What is Disability Allowance and what grants exist for people with disabilities?
If you are living with a disability and aged 16 or over, you may qualify for the Disability Allowance
If you are living with a disability and aged 16 or over, you may qualify for the Disability Allowance. If you are still in school and over the age of 16, you will be able to continue your education while receiving this payment.
Qualifying for disability allowance
To qualify for disability allowance you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have an injury, disease or physical or mental disability that has continued or is expected to continue for a year
- Your disability should restrict you from being able to work in a job for which your age, qualifications and skills would be suited
- You must be over 16
- You must satisfy a means test
- You must be resident in Ireland
Additional grants or supports
Along with this allowance, you may also qualify for additional grants or support payments. One such grant is the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability. This grant, like the disability allowance, is means tested. It can be availed of when a home requires changes in order to make it suitable for a person with a physical or intellectual disability to live in. Therefore, this grant can be used to make your home wheelchair-accessible, extending it to create more space, things like that. The maximum grant available is €30,000.
You could receive this grant if you are a disabled person living in:
- Owner-occupied housing (i.e. you own the house in which you live)
- A house bought from a local authority
- Private rented accommodation (keep in mind the length of your lease can affect the approval of your grant)
- Accommodation provided under the voluntary housing schemes
- Accommodation lived in by people in communal residences
Your application is then prioritised based on medical need. Sometimes, an occupational therapist’s assessment will be required.
The means test
You must also satisfy the means test; this takes into account the total income of the household, to find out if you qualify for the grant, and if so, for what amount.
You must also provide:
- Your tax reference number
- Your tax district
- A statement that your tax is in order.
- Itemised quotations from 2 contractors indicating the cost of the work required
If your grant application amounts to €10,000 or more, you must provide your local authority with a Tax Clearance Certificate.
Remember, unless your grant is approved, you will not be paid! Don’t schedule any work until after you’ve received approval from the local authority. When you receive approval, you will be expected to have the work completed within 6 months.
If your home requires some modifications to provide for mobility problems, you might be eligible for the Mobility Aids Grant Scheme. This grant can be used to buy and install grab rails, access ramps or a stairlift. While it is mainly used by older people, people with a disability can also access this scheme. There is a maximum of €6,000 available under this grant.
For more information see the Assist Ireland website.