New €500 payment available to thousands of Irish from TODAY

A NEW payment of €500 will be made available from TODAY – for thousands of hair loss sufferers.

Irish people suffering from certain types of alopecia or cancer will be eligible for a grant of up to €500 a year for non-surgical scalp products such as wigs or hairpieces.

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Some 2,000 people will benefit from the grant in its first year, the government saysCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The grant – announced this week – will fall under the treatment benefits program and anyone wishing to benefit from it should check with their treatment provider if they are eligible.

And it’s effective from today – Saturday May 28th.

Social Care Minister Heather Humphreys has confirmed the scheme will start this week and will operate in the same way as the dental scheme, with people using their PPS number to qualify for the subsidy when buying a wig.

The amount paid by the Department of Social Protection will be the full cost of one hair replacement item per calendar year, up to a maximum cost of €500 and will be available from 28 May 2022.

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It is not available for people who receive surgical or topical treatments.

The scheme covers hair loss resulting from disease or treatment of disease such as cancer and certain forms of alopecia and is expected to benefit some 2,000 people in its first year.

The types of alopecia for which a grant can be paid are:

  • alopecia areata (which includes alopecia totalis/universalis, alopecia diffuse, alopecia ophiasis)
  • primary cicatricial alopecia (also called cicatricial alopecia)
  • frontal fibrosing alopecia and lichen planopilaris (cicatricial alopecia)
  • chemotherapy-induced alopecia (anagen effluvium); and
  • alopecia resulting from surgery or trauma, including burns

QUALIFICATION CRITERIA

The €500 grant will be available to individuals and their spouse, civil partner or dependent cohabitant who meet the medical requirements and PRSI conditions of the Treatment Benefit Scheme.

Employees paying PRSI contributions under Classes A, E, P and H as well as self-employed persons insured under Class S are eligible for the subsidy – and PRSI contributions will depend on age.

Minister Humphreys said: “This new grant is introduced in recognition of the physical and psychological impact that sudden hair loss can have on someone’s life.

“This initiative, provided for in the 2022 budget, aims to support people who suffer from forms of alopecia or cancer.

“The grant of up to €500 will help purchase a wig or hairpiece, for people who suffer from the trauma of hair loss.

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“I really hope that this new grant will help in some way to improve the quality of life for people in need. It is designed to support the women or men who are losing something that so many of us in the everyday, let’s take it for granted.”

The full list of eligibility criteria is available here.


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Elaine R. Knight