Benefits And Allowances


Here is a summary of benefits and allowances that members of CLDI have received. It is not complete and more information may be required to get them. No matter your circumstances it is worth seeing whether you are entitled to these benefits.


Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment of €309.50 to the carer of a child with an illness so severe that the child requires care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months. Many of the children affected by liver disease are entitled to this payment.

It is not means tested.


Medical cards are issued to cover all medical expenses. They cover doctors visits, medicines, hospital charges etc.

  • If your child has the Domiciliary Care Allowance they are AUTOMATICALLY entitled to the medical card.

  • If you do not have the Domiciliary Care Allowance the medical card is means assessed. They need information on income. They also need information on mortgage payments, mortgage protection payments, house insurance and information on house improvement loans.  This information is used to get a truer picture of your income.

  • Should you not be entitled to a medical card based on your income you can apply for a medical card allocated to your child based on their medical condition. Currently you have to apply for a medical card for your family. When you get turned down they send the form to a supervisor to assess based on medical need.

The card is valid for 2 years. Income information has to be updated at that time.


If you have the Domiciliary Care Allowance, Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Prescribed Relative’s Allowance you get the Carers Support grant automatically.

The Carers support Grant is an annual payment-currently €1700- made to carers by the Department of Social Protection in June. Carers can use the grant in whatever way they wish. You can use the grant to pay for respite care if you wish, but it is not necessary to do so.

You do not qualify if you are working more than 15 hours per week outside the home, if you are getting an unemployment payment or if you are signing on for unemployment credits. You also do not qualify if you are living in a hospital, convalescent home or similar institution.

If you are caring for more than one person, a grant is paid for each of them.


Below a link to the HSE information on the Drugs Payment Scheme. This scheme is available to all families. Families pay a maximum on all medications for the family of EUR144.  People in the group make use of this scheme if they do not have a medical card.

One of the issues with the scheme is that there are some medicines that are not covered. Some pharmacists find ways around it so it is worth getting to know your chemist. The chemist will help you to fill in the form.

Some parents have been able to get medications approved that had been previously unapproved. If this has been your experience, please contact us and let us know what happened so we can share it with the members.


When the medical teams recommend treatment in the UK the cost of the medical treatment is covered by the Treatment Abroad Scheme. You may be asked to fill in the E112 form. They also cover the cost of reasonable airfares for the patient and for one escort. This is not means tested.


For all PAYE workers’ medical expenses can be claimed against income tax for the entire family on their med 1 form. It means that you are entitled to get back the standard rate of tax on medical expenses which included medicines, doctors visits etc.  when your child has a serious illness there are additional expenses allowed on the med 1 form. Mileage, phone, accommodation, hygiene products and special clothing are allowable against tax if the expense is required for the child’s treatment. 

For families in this group this can be a significant sum of money.


Carers Benefit is a payment made on the basis of PRSI contributions made and is not means assessed.

You can get Carer’s Benefit for a total of 2 years for each person you are caring for. You should apply for Carer’s Benefit 10 weeks before you intend to leave employment so we have enough time to check if you qualify and deal with your claim. It takes up to 10 weeks to process a claim. If you don’t you may loose some of the payment. If you leave the workforce to care for a person in need of full-time care and attention, you may be entitled to unpaid temporary leave from your employer.


Carer’s Allowance is a means tested payment for people who are looking after certain people.

Since 27th September 2007 if you are getting certain payment(s) from this Department and you satisfy the conditions for Carer’s Allowance, you may get half the rate of Carer’s Allowance along with your existing payments.