Backlog of over 1,000 people waiting for an appeal for disabled driver permit scheme
Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has today called for the immediate re-establishment of the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (DDMBA) and for the expansion of the eligibility criteria for applicants to the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers’ Scheme (DDS).
The DDMBA, a statutory independent body set up by the Department of Finance in 1990 to review individuals whose application for the Primary Medical Certificate is unsuccessful at local HSE level, has been non-functioning since November 2021, when all serving Board members resigned due to disagreement with the eligibility criteria for applicants to the DDS.
The lack of a Board has resulted in a backlog of over 1,000 people seeking to appeal their unsuccessful applications for a primary medical certificate in order to avail of the DDS.
Deputy Smith said: “The unacceptable backlog of applications to the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers’ Scheme is a direct result of the delay in recruiting new Board members for the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal and has resulted in widespread frustration for disabled drivers and passengers as well as their families. The Board must be re-established as soon as possible. The eligibility criteria for applicants to the DDS must also be expanded in line with the final report of the National Disability Inclusion Strategy Transport Working Group to bring the criteria in line with international best practice in order to sufficiently help disabled drivers and passengers across the country.”
Under the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers’ Scheme, people with a severe or permanent disability can access tax relief on vehicle registration tax and VAT on an adapted car whether they are the driver or the passenger. Scheme users are also eligible for an exemption from motor tax and an annual fuel grant. The maximum amount of VRT and VAT relief available under the scheme depends on whether an applicant is a disabled driver or passenger and how the car has been adapted.
Notes to Editors
For further information, attached is a Parliamentary Question from Deputy Smith on the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, answered by the Minister of Finance on the 11th September.