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What financial supports are available to parents of neurodiverse children?

Updated: Jul 5, 2021


Here at Super Calm Sensory Products our aim is to educate parents, carers, teachers and children on neurodiversity and the impact it can have on the person caring for the child with a neurodiverse difference. We aim to increase understanding on what is happening in the body of a neurologically different person resulting in greater empathy in understanding certain behaviours. By developing sensory diets and activities aimed towards their specific sensory needs the child should reach optimum levels of arousal to allow them to be present during school and home life.

Someone who has neurologically diverse differences may react differently to others around sensory stimuli and other environmental factors. The overall goal is to promote understanding and increase empathy resulting in a more harmonious environment for all.

 

Having a neurodiverse child can impact on finances within a family budget. Knowing the financial resources available and seeing the help that is out there is key to support your family. We have compiled an extensive list of all financial resources available for parents which you can see below.

Please feel free to share this information with families and friends you know to increase awareness of financial resources available in Ireland for neurodiverse children. If you know of any extra resources available for families please let us know so that we can keep this page as up to date as possible to privide the best information for Irish families.



GP visit cards Free GP visits for over 70s, under 6s and carers. Assessed first for a medical card and then visit card- have to pay for medication. If you get Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, at full or half rate, you can visit your GP for free.

To apply: http://www.medicalcard.ie/



ECCE Scheme The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Scheme provides early childhood care and education for children of pre-school age. The scheme is offered in early years settings (pre-schools, Montessori’s, creches, playgroups) for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, 38 weeks of the year.

To apply: To get a place for your child, apply to a participating playschool or daycare centre. You can get a list of participating services from your local City or County Childcare Committee (CCC). You will need to provide a copy of your child's birth certificate or passport and PPS number.

Supports for children with special needs

If your child needs additional support, your pre-school provider can apply, in partnership with you, for targeted supports under AIM. Applications are made through the Programmes Implementation Platform (PIP) on the Pobal website. Your pre-school service provider will be familiar with the Pobal website and with PIP.

The application process is open and will remain open throughout the year.

Applications can only be made with your full consent.


School Transport Scheme The Department, having regard to available resources, support the transport to and from primary and post-primary schools for children who reside remote from their nearest school. You should apply to the school principal who will contact the school’s Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) in relation to applying for special transport. If the SENO is satisfied that your child is enrolled in the nearest suitable school, and that school transport is required, a recommendation will be sent to the School Transport Section of the Department of Education and Skills.

To apply: The scheme is operated by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. If your child is enrolling in national school for the first time, you can either apply for school transport online or download the form from Bus Éireann's website.


Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability who requires ongoing care and attention substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. It is not means tested.

To apply: to apply, fill in a Domiciliary Care Allowance form (pdf). You can also get an application form by texting “FORM DCA” followed by your name and address to 51909 (standard text rates apply) or by dropping into your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or local Citizens Information Service.


The Home Tuition Grant The Home Tuition Grant is available to children with autism aged between 2 ½ years and 5 years of age who cannot find an appropriate early intervention placement within the State Education system. A copy of the child’s diagnostic report must also be submitted along with an up to date tax clearance cert from the parents. The completed application form along with all the relevant documentation can then be sent to the Home Tuition Unit of The Department of Education and Skills for approval. A Tax Clearance Certificate is easily available from the Revenue Commissioners. The Tax Clearance Cert can be accessed on www.revenue.ie

To apply: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/d15f58-home-tuition/#category-1-home-tuition-for-children-with-special-educational-needs-and-medical-grounds


Carers Allowance Carer’s Allowance is a means tested payment for carers on low incomes who live with and look after people who need full time care and attention. The application process for Carers Allowance is handled by the Department of Social Protection. If you qualify for Carer’s Allowance you may also qualify for free household benefits (if you are living with the person you are caring for) and a Free Travel Pass.

To apply: You should apply for Carer's Allowance as soon as possible. To apply, fill in an application form for Carer's Allowance (CR1) (pdf) which is available from your Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre. The form includes a medical report which must be signed by the person you are caring for and by their doctor. A Checklist is also included in the form which you should use to review your application before sending it in.


Carers Benefit Carer’s Benefit is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce to care for a person(s) in need of full-time care and attention. You can still work for maximum of 15 hours per week and still get this payment if you meet the net pay criteria. You can get Carer’s Benefit for a total period of 104 weeks for each person being cared for. This is not means tested but based on PRSI contributions and important criteria to note is you must have been employed for at least 8 weeks, whether consecutive or not, in the previous 26 week period. You must have been in employment for a minimum of 16 hours per week or 32 hours per fortnight.

To apply: To apply fill in an application form for Carer's Benefit (pdf). This form (CARB1) is also available from your local Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or from the Carer's Benefit Section, (see 'Where to apply' below). The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection recommends that you apply for Carer’s Benefit 10 weeks before you leave employment.

Incapacitated child credit The Incapacitated Child Tax Credit is a tax credit that can be claimed from the Revenue Commissioner. The credit is granted if your child has a permanent physical or mental incapacity.

To apply: You will need to get a certified Form ICC2 from the child's Medical Practitioner. PAYE customers can make a claim in the current tax year using PAYE Services in myAccount as follows:

  • sign into myAccount

  • click on ‘Manage your tax 2020’ 

  • select ‘add new credits’

  • select ‘You and your family’ and ‘Incapacitated Child Tax Credit’

  • complete the required fields and upload the from ICC2.

  • You can also make a claim for previous years using myAccount.


Carers Support Grant In June of each year (usually on the first Thursday of the month), the DEASP pays the grant automatically to carers getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, or Domiciliary Care Allowance from the Department. Only one Carer’s Support Grant can be paid for each person getting care. The grant is currently €1,700 annually. If you are getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance, you do not need to apply for the Carer’s Support Grant. It will be automatically paid to you in June. This grant is not taxable.

To apply: If you are getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance, you do not need to apply for the Carer's Support Grant. It will be automatically paid to you in June.

Medical tax relief Tax relief on the cost of health expenses can be claimed. These can be personal health expenses, those of a family member or any individual that are being paid for by the person making the claim. See more on revenue.ie.

Tax relief on additional health care expenses Tax relief on additional health care expenses for a child can also be claimed, for example, tax relief on the cost of an assessment carried out by an educational psychologist for a qualifying child, and for speech and language therapy for a qualifying child (A qualified speech and language therapist must carry out the therapy). For further information, please see the relevant section of the Revenue website.


VAT Refunds VAT refunds can be claimed on aids and appliances for people with disabilities. To see what qualifies, please consult Revenue’s website.


Supply of nappies This scheme provides nappies free of charge to children of three years and upwards with disabilities that use nappies. Contact local public health nurse.


Warmer homes scheme Carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or the Domiciliary Care Allowance and living with the cared for person are eligible for the Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. The scheme offers free energy efficiency upgrades to eligible homeowners helping to make your home warmer, healthier, and cheaper to run. For more information and details of how to apply, visit the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland website. https://www.seai.ie/grants/home-energy-grants/free-upgrades-for-eligible-homes



 
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