first_imgThomas Pringle TD has criticised the Government on the current assessment, review and appeals system for the Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA), calling it “an abomination on families who are already struggling to create a normal life for themselves and their children.”Speaking in the Dáil on the motion to reform the DCA, which was transferred to the Department of Social Protection in 2009, the Independent TD for Donegal South West slated the current process to receive the allowance.“Something must have gone badly wrong with the administrative system if 52% of appeals are successful. Unfortunately, the system appears to be designed to minimise the amount of money paid to families by making them struggle through bureaucratic procedures,” he said. “Some of the most common queries raised at my constituency office are from parents who are applying for the Domiciliary Care Allowance. They have spent the duration of their children’s lives in a struggle to get services for their children and in many cases they have had to struggle to arrange diagnoses so that they can finally prove their children have problems which the system failed or refused to recognise.It is disheartening to see the level of upset which these families experience in their constant fight to get services and entitlements. The system should be reformed to ensure that families receive a fair hearing. It should not be assumed that they are trying to defraud the State or get a benefit to which they are not entitled.”“Families should not have to incur expenses in getting expert opinion when their Domiciliary Care Allowance comes up for renewal, but should instead be provided as a matter of right with reports from the health care providers who are already dealing with their children. That a departmental official could ask a family whether their child still has autism betrays a lack of understanding for what families are going through. The Department needs to recognise that,” said Pringle.“I have attended oral hearings with families and it is heart-rending to observe the upset that parents experience in trying to justify their application for support. In fairness to the inspectors, many of them are similarly upset because they cannot understand how the Department can make these decisions. If it was transferred back to the Department of Health, there might be greater empathy with applicants.” “The Minister for Social Protection should change the system to ensure that families receive the support and protection they need from her Department, rather than constantly struggling against the barriers it erects in their way,” stated Pringle.RED TAPE BUREAUCRATS HITTING CARE ALLOWANCE, CLAIMS TD was last modified: May 9th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CLAIMS TDRED TAPE BUREAUCRATS HITTING CARE ALLOWANCElast_img read more