Submission to the DEASP on the Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities Report 2017

Community Law & Mediation welcomed the opportunity to attend a Consultation event and to make a written submission in relation to the recommendations of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection Make Work Pay for People with Disabilities Report 2017, based on our experience in representing and advocating for people with disabilities.  CLM used case studies to illustrate the impact on the current system of Domiciliary Care Allowance, Carer’s Allowance and Disability Allowance.  We broadly welcomed the proposed Recommendations 9A, 9B and 10.

It was noted that CLM would welcome concrete initiatives to introduce more disability friendly training courses or make current training courses more accessible to persons with disabilities. Also, CLM would further welcome an acknowledgement that for many people with disabilities, returning to the workforce may be less affordable than for their comparators.

In relation to the desk-based assessments described in our case studies, CLM urged the Department, when assessing an entitlement to Disability Allowance on the expiry of the Domiciliary Care Allowance, to consider the importance of face-to-face holistic assessments by medical professionals, in order to avoid procedural flaws.  The needs of people with disabilities can be complex and highly subjective.  Needs may not always be complex but may be individual or differing, depending on the disability concerned

The voluntary nature of early engagement is fundamental.  CLM supported this early engagement to ascertain what supports can be provided to people with a disability who are able to work and interested in getting a job, to assist them in fulfilling their employment goals.  The importance of a joined-up inter-departmental approach to assisting people with disabilities to gain and retain employment cannot be overstated.  CLM noted that it would welcome the simplification of a sometimes labyrinthine system which is difficult for people to navigate.  Finally, CLM urged the Department to prioritise raising awareness of the initiatives that will be made available to people with disabilities.

Read the full submission here.