Medical Card - Domicilliary Care Allowance (DCA)

Medical Card Scheme for children in respect of whom Domiciliary Care Allowance is payable.   

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment for a severely disabled child who is aged under 16 and needs full-time care and attention far beyond what is normally required by a child of the same age.

The Health (Amendment) Act 2017 provides for the grant of full eligibility to children in respect of whom a DCA is payable. The HSE will grant Medical Card eligibility to such children from 1 June 2017 onwards, once they are registered on the scheme.

Click here to register your child under the Medical Card - DCA Scheme.

What information do I need to register?

You will need to have the following information in order to register:

1.   Your own PPS number as the child's parent or guardian

2.   Your contact details as the child's parent or guardian

3.   Your child’s PPS number and date of birth

4.   The name and address of the GP of choice.

Should I register my child?

1.      My child has Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility.

No, you do not need to register your child.

A child in respect of whom the DCA is payable who has Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility will be automatically registered for Medical Card eligibility for a period of 6 years, or until the child’s sixteenth birthday, whichever is earlier.

2.      My child does not have Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility currently.

A child in respect of whom a DCA is payable, who is ordinarily resident in Ireland and who does not have Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility should be registered on this scheme.

What does Ordinarily Resident mean?

Ordinarily resident means that your child is living in Ireland or intends to live in Ireland for more than one year.

How Do I register?

A: Register Online:

What information do I need to register?

You will need to have the following information in order to register:

1.   Your own PPS number as the child's parent or guardian

2.   Your contact details as the child's parent or guardian

3.   Your child’s PPS number and date of birth

4.   The name and address of the GP of choice.

B:  Register your child by completing a Registration Form.

Alternatively you can complete a Registration Form and return it to:

The National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745 Business Reply Dublin 11 D11 XKF3

Alternatively you can complete a Registration Form and return it to:

The National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745 Business Reply Dublin 11 D11 XKF3

Where can I get my child’s Personal Public Service Number?

The Personal Public Service number (PPS number) for your child is available from the Department of Social Protection. Each child is issued a unique number. If you don’t know your child’s PPS number please contact the Client Identity Services, Department of Social Protection, at 1890 927 999 or email cis@welfare.ie

Why is a Parent’s or Guardian’s PPS Number required?

The HSE requires a parent or guardian’s PPS number in order to link the child who is registered for Medical Card eligibility with the parent or guardian to whom DCA is payable.

At what stage will my child get a Medical Card?

Once the registration of your child is complete a Medical Card in the child’s name will be posted, to the address provided.

My child’s sixteen birthday will occur in the month of registration, should I continue to register my child?

Yes. All children in respect of whom a DCA is payable and who are ordinarily resident in Ireland will qualify for Medical Card eligibility and will be entitled to use a Medical Card until the end of the month in which his or her sixteenth birthday occurs.

Can I register more than one child using the Online Registration facility?

Yes, after you have entered your first child’s details you should click the ‘Add Another Child’ option to register additional children.

How do I register two or more children if they attend separate GPS?

f you are registering two or more children, and they attend separate GPs, you must complete a separate registration for each child and select the GP of choice for each child.

Why is my GP of choice not listed when using the Online registration facility?

Your GP of choice may not be listed as he/she may not be accepting additional patients to their General Medical Services (GMS) patient list.

I have registered my child Online – what happens next?

If your GP is accepting registrations electronically your child’s details will be sent to him or her. Once the GP of choice accepts your child to their GMS patient list the registration will be finalised by the National Medical Card Unit.

If your GP is not accepting registrations electronically, you will receive an email with an attached copy of your child’s registration details. Print this form and bring it to the GP of choice to manually complete GP Acceptance. The completed GP Acceptance must then be returned to:

The National Medical Card Unit, PO Box 11745 Business Reply Dublin 11 D11 XKF3

I can’t get a GP to accept my child to their GMS patient list - how do I get a GP?

Once three GPs of choice have refused to accept your child to their GMS patient list, you must inform the HSE.

The HSE will then assign a GP to provide services to your child under the scheme.

I have selected a GP of choice, is my child now covered under this scheme?

Once the GP of choice accepts your child to their GMS patient list, the registration will be finalised by the National Medical Card Unit.

What happens when a DCA is no longer payable?

You will receive notification from the National Medical Card Unit approximately three months before your child’s eligibility expires. Medical Card eligibility for children over 16 years, is assessed in accordance with the National Assessment Guidelines.

I wish to apply for Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility for all family members, do I include my child in respect of who the DCA is payable, on the application?

When applying for assessment of Medical Card or GP Visit Card eligibility for all family members, you should include details of all dependants. By doing so, the National Medical Card Unit will apply the financial threshold applicable to your family. Services available to Medical Card holders.

Will Home Visits by my GP be covered?

Yes, home visits are covered. Your GP will exercise his/her judgment in each case in determining whether a home visit is warranted.

Will Out-of-Hours urgent GP care be provided?

Yes, out of hours, urgent GP care service will be covered

How do I apply for DCA Payment for my child?

Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability, who requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. It is not means tested.  It is administered by Department of Social Protection.  Click here for further details in relation to payment of Domiciliary Care Allowance by Department of Social Protection