In a week of horrendous cover ups and massive let downs, there’s been a chink of light in the form of a medical card breakthrough for kids with disabilities. This is a massive achievement for their families who have been campaigning for years to secure medical cards for their children. This week, the Government has announced that the Bill to provide children with disabilities with medical cards has been published. The final step in the process is getting the legislation passed by members of the Oireachtas.
Our much beleaguered minister for Health Simon Harris said he looks forward to working with all sides of the Oireachtas “to pass this legislation as quickly as possible” and fingers crossed that’s what happens.
Down Syndrome Ireland reported that Minister for State with Responsibility for Disability Finian McGrath said: “This is a good day and I particularly want to acknowledge and thank all the people with disabilities, their parents and families, voluntary groups and organisations who have campaigned on this issue over many years. This is your day.”
The latest figures show that the initiative will benefit nearly 9,800 children who are not currently eligible for a medical card.
According to the Department of Health’s announcement, the HSE has been working to produce both a paper-based and an online registration system which is going live on 1st May, with parents being able to use their new medical cards from 1st June 2017.
The Department of Health advises parents to please register as soon as possible after the online registration system goes live on 1st May.
How the new DCA medical card will work:
- For a child in receipt of DCA but who currently does not have a medical card, the parent or guardian will register for the scheme either online or through a paper-based form.
- For a child who is currently eligible for a medical card (under discretion or otherwise) and is confirmed to be in receipt of DCA, the HSE will automatically issue them a medical card.
- For a child who is currently eligible for a GP Visit Card (under discretion or otherwise), this card will automatically be upgraded to a full medical card.
How to Apply for a Domiciliary Care Allowance:
- Every child with Down syndrome qualifies their parent to receive a Domiciliary Care Allowance. You will need to fill out this form and get part of it completed by your GP. This will give you a monthly payment of €309.50 and there is a one-off payment of €1700 made every year in June. This payment will continue until your child reaches the age of 16. You can apply for the allowance as soon as your child is born and they will backdate the payment to the month of his or her birth. The application should be sent to-
Domiciliary Care Allowance
Social Welfare Services Office
Department of Social Protection
Tel:(071) 915 7100
Locall:1890 500 000
This is brilliant news and should go someway towards easing the financial burden of parents with children who incur high medical bills. Another small step on the road to making our society an inclusive and supportive one as possible.