Annual grants of as much as €500 in the direction of the price of wigs or hairpieces for individuals struggling hair loss by sickness will probably be accessible from the top of Could subsequent yr.
Minister for Social Safety Heather Humphreys introduced the grant in Funds 2022 final month, however she confirmed within the Dáil on Thursday that recipients will be capable of avail of the supply each calendar yr.
However she confused that the brand new annual profit “will solely be accessible in respect of hair loss because of a illness and never because of ageing or different pure causes”.
Ms Humphreys mentioned “hair loss is a standard concern that may be brought on by a wide range of medical situations together with autoimmune illness reminiscent of alopecia or systemic situations like most cancers.
“I recognise the bodily impression but in addition the psychological impression that sudden hair loss can have on an individual’s life, and I hope this new grant will contribute to bettering the standard of lifetime of those that want it.”
Throughout Dáil Social Safety query time she confirmed to Advantageous Gael TD Emer Higgins that “a grant of as much as €500 will probably be accessible as soon as each calendar yr to help individuals to buy a wig or hairpiece.
“Will probably be accessible from the top of Could 2022” and will probably be underpinned legislatively by the Social Welfare Invoice due within the Dáil “within the coming weeks”.
Ms Higgins, welcoming affirmation of the grant, mentioned “it’s actually excellent news for individuals who undergo from alopecia or who’ve skilled hair loss because of most cancers therapy”.
She was additionally “significantly happy” that it is going to be accessible on an annual foundation. Wigs typically final for as much as a yr.
The Dublin Mid-West TD mentioned the grant would most likely cowl half or a 3rd of the fee “as a result of quite a lot of wigs are between €1,000 and €1,500”. It “goes to be massively useful to and it’ll enhance individuals’s high quality of life”, she added.
“Some individuals may assume it’s a little bit of a trivial concern,” she mentioned however added it was of main significance “for an terrible lot of women and men who take such delight and confidence of their hair.
“And your hair as they are saying within the adverts is usually your crown, and when that’s taken away from you or it falls out or needs to be shaved it provides additional to the trauma you’re already experiencing by sickness.”
The therapy profit scheme – which is able to now embrace wigs and hairpieces – applies to dental, optical or listening to providers. It’s accessible to insured staff, self employed and retired individuals who have the required variety of PRSI contributions. It’s additionally accessible to a dependant partner or companion.
At the moment medical card holders with alopecia can entry a grant of as much as round €440, however these with out the cardboard don’t obtain monetary help in buying a wig, and most insurance coverage corporations don’t cowl wig prices for alopecia.