Cottage Autism Network
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Applying for Domiciliary Care Allowance? Then listen up.

Applying for Domiciliary Care Allowance? Then listen up.

Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment of €309.50 from the Department of Social Protection to families who care for a child under 16 years of age in their own home. It is based on the amount of extra care and attention you give your child as opposed to a child of the same age that doesn’t have a disability and not on specific diagnoses. Some people find the application process very daunting so below is a typical application process. Cottage Autism Network as a regional information service for families affected by autism are publishing the following item for information purposes only.  Any follow up action by anybody in relation to this circulated information is entirely their own decision and they should not infer from our issue of the information that the content is being endorsed by Cottage Autism Network.


1)      Get application form from; Text “FORM DCA” to 51909 or from your local department of social protection office/citizens information centre.

Note: If your child has a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD), e.g. Autism Spectrum Disorder, you are advised to have the medical professional or specialist dealing with your child complete an additional medical form Dom care 3 available on, from your local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Office or Citizens Information Centre. The complete form will detail your child’s conditions and any specific care needs the child might have as a result of their disability and will assist the Department’s Medical Assessor in forming an opinion on eligibility

2)      Gather together all the reports you have for your child, carefully read them noting down all the areas these reports say your child needs extra care and attention.

3)      Print this Form for Disability out and fill it in, it can be sent with your application form or used as a guide for filling in the DCA form.

4)      Print out the template G.P letter and take this along with the application form to your G.P, don’t leave the forms there, sit with the G.P whilst they are being completed or at least discuss the form / letter with them. This would be a sample letter that your GP could provide you with to support your DCA application. You can add other issues your child has or take away those that do not apply. Make an appointment and sit with your GP while they write or at least take information for the filling in of the letter. Your GP should expand on each section stating the issues your child has and where possible it should be backed up by reports from other health care professionals such as O/T’s etc. This last stage of giving detailed description of your child’s individual care needs is very important, similar letters should be sought for all health care professionals who work with your child.

5)      Start to fill out your part of the application form; try not to concentrate on your child’s diagnosis but the extra care and attention this requires. Many parents will tell you this is the hardest part of the process because it can paint your child in a very negative light.

6)      Complete a daily diary for your child. Detail everything you do for your child, step by step in great detail considering all of the above points. E.g. 7am I have to help him/her get up; 7.10am I have to help them getting dressed because they can’t do buttons up etc.

7)      Complete a family impact statement talking about the changes you have had to make because of your child’s disability. These could include not being able to go out as a family, not being able to use baby sitters etc.

8)      Photocopy all your reports and put your and your child’s PRSI number on each page as a reference.

9)      If you have more appointments try to get the person to write an updated report or a letter stressing the extra care and attention your child needs because of their disability, think along the lines of sensory diets, PICA, restrictive food diets, medication regimes etc., lack of awareness of danger, self-harming, danger posed to siblings.

10)   Send of the application recorded delivery/ registered post  to:

Domiciliary Care Allowance Section

Social Welfare Services

Department of Social Protection

College Road



  • Do not forget to apply for carers allowance at the same time if you are not working (or working less than 15 hours a week) and your means are below the income guidelines. Just enclose a note stating that you are applying for DCA and want your file kept  open until a decision has been made. If you get a DCA refusal write back to carers allowance section stating that you are appealing the decision to refuse DCA.
  • If you are in full time employment do not forget there may be an option to take 2 years unpaid carers leave if you meet the criteria and have your job kept open for you. If you have enough PRSI contributions you may also qualify for carers benefit which is not means tested. If you apply for carers benefit you will not get the household benefits package or a free travel pass.
  • Ring a few days later to ensure that they have received your application form.
  • If you have not heard anything within 4 weeks start to call them to find out about your application form Tel:(071) 915 7100 Locall:1890 500 000
  • If you have any new reports or information photocopy them, put your child’s PRSI number on them and send them off to the previous address.


What to do if you are refused:


Social Welfare Appeals Office

D’Olier House

D’Olier Street

Dublin 2



  • Dont forget to include any new information and a diary and a family impact statement if you haven’t already done so.