Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Ceisteanna (607)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

607. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a survey carried out in 2018 by her Department of parents on domiciliary care allowance in respect of potentially increasing the disability allowance age from 16 to 18 years of age and extending the domiciliary care allowance age from 16 to 18 years of age; if a decision has been made on same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [51262/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Make Work Pay report was published in April 2017 following a commitment in the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for people with disabilities 2015 -2024, and was undertaken in order to better identify how people with disabilities could be supported to achieve their employment ambitions.

The report made two recommendations (numbers 9 and 10) that addressed significant issues around the design of the main income supports schemes. These related to a proposed reconfiguration of Disability Allowance (from the current starting age of 16 to 18 years) and an implementation of the principle of early engagement for young persons on Disability Allowance (DA) and on all illness and disability payments.

To fulfil a commitment made at the time of the report, a wide-ranging consultation exercise was conducted with persons with disabilities, their families and representative groups in relation to these recommendations. This consultation began in September 2017 and continued until June 2018.

The national consultation process gathered a large amount of material and a draft report has been prepared by my Department together with the key stakeholder focus group. The "plain English" accessible format of the report is now being completed. Other accessible formats such as, an easy to read report, ISL videos (with both Irish and English voice over and captioning), audio files (Irish and English) and a braille report have been prepared.

I have asked my officials to consider what implementation issues related to early engagement need to be addressed before deciding on the next steps with regards to the report’s findings, and work is on-going in this regard.