The Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare have been asked by the Minister for Social Protection to include issues pertaining to Disability Allowance and Domiciliary Care Allowance. In Budget 2012 the Minister proposed cutting the rate of payment for those under 22 to that payable to able bodied young people in training and removing the payment of Disability Allowance to those between the ages of 16 and 18. The Minister also proposed to extend the Domiciliary Care Allowance to families of children up to the age of 18. The changes were removed from the Budget following protests from people with disabilities and their families and government backbenchers.
Submissions from the public are now being sought by the Advisory Group before February 22. Full information is available here .
To examine and report on the policy objectives underpinning the Budget 2012 proposals regarding:
i. Changes in the eligibility criteria and rates of payment for Disability Allowance (DA);
ii. The increase in the age threshold for payment of Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA);
The findings of this group will be used to back up future changes proposed by the Minister. Therefore it is important that people with disabilities, their families and those working to support them illustrate both the difficulties in obtaining support and the rationale (and reality) for it being awarded. Income support issues regarding disability cannot be viewed in isolation from other policy areas and the lack of implementation of the Disability Act and restricted sectoral plans in Education and Employment and Health Departments might also be important to reflect on and the extra costs of disability included as a reminder.