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Domiciliary Care Allowance

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What the Domiciliary Care Allowance is

Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for a child with a severe disability.

The payment is not based on the type of disability. It is based on the impact of the disability.

How to qualify

To qualify:

  • your child must be under 16
  • the mental or physical disability must be severe
  • the disability must be likely to last for at least one year
  • your child must need ongoing care and attention substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age
  • your child must be ordinarily resident in the Irish State
  • your child must live at home with the person claiming the allowance for five or more days a week

NOTE: If your child is in full-time residential care, you are not eligible. If your child is in residential care but is at home for two days or more a week, you may get a half-rate payment. For example, you may qualify if your child attends residential services from Monday to Friday and goes home at weekends.

In addition, the person claiming the allowance for the child must:

  • provide for the care of the child
  • habitually live in the State

After your application is received, a medical assessor reviews the information you provide to decide whether your child meets the medical criteria for Domiciliary Care Allowance, including:

  • the history of the case (all the medical reports you provide, including a medical report from your GP and any reports you have from relevant specialists)
  • your description of the care and attention your child needs

The assessor will not see your child in person, so it is important to include as much information as possible in your application.

Once the Medical Assessor has given an opinion on the medical eligibility of the child, the case is passed to a Deciding Officer who will make the final decision on the application. A formal decision letter will issue notifying you of the outcome and if successful, details will be provided of the rate of payment and the commencement date including any arrears due. If awarded, payment commences from the calendar month following the month the application form was received.

If your application is not successful, you will be given information about how to appeal the outcome and/or seek a review of the decision.

Rates of payment

    Rate types Rate
    Full rate (when you care for your child five to seven days a week) €309.50
    Half rate (when you care for your child two to four days a week) €154.75

If you care for more than one child who qualifies for Domiciliary Care Allowance, you may claim the allowance for each child.

In addition, all recipients of Domiciliary Care Allowance qualify for the Carer’s Support Grant in June of each year. If you are entitled to a June payment for DCA, then you will automatically receive this payment. The current rate is €1,700 per year for each career.

When your child turns 16, your payment will stop. The last payment will be for the month of their sixteenth birthday.

Three months before your child’s birthday, the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will write to you to remind you that Domiciliary Care Allowance will shortly stop and tell you about the available options.

Disability Allowance

Following the cut-off of Domiciliary Care Allowance at age 16, your child can apply in their own right for Disability Allowance.

This is a payment to people with disabilities who, as a result of their disability, are substantially restricted in taking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of their age, experience and qualifications.

The qualifying conditions are different from the qualifying conditions for Domiciliary Care Allowance, so your child is not automatically entitled.

NOTE: All children for whom DCA is payable are entitled to a medical card which is not means tested. Please contact the HSE for more information and application forms.


To apply, fill in the application form below. Make sure your family doctor or medical specialist fills in Parts 6 and 7 of the form, and include any other reports you have on your child’s disability and how it affects their care.

You should apply as soon as you think you and your child meet the qualifying conditions. Some of the qualifying conditions are listed above. If your child has a pervasive developmental disorder such as autism, you may also include another form below named Dom Care 3. Include a report from each specialist who cares for your child.

You do not have to include Dom Care 3, but it can provide more details of your child’s condition and their specific care needs. Return forms, with the relevant supporting documentation, to this address:

Domiciliary Care Allowance

Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo
(Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Application Form: Domiciliary Care Allowance (Dom Care 1)

Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for a child with a severe disability.


Domiciliary Care Allowance Specialist’s Report (Dom Care 3)

If your child is being treated by more than one specialist and you are submitting a report from each, please ensure you use a separate report form for each specialist.


Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.