Vulnerable people applying for housing adaption grants through their county councils are now being faced with an unacceptable obstacle created by the HSE, according to independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

Speaking on the matter, he said: “In recent weeks the HSE issued letters to the various county councils advising that it would no longer be providing Occupational Therapy Reports that it has on file, free of charge, to people applying to the council for a housing adaption grant.

“Elderly people or people with disabilities can apply to their local county council for this type of grant to make their home more suitable for their day-to-day lives.

“These changes could be beneficial for a person with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability or for a person who is living with a mental health difficulty.

“Common works carried out through the grant scheme include making a home wheelchair friendly or changing the layout of rooms to make them easier to navigate; converting a room on the ground flood into a bathroom is a prime example.

“In the past, the HSE would have cooperated with the council and sent across an occupational therapist’s report for the applicant – if they had one on file.

“However, this practice is due to stop, according to the HSE. It is disgusting to think that the HSE would knowingly place a needless obstacle in the way of vulnerable people who are eager to carry out essential works to their home.

“These people are now being asked to hand over a couple of hundred euro so that the OT report can be sent to the council, despite the HSE not incurring any further costs if they already have the report on file.

“It is disgraceful that the HSE has decided to be uncooperative in this way and I am calling for the decision to overturned with immediate effect,” Fitzmaurice concluded.

Michael Fitzmaurice – 0861914565

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