Changes to disability allowance


Sir, – I would have to agree with the report that brings into question the payment of disability allowance to 16- and 17-year-olds (Home News, April 10th). While the current system is working for some young people with disabilities and their families, it is failing many others.

At present, young people who have less visible disabilities (eg Asperger’s syndrome) and who are supported up to 16 years of age through domiciliary care allowance are failing to meet the criteria for disability allowance. This results in families of children with very significant needs being left with no support for the final two years of education. Further, the wisdom of directly funding 16-year-olds, who are in full-time education, has to be questioned.

Clearly there are different levels of need among children with disabilities and so, perhaps, there should be different solutions.Could the Government consider a two-tier system? This could see severely disabled children, unable to attend mainstream school, moving on to disability allowance at 16 years and a continuation of domiciliary care allowance for those who are able to attend mainstream education. – Yours, etc,




Co Wicklow.