This page outlines the financial supports which may apply to autistic children and their families. Receiving an autism diagnosis does not automatically entitle an individual to financial supports or assistance. Support is dependent on two things; nature of disability and in some cases, there will be a means test for some supports. The below information is an overview of some of the supports that are available to a family.
This is a payment made to people between the age of 16 and 65, who pass a means-test and are thought to be “substantially restricted” from undertaking work which would be otherwise suitable for someone of their age, experience, and qualification. If you qualify for this benefit you may also be eligible for further entitlements such as the household utility package and a free travel pass. For further information see Citizens Information Disability Allowance (citizensinformation.ie)
Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA)
Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for a child with significant complex needs. The payment is not based on the type of disability but is based on the impact of the disability. Eligibility is based on a child who requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. Unlike other payments of this nature, Domiciliary Care Allowance is not means tested. Since 2017 all children in receipt of DCA are entitled to a medical card. For more information on Domiciliary Care Allowance see Citizens Information Domiciliary Care Allowance (citizensinformation.ie)
Carers’ Allowance is a means-tested payment paid to people who provide full-time care to a child or adult who needs support because of age, disability, or illness (including mental health illness). In qualifying for a carer payment, you may also be entitled to access other services such as Free Household Benefits (if you are living with the person you are caring for) and a free travel pass and a Carer GP visit card. For more information on support for carers please see Family Carers Ireland Rights & Entitlements | Family Carers
Incapacitated Tax Credit
You can claim an Incapacitated Child Tax Credit if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is permanently incapacitated, either physically or mentally. To qualify the child must be either:
- Under 18 years of age, or
- Over 18 years of age and unable to support themselves. In this situation the child must have become permanently incapacitated before they were 21, or after they were 21 if they were still in full-time education or training for a trade or profession for a minimum of 2 years.
For more information on revenue’s financial supports see Family Carers Ireland rights_entitlements-section-2-revenue-supports_with-links.pdf (familycarers.ie)
Home Carer Tax Credit
A Home Carer Tax Credit is a tax credit given to married couples or civil partners (who are jointly assessed for tax) where one spouse or civil partner works in the home caring for a dependent person. The tax you are liable to pay is calculated as a percentage of your income. A tax credit is deducted from this to give the actual amount of tax that you have to pay. A tax credit has the effect of reducing your payable tax by the amount of the credit. For more information on this see Citizens Information Home Carer Tax Credit (citizensinformation.ie)
VAT Refunds on Aids and Appliances
If you live in Ireland and you have a disability, you may get a refund of Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain special aids and appliances that you need. In some cases, people who pay for aids and appliances that are for the exclusive use of a person with a disability can also claim the VAT refund. People with both physical and cognitive disabilities can avail of these refunds.
This scheme of VAT refunds on aids and appliances can also apply to adaptation and installation work being carried out to make a home more suitable for an older person or for a person with a disability.
Some of these financial supports apply to autistic adults as well as children. For more information check here.