If you are a parent or guardian of a child with significant sight loss, you may be able to claim certain benefits and allowances from the Department of Social Protection and Health Service Executive.
Companion free travel pass
If your child’s level of vision satisfies the criteria determined by the government for blind registration they may be entitled to a companion free travel pass. With this pass your child can travel free (alone or accompanied by one other person over the age of 16) on Dublin Bus, LUAS, Bus Éireann and Iarnrod Éireann services.
Apply to the Free Travel section of the Department of Social Protection or Locall 1890 500 000
Disabled persons parking card
If your child’s level of vision satisfies the criteria determined by the government for blind registration and is aged 5 or over, they may be entitled to apply for a disabled person’s parking card, which can be used in any vehicle in which the child travels. This card allows the vehicle to be parked in designated disabled parking spaces, disc parking areas and parking meter areas for an unrestricted length of time free of charge.
To apply for a disabled person’s parking card or to renew or replace your card, contact the Disabled Drivers Association, Tel: 094 936 4054 or 094 936 4266, or the Irish Wheelchair Association, Tel: 045 893094.
Domiciliary care allowance
If your child has significant sight loss, you may qualify for domiciliary care allowance. To qualify for this allowance, your child must live at home, be under 16 years of age and must require substantially more care and supervision as a result of their disability. A means test to calculate the financial resources of your child is required. At 16 years, you can apply for disability allowance on behalf of your child. This is administered by the Department of Social Protection.
Apply to your local health service executive office.
Incapacitated child tax credit
If your child’s level of vision satisfies the criteria determined by the government for blind registration and is under the age of 21, (or over the age of 21 and is in full-time education or training for a trade or profession, for a minimum of 2 years), you can apply for an additional tax credit. Revenue’s website
If your level of vision satisfies the criteria determined by the government for blind registration and you are aged between 16 and 18 years you may be eligible for this weekly payment. You must satisfy a means test and have a disability that is expected to last for at least one year. Find out more about other qualifying criteria for disability allowance.
Apply to the Disability Allowance section, Longford, Locall: 1890 927 770