Dáil Éireann - Volume 443 - 14 June, 1994

Written Answers. - Mobility Allowance.

186. Mr. J. Higgins asked the Minister for Health if he will consider a mobility allowance for disabled drivers.

Minister for Health (Mr. Howlin): A motorised transport grant scheme for disabled drivers has been in operation in my Department since 1968. The scheme was introduced to help disabled drivers to get a job and was later extended to include disabled drivers who needed a car to retain their employment. To be eligible for this scheme the applicant must need a car in order to earn a living. However, a person who lives in a very isolated area may also qualify for this scheme. Payment of the grant is also subject to a means test and the current maximum grant is £2,500. Disabled drivers may also avail of tax concessions under the Disabled Drivers (Tax Concessions) Regulations, 1989 which are administered by the Revenue Commissioners.

A mobility allowance for handicapped persons to finance the occasional taxi journey for severely handicapped persons unable to walk or use public transport who would benefit from trips from home is also administered by my Department. This allowance is normally paid in addition to the disabled person's maintenance allowance of £59.20 per week or other social welfare payments. The mobility allowance is currently £432 per annum.