had an appeal turned down in writing by SUSI and remains of the view that the scheme has not been interpreted correctly in his/her case, an appeal, outlining the position may be submitted by the applicant to the independent Student Grants Appeals Board at within the required timeframe.