12.6.2013 NAI welcomes decision on mobility allowance

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The NAI welcomes the decision of the Government to continue payments to those formerly in receipt of the mobility allowance, pending the establishment of a new statutory provisions to provide individual payments to people with severe disabilities who require additional income to address the cost of their mobility needs. This is following the Interim report of the Department of Health review group on both schemes, the recommendations of which have been published this week. The Government has agreed that an inter-departmental group, chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, will now be asked to develop detailed proposals for the operation of the new scheme or schemes, including eligibility criteria and administrative arrangements, and should report back to Government by October. In addition, the Government has agreed that payments should temporarily continue to be made by the HSE to those persons currently in receipt of the Mobility Allowance for a further number of months, pending the commencement of a statutory scheme, on the basis that this would prevent hardship, and, on an interim basis, alleviate stress, anxiety and uncertainty among a vulnerable group in society and having regard to the exigencies that have arisen. Speaking on Morning Ireland this morning, Minister of State for Disability Kathleen Lynch thanked the disability community for their co-operation with the review process and noted that, from the beginning, the Government had been very cognisant of the vulnerability of this group of people with disabilities and the need to protect the payment in some way.

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