assistance with caring
An important element of caring is ensuring that the person cared for has the
best quality of life possible through enhanced independence and dignity. Technical
aids and appliances, as well as the right modifications to the home and accessible
transport, are all vital elements in independent living.
There are a number of assistance schemes in place to help carers adapt their
home to suit an incapacitated person, and to enable disabled and elderly people
to become more mobile and independent.
of VRT and VAT on Disabled Persons Vehicle
Severely and permanently disabled persons are entitled to repayment of Vehicle
Registration Tax (VRT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) paid on specially constructed
or modified vehicles. Repayment of VRT and VAT is not available on a leased
vehicle. The scheme may also apply to an adapted vehicle for use by the person
with the disability as a passenger.
An Original Primary Medical Certificate from the local health board must be
provided confirming that the persons disability falls within the rules.
These generally require that the person is wholly or almost wholly without the
use of both legs, or without the use of both hands or arms. Other categories
of disability are also included. The completed Form is returned to the Revenue
Commission in Co. Monaghan and if they are satisfied, a Letter of Authorisation
is issued to the person exempting them from VRT.
On receipt of the completed application form, invoice for the cost of the vehicle
and cost of adaptation and Vehicle Registration Certificate (or log book), VRT
and VAT will be refunded.
The vehicle must not be disposed of within 24 months.
Excise Duty paid on fuel actually used in the disabled drivers vehicle
may be repaid, up to an annual limit of 2728 litres (600 gallons). Claims are
made every four months.
Persons Parking Card
The person with the disability may park their vehicle at parking meters, in
disk parking areas and designated areas. The card, once issued to the person
with the disability, can be carried with them and allows their own car, or a
car in which they are a passenger, to be parked.
People with disabilities can get driving lessons at specialist driving schools
at the Disabled Drivers Association and the Irish Wheelchair Association.
Board Grant Towards a Vehicle
If you as a person with a disability need a grant towards buying and or adapting
a vehicle to enable you to take up work, you may get a grant from the local
health board. The grant is subject to a means test.
Disabled Drivers Section, Revenue Commissioners
Tel: (047) 82800
Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland
Tel: (094) 64266/64054.
Irish Wheelchair Association
Tel: (01) 8338241.
National Rehabilitation Board
NRB is the statutory agency for people with disabilities. The Disability Resource
Centre of the NRB offers a wide range of information on equipment for people
NRB has permanent displays of lifts, ramps, hoists, bathroom and kitchen accessories
and other equipment. You can try these out on the premises.
Wheelchair Keys - NRB makes available keys to toilets for people with disabilities.
National Disability Resource Centre
44 North Great Georges Street
Tel: (01) 8747503
Boots and Shoes
For children under 18 years of age, two pairs of orthopaedic boots or shoes
are paid for annually to people with medical cards or on the long term illness
Children over 18 years qualify for one pair annually. These are supplied on
prescription from your orthopaedic surgeon.
Irish Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus
Old Nangor Road,
Tel: (01) 4572326.
Hearing testing and the fitting and repair of hearing aids are services provided
by the National Rehabilitation Board (NRB), although these services are being
transferred to the health services. Advice and information on hearing difficulties
are also provided. Services are targeted to school children and adults with
Contact:- Audiology Services, NRB, 25 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4. Tel
You may have to adapt your home or build on an extension to make it more accessible
for a frail older person or a person with a disability. The Local Authority
Disabled Persons Grant Scheme covers up to 90 % of the cost of the works to
private houses. The maximum grant is €23,800. The work must be done by
a building contractor who is registered for VAT and has a C2 certificate.
If you live in local authority housing, you can have the work done by your
local authority or have suitable alternative accommodation provided.
If you have difficulty in raising a mortgage to buy your home, you may qualify
for the Shared Ownership Scheme of your local authority. In the early stages,
you agreed to buy a share of the house rather that the full amount. You must
be at least a 40 % share, with the local authority owning the remaining share.
You pay off your house loan from the local authority on the share you own. You
also rent the remaining share from the local authority.
If your income is low enough, you may qualify for a subsidy from the local
authority towards the rent. Interest on the loan on your share of the house
can be set off against your income tax in the normal way. You do not have to
pay stamp duty and the deposit is small (usually €1270). Legal fees are
also very low.
Over the period of the scheme (usually up to 25 years), you buy back the remaining
share of the house.
Contact: Department of the Environment, Tel (01) 6793377 or your local authority.
In addition to the first-time grant for a new house, you may be able to claim
a VAT refund from the Revenue Commission for special equipment such as stair-lifts
and Draught Proofing
Energy Action can provide a free draught proofing and home insulation service
to some older people in need of care at home.
IDA Unit 16
Tel: (01) 4545464.
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