Carer difficulties highlighted

The difficulties carers face when trying to obtain financial assistance from the state needs to be dealt with immediately, the Labour Party has said.

Only 17,500 out of 50,000 full time carers qualify for the Carer's Allowance because of the means test involved, the party's spokesperson on social and community affairs, Tommy Broughan, said.

He added that last week's case involving the Revenue Commissioners refusal of tax relief on vehicles for people with disabilities highlighted the difficulties which carers face.

Three carers, responsible for the transport of close family members with a disability, were refused tax relief available under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Regulations, 1994.

However an investigation by the Ombudsman concluded that the Revenue was wrong to refuse the tax relief and recommended that each of the three complainants be regarded as eligible for it.

"This is just one minor aspect of what is required to ease the financial and other burdens on the many tens of thousands of carers throughout the country", Mr Broughan added.


joani - 20/06/2007 18:52

Do any carers get help wih transport I spend a fortune on petrol driving my alzheimers mum around each day have had to get new clutch and tyres my car is old and the mileage i do each week with her ,I can't affrd to buy a new car so any help anyone can give me would be appreciated

Susan - 27/09/2007 17:18

Hi Joani, Sorry to finding your post so late, but hopefully this will give the issue a bump up the list. YES, there is assistance for transport, depending of course on your location and circumstances. If you receive Carers Allowance, you can apply for the Free Travel Pass which allows you to use bus and rail with your mother at no charge. If you live in a rural area, there are often schemes such as Rural Lift, a Social Car Scheme, and other transport helps--try your local Community Welfare Officer or Citizens Information office, who would have more specific information for you locally. Is most of your transportation for medical appointments? You may be able to get ambulance or subsidised taxi service; ask your GP, Public Health Nurse, or again Citizens Information. When your car needs repair and IF you qualify income-wise, you could consider applying for a Supplemental Assistance (drat, not sure that's the right name for it) payment; your Community Welfare Officer, Social Welfare Office, or (as always) Citizens Information office can explain more about what's available. And it never hurts to go to some of the foundations and charities; for instance, our local Carers Group helps members with transport and respite care for some situations. So try the local and national groups that apply to you, like Age Action, Carers Association, any Alzheimers organisations, and ask if they know of any help for you. And good luck! If you happen to live nearabouts Leitrim, do get in touch... ;-) Susan North Leitrim/West Cavan Carers Group

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