Minister Anne Rabbitte has announced that the overall Budget for disability services in 2023 will be €2.4 billion, including a significant level of funding for specialist disability services.
Approximately €109 million is being provided to support Existing Levels of Service (ELS), funding for new developments will total €29.3 million while once-off funding is being provided for costs associated with activity during COVID-19 amounting to €39 million.
Minister Rabbitte said: “This increase follows substantial increases in the budget in 2021 and 2022; and reflects this government’s commitment to strengthening the funding provided for the disability sector.”
Additional supports are also being made available to help Section 39 organisations to assist in the context of the significant challenges which they are facing currently.
The Disability Services Budget in 2023 will provide:
- funding to continue the core services including residential and emergency residential, Respite, PA services and facilitating the move of younger people away from nursing homes to more suitable residential locations
- additional funding for specialist disability services for children or young people in, or transitioning out, of Túsla care services
- for school leavers, additional funding provided in 2023 will provide a placement in adult day services for circa 1,200 mostly young people leaving school, who require ongoing support at one of the most crucial transition points of their lives
- funding to increase the Disability Awareness and Participation Fund and continue our work on Digital Assistive Technology, including work with the World Health Organisation
- additional funding will be provided for the continued rollout of the Neuro Rehabilitation Strategy nationally
The funding will give the HSE the opportunity to establish a further two multidisciplinary teams in two CHOs, expanding on the existing pilots in CHOs 6 and CHO 7.
An additional once-off funding of €39 million is being provided to reduce the Assessment of Need waiting list and to fund placements in residential centres (costs associated with activity during COVID-19).
Minister Rabbitte continued: “In the Programme for Government, we made commitments to improve the lives of people with disabilities and in doing so we have signalled to those with a disability that we are serious about making a difference.
“This funding will give people with disabilities greater choice, independence and control to live their lives and participate in their local community.