The Children's Fund
The Irish Cancer Society offers a grant to parents of children diagnosed with cancer to help them with the unexpected expenses that this diagnosis brings. A total of 3 applications can be assessed over the course of a child’s treatment, with a 12 month interval between each application. The maximum amount that can be paid out is €1000 for the first application and €500 each for a second and third application. There is no automatic entitlement and each application is assessed on a case by case basis. It is not means assessed. You can ask the social worker in Children's Health Ireland at Crumin for the forms for this grant. The fund is also available to patients under 18 years of age who are undergoing cancer treatment in other hospitals nationwide. If you cannot access this grant for any reason please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel2Care is a limited transportation assistance fund which has been made available by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) to patients travelling to a designated cancer care centre or approved satellite centre and is administered by the Irish Cancer Society. The purpose of this fund is to support people who have a genuine financial difficulty in meeting some of the costs of travelling to current appointments. The Travel2Care scheme is currently available to children who travel over 50kms one way to Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin.
Travel2Care is available to patients attending for tests or treatment. There are two types of forms, Form A and Form B. Form A is for tests, Form B is for treatment. Parents can apply for Form B themselves, you just need to download the form from http://www.cancer.ie. Form B needs to be submitted by your healthcare professional, such as a medical social worker, in Crumlin. Usually with Form A, parents can apply multiple times (when their child is travelling for tests) up to a max of €250. Once a child starts treatment, they can then apply for Form B – this is a once off payment.
Applying for Travel2Care will have no effect on applying for the Children's Fund. They are separate schemes and once a patient is eligible to apply an application for both schemes may be submitted.
Your child’s disease and treatment may require them to use aids for mobility or vision or other purposes in the short and long term. This is called assistive technology. The Assistive Technology Acquisition Grant (ATAG) is an initiative by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI). It exists to help reduce the cost of assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired. The scheme is monitored for NCBI and advised on by the Visually Impaired Computer Society of Ireland (VICS), vicsireland.org
Paying for equipment
Equipment for people with disabilities is usually supplied free of charge to medical card holders. People with a Long Term Illness Card may also get equipment, essential for the primary condition, free of charge. People in hospital may have aids and appliances provided free of charge when they are prescribed as part of in-hospital treatment in a public hospital. VAT paid on certain equipment which is privately purchased for use by a person with a disability can be reclaimed from Revenue.
Depending on the type of equipment required, a qualified therapist assesses your child and makes a recommendation to the body responsible for the provision of the equipment or to the person or agency who has requested the assessment. The assessment process and provision may vary in different parts of the country but the following generally applies:
- Occupational therapists assess for daily living aids – these include items like wheelchairs, beds, mobility aids, specialised chairs, bath, shower and toilet aids, stair lifts and hoists. They also assess applicants for housing grants.
- Physiotherapists assess for movement, strength and balance training equipment, walking aids and exercise devices.
- Speech and language therapists assess for communication, speech therapy, and training aids.
- Other relevant therapists and specialists may also be involved in carrying out assessments, depending on the equipment or appliance required.
If you are waiting for assistance from your local services and your child needs equipment urgently please mention this to the medical staff dealing with your child in Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin. They may be able to reduce the waiting times for your child. As a cancer diagnosis is a sudden, unexpected event often assistive technology is needed quickly to ensure that your child can participate in as much of ‘normal life’ as possible.
Assistance dogs include guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for Deaf people and helping dogs. You can get more information from Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind (guidedogs.ie).
Companion Free Travel Pass
If your child is blind or visually impaired, they may be entitled to a Companion Free Travel Pass from the Department of Social Protection. 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 Iarnród Éireann services.
Apply to the Free Travel Section of the Department of Social Protection or call them on Lo-call 1890 66 22 44 or (071) 919 3313.
Travel Disabled Person’s Parking Card
The Disabled Person’s Parking Card (also known as the European Parking Card) is for people with severe disabilities, whether they are drivers or passengers. It costs €25 (€50 to replace a lost card) and it applies to the person rather than the car. Card holders can park in disabled parking spaces. The card is for people whose disability affects their mobility, including people who are registered as blind. If you already have a Primary Medical Certificate from the HSE, you automatically qualify but must apply. Generally, the card is not issued to anyone under five.
How to apply: - The parking card scheme is administered by the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association. You have to get the form completed by the Gardaí and by your doctor. The social worker in the hospital will provide you with the form, or you can contact the Irish Wheelchair Association at: National Mobility Centre, Ballinagappa Road, Clane, Co Kildare. Telephone:045 893 094. If your child uses a wheelchair it may help to get one of these cards as you can park closer to the entrance of the hospital, schools, shopping centres and cinemas and this should help your child to participate in everyday activities.
Air travel Airlines and tour operators cannot refuse to carry passengers, or to take bookings, on the basis of reduced mobility. This applies only to flights from airports in the EU. All European airports and air carriers must offer free assistance to anyone with a disability. Certain services like wheelchairs or transport of guide dogs must be provided free of charge, while priority boarding is guaranteed.
Request special assistance if you are booking travel abroad to ensure a smooth passage through the crowds and queues in the airport.