End unfair treatment of Special Needs Teenagers in Ireland

End unfair treatment of Special Needs Teenagers in Ireland

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John Joe started this petition to Minister for Disability Anne Rabbitte (Minister for Disability)

I am calling on the Minister for Disabilities Anne Rabbitte TD to end the unfair treatment of special needs teenagers who are forced to transition from their much-needed Domiciliary Care Allowance to Disability Allowance whilst still in education. This is both unfair and discriminatory. I would value your help in raising this matter in the Dáil Éireann

I am the father of two boys on the Autism spectrum, because of their lifelong medical conditions they qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance, which is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability. The child must need ongoing care and attention substantially over and above that usually needed by a child of the same age. It is not means tested. This is very useful to fund the myriad of expenses that result in providing them the best possible care and also seek private options for support removed by the state.

My eldest boy is 14 and just started secondary school. I hope and pray he remains in education as long as possible but when he turns 16 under the current legislation in Ireland, he loses his Domiciliary Care Allowance and has to apply himself as an adult in his own right for Disability Allowance .

Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment for people with disabilities who as a result of their disability are substantially restricted in undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of their age, experience and qualifications. 

As any parent of a child with special needs will tell you their condition does not magically disappear over night and the process of applying for any support is both time consuming and a traumatic experience.

Many children with disabilities are denied Disability Allowance while still in education. This removal of Domiciliary Care Allowance in many cases increases  child poverty and removes the ability of many families to fund additional resources which the state is not providing.

A worrying trend is also becoming clear, with many applications being denied Disability Allowance at the initial application stage. Is this perhaps in the hope the appeal process will put parents and children off reapplying.  

Please can you show your support to highlight this unfair treatment of some of the weakest in our society.

Thank you for your help and support

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