Saturday 19 August 2017

Mum's carer's allowance slashed to just €4 a week after she marries

Ger Corcoran pictured on her wedding day with new husband John, daughter Halle (13) and son Dylan (16). Dylan has multiple disabilities and Ger is his full-time carer. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
Ger Corcoran pictured on her wedding day with new husband John, daughter Halle (13) and son Dylan (16). Dylan has multiple disabilities and Ger is his full-time carer. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Elaine Keogh

The mother of a teenager with multiple disabilities has said her carer's allowance has been slashed since she got married.

"I feel like I and my son are being punished because of me finding someone to share my life with. It is a disgrace that Ireland has come to this," said Ger Corcoran.

"This is not about the money, it is about a mother's right to be able to care for her disabled son full-time."

Dylan (16) has multiple disabilities, including an intellectual disability, and Ger is his full-time carer at their council home in Celbridge, Co Kildare.

She was getting €204 a week but, after getting married, it has been cut to just €4 as the income of her husband, John McMahon, is now included in the means test.

Ger said: "My financial independence is gone. I have to be financially reliant on John yet since I was 16 I worked and then Dylan came along."

Ger, who is also mum to Halle (13), sought legal advice and was told the only way the full allowance will be restored is if she divorces.

"We were offended and hurt by that. At this stage I feel like I am being punished for finding someone to spend my life with," she said.

"If we were to hand Dylan over to the care of the government it would cost them a hell of a lot more than €200 a week to care for him."

The Department of Social Protection said it does not comment on individual cases. It said the carer's allowance is means-tested and where the carer is married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, the means of the carer's partner is also assessed.

Irish Independent

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