Sometimes it’s hard not to despair when yet another example raises its head about official red tape that makes no sense at all.
Last week, I became aware of a 38-year-old mother of two children who can’t obtain a disability grant even though she only has one arm.
The woman was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and, following advice from her doctors, made the tough choice of having her arm amputated to prevent the disease from spreading.
When she was fitted with a prosthetic arm, she used her own money to buy a new car and paid a further €2,000 to adapt the steering wheel.
But she got a shock when she applied for a grant to adapt her car because the Primary Medical Certificate necessary doesn’t apply to one-armed people! It only applies to people who have lost one or both legs or both arms. It doesn’t apply to people who have lost one arm. Imagine, you are not disabled if you only have one arm!
Had she been awarded the certificate, the woman would have saved the VAT and VRT on the new car and VAT on the steering wheel adaptation.
The relevant criteria were set by the Revenue in the 1980s and must be adhered to by the HSE that actually issues the Primary Medical Certificate. Surely, it is time for a revue of such draconian rules.