There are a number of entitlements or grants a Deaf person can apply for in Ireland. However, certain qualifying criteria apply. The availability of funding can also be an issue. Here is a sample grants available as of 2015 (Please note, changes may occur throughout the year).
Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get Disability Allowance from 16 years of age. If you qualify for Disability Allowance you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments.
Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability, who requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. It is not means tested. We have the forms in our office and will assist you in applying for this grant, which is paid monthly.
MSAA/RAGS Scheme (Health Service Executive- HSE). The HSE funds a grant scheme for equipment for Deaf and hard of hearing via our service & Deafhear Killarney. The budget as of 2015 was €15,000 between the two organisations.
A completed application form is assessed based on priority. P1 is the highest priority and the committee try to allocate equipment to P1 applications every quarter (every 3 months approx)
- P1 status is usually given to applications for essential equipment such as:
- Flashing Light Doorbell
- Baby Alarm
- Fire Alarm
- TV/Conversational Listening Device.
All other equipment is given a P2 status and is placed on a waiting list. If funding is available at the end of the year, the committee may be able to fund P2 equipment.
P2 is given to pieces of equipment that are seen as non-essential such as:
- Alarm Clocks
- Tinnitus Relaxer
- Teleflash Other.
Workplace Equipment Adaptation Grant
(Intreo Employment Service - formerly known as FAS) Intreo provide a grant to employers to cover the cost of equipment for employees with a disability. If you have been offered employment or are in employment, and require a more accessible workplace or adapted equipment to do your job, you or your employer may be able to get a grant towards the costs of adapting
Council Tenants Equipment Grant
If a person lives in a Council House and requires a fire alarm system or doorbell, an application can be made to their local Council to cover the cost of equipment.
Everyone aged 66 and over living permanently in the State is entitled to the Free Travel Scheme. Some people under 66 also qualify. If you qualify for free travel, you are issued with a card that you must carry with you when using public transport. In some cases, a Free Travel Companion Card is available which allows a person to travel with the holder (if they are unable to travel alone). Free Travel Cards are non-transferrable and can only be used by the named person.
Hearing Aid Grant
If you have a medical card or meet qualifying criteria, you can obtain a hearing aid free of charge. Hearing aids may also be provided by suppliers who have a contract with the Department of Social Protection. The Department pays half the cost of a hearing aid subject to a fixed maximum of €500 (as of 2015) for each hearing aid every 4 years. It also pays half the cost of repairs to aids.
Household Benefits Package
The Household Benefits Package is a package of allowances which help you with the costs of running your household. The package is available to everyone aged over 70 and to people under age 70 in receipt of qualifying Social Welfare payments.
Qualifying applicants can apply for the following:
Job Interview Interpreter Grant
Intreo can cover the cost of a sign language interpreter for a job interview. Job Interview Interpreter Grant: If you are attending job interviews, you may apply for funding to have a sign language interpreter to attend the interview with you. Funding can also be provided to cover the costs of an interpreter during an induction period when you start work.
The Department will pay a fee as per the standard rate for a 3-hour period using a professionally qualified interpreter. Travel costs for the interpreter are paid at a set rate. Rates will be differentiated between professionally qualified interpreters and others.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) issues medical cards which allows you to receive certain health services free of charge.
To qualify for a medical card, your weekly income must be below a certain figure for your family size. Cash income, savings, investments and property
(except for your own home) are taken into account in the means test.