Increase in Weekly Payments
The maximum rate of all weekly social welfare payments will increase by €5 per week with proportional increases for qualified adults and people on reduced rates of payment. This also applies to employment programmes such as Community Employment (CE), Tús and the Rural Social Scheme (from week beginning 25 March 2019).
The weekly rate for a qualified child will increase by €2.20 from €31.80 to €34 for children under 12 years of age. It will increase by €5.20 from €31.80 to €37 for children aged 12 years and over (from week beginning 25 March 2019).
The Fuel Allowance season will be extended by 1 week, from 27 to 28 weeks. The extra week will apply to the current fuel season.
A Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid in December 2018 to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment of €20). (December 2018).
Research on the Additional Cost of Living with a Disability
€300,000 to be provided to commission research in 2019 on the additional costs of living with a disability.
An extra €5 million is being invested in the Free Travel scheme in 2019, increasing the funding to €95 million.
- Additional materials funding of €2 million for the nationwide Community Employment Scheme to be made available in 2019.
- €5 increase in Back to Work Enterprise Allowance and employment programmes such as Community Employment, TÚS and Rural Social Scheme.
Funding for housing adaptation grants is increased to €57 million to enable up to 11,800 home adaptations for people with disabilities and older people.
A further 950 Special Needs Assistants (SNAs) will be recruited, bringing the total number to over 15,900. The Comprehensive Review of the SNA Scheme is to be implemented and €4.75 million in funding is provided to start this.
10 additional psychologists will be recruited to the National Education Psychological Service to support wellbeing in schools.
100 new therapy posts will address backlogs in assessment of need applications for children with disabilities and increase access to therapies for children.
Domiciliary Care Allowance
Domiciliary Care Allowance will continue to be paid for 3 months in cases where the child being cared for has died.