Dáil Éireann - Volume 527 - 05 December, 2000
Written Answers. - Disabled Person's Grant Scheme.
Mr. Aylward Mr. Aylward
288. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if, in view of the long delay in having applications under the disabled person's grants scheme administered, he will enter into negotiations with the Department of Health and Children and come to an arrangement whereby disabled person's grants are administered exclusively by the local authority and do not require an environmental health officer's report from the health board. [28641/00]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The disabled person's grants scheme is administered by local authorities in accordance with the legal framework laid down in section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1979 and statutory regulations made under that Act. The framework laid down in the statutory regulations is, as far as practicable, designed to give an appropriate degree of flexibility to local authorities in administering the scheme and I have no proposals to amend the regulations in this regard.
It is, accordingly, a matter for the local authority to decide the staffing resources to be made available, the level of grants in individual cases and the circumstances in which a grant may be paid. It is, of course, also a matter for the authority to ensure that there are no undue delays in the processing of applications for disabled person's grants.
When considering the nature of the works to be carried out in individual cases local authorities are required to take account of the longer term needs of applicants. This ensures that the need for further grant assistance should not arise in the future. While local authorities employ the services of health board occupational therapists to  ascertain the longer term needs of applicants, the regulations do not compel them to do so.
Dáil Éireann 527 Written Answers. Disabled Person's Grant Scheme.