You can support Lette directly Here! Thank you :)
How awkward does something have to be? when it comes to the social welfare they don’t make it easy, that’s for sure.
We have done just about everything we have needed to do since I have become disabled, in order to settle into the new lifestyle that we have been forced into. However this Drivers and Passengers with Disabilities scheme, is the biggest ‘scheme’ I have ever come across!
For nearly a year now we have been ringing Monaghan (the office where they rule all the roost with regards to this and other disabilities schemes) and we have been told time and again how to get on the scheme, but each time the story has changed ever so slightly and we have been left confused. Now we have been told that our car, which was inherited through the family, is not allowed on the scheme as we are not the ‘original’ owners who purchased the car, even though the car was purchased by us from the rest of the family! Cars of inheritance or gifts are simply not allowed on the scheme. No explanation, just cause!
Long story short we will need to change our car, trade it in against a car of equal worth with a modification in order to be on this scheme. That is just bothersome for the sake of it!
I do have a Primary Medical Certificate which should make this process straight forward, but, as you can see below in the information, it is complicated and unnecessary and it means we have to trade our car, which is something we don’t want to have to do nor have the money for, so unless it is a straight swap for something, we won’t be doing it :/
Another thing is we will have to modify the car in order to be on the scheme, this modification has to be 10% of the cost of the car. This part pisses me off because I know people who have gotten brand new cars in the last 2 years and only got a steering knob put on the car, at the cost of about €20, this 10% thing is only recent meaning those who have already availed of the minimum modification requirement can carry it over on to their new cars without the 10% modification needing to be done to their car, but for us new applicants, we have to pay the full penance! and also the Mobility allowance is now gone, with absolutely no replacement, so there is no help at all for people like us who want to get on the scheme.
It is just not fair.
Here is how the scheme works:
- All information taken from Citizens Information site – 28th June 2014 -
The Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers Scheme provides a range of tax reliefs linked to the purchase and use of vehicles by disabled drivers and disabled passengers in Ireland. The rules of the scheme are set out in the Disabled Drivers and Disabled Passengers (Tax Concessions) Regulations 1994 (SI No. 353/1994) as amended. Under the terms of the scheme, you can claim remission or repayment of vehicle registration tax (VRT), repayment of value-added tax (VAT) on the purchase of a vehicle and repayment of VAT on the cost of adapting a vehicle, up to a maximum of €9,525 for a disabled driver and €15,875 for a disabled passenger.
Relief is limited to a vehicle that has been specially constructed or adapted for use by a disabled person and that has an engine size of less than 2,000cc in the case of the driver and 4,000cc in the case of the passenger.
If you qualify for tax relief under the scheme, you can also claim repayment of excise duty on fuel used in your vehicle for the transport of a disabled person, up to a maximum of 600 gallons per year. In addition, if you qualify under the scheme, your vehicle may be exempt from the payment of annual road tax on application to a Motor Tax Office.
Vehicles adapted for disabled drivers or passengers are entitled to exemption from toll road fees. Toll road operators issue special passes which are recognised by all other toll road operators and which allow such vehicles pass through the tolls without paying. To obtain a special pass apply to your nearest toll road operator (pdf).
In order to qualify for tax relief under the scheme, you must have a valid Primary Medical Certificate. A Primary Medical Certificate confirms you are severely and permanently disabled and:
- Are completely or almost completely without the use of both legs or
- Are completely without the use of one of your legs and almost completely without the use of the other leg to the extent that you are severely restricted as regards movement in your legs or
- Are without both hands or both arms or
- Are without one or both legs or
- Are completely or almost completely without the use of both hands or arms and completely or almost completely without the use of one leg or
- Have the medical condition of dwarfism and serious difficulties of movement of the legs
Local Health Offices of the Health Service Executive (HSE) process applications for a Primary Medical Certificate. If the HSE refuses your application for a Primary Medical Certificate, you may appeal the refusal to the Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.
How to apply
Download and complete Form DD1 (pdf). This application form is also available from the Central Repayments Office.
Applying for remission of VRT
You need to send the following documents to the Central Repayments Office
- Form DD1
- The original Primary Medical Certificate if you are claiming for the first time. You must apply to your Health Service Executive (HSE) Area for an application form for a Primary Medical Certificate – obtain an application form from your Local Health Office in the HSE. Complete the application form and return it to the Senior Medical Officer of the Local Health Office. The Senior Medical Officer then appoints a HSE doctor to visit your home and carry out an assessment of the level of your disability. If you satisfy the requirements, you are granted a Primary Medical Certificate by the HSE.
If your application for remission of VRT is acceptable, you will be sent a Letter of Authorisation which authorises you to purchase a vehicle. When you have chosen the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN) must be submitted to the Central Repayments Office on the form issued to you with the Letter of Authorisation. You will be issued with an Exemption Notification that allows the vehicle to be registered exempt of VRT at the NCTS centre.
When you have bought the vehicle, you must obtain the following documents
- An original invoice from the dealer showing the full purchase particulars of the vehicle and verifying that payment of the amount due has been made in full
- An original invoice from the person who adapted the vehicle, showing that payment has been made in full. The invoice must show full details of the adaptations to the vehicle and the VAT charged.
- From 29 April 2012 a new vehicle that is adapted requires an Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) certificate from the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
To register the vehicle at the NCTS centre the dealer must submit these documents, along with the Letter of Authorisation, the Exemption Notification and the completed Form DD1. If the documentation is in order, the NCTS will register the vehicle without charging VRT.
When the vehicle is registered, to obtain a repayment of the VAT the dealer should submit the Letter of Authorisation, the Exemption Notification and the invoices mentioned above to the Central Repayments Office.
Applying for repayment of VRT and VAT
If VRT has not been remitted and you want to claim repayment of VRT and VAT, you need to submit the following documents to the Central Repayments Office.
- A fully completed Application Form DD1
- The original Primary Medical Certificate if you are claiming for the first time.
- An original invoice from the dealer showing the full purchase particulars of the vehicle and VAT charged and showing that payment of the amount due has been made in full
- An original invoice from the person who adapted the vehicle, indicating that payment has been made in full. This invoice should set out the full details of the adaptations and the VAT charged.
- The vehicle’s Vehicle Registration Certificate.
If the vehicle has been registered before, there is no need to go through the usual change of ownership procedure as this will automatically happen when the vehicle is taxed exempt at the Motor Tax Office.
If your claim is accepted you are issued with a Certificate of Approval by the Central Repayments Office which you should submit to your local Motor Tax Office. You will be issued with a new Vehicle Registration Certificate which you should send to the Central Repayments Office where it will be endorsed to the effect that the vehicle was purchased under the Disabled Drivers and Passengers Scheme and cannot be disposed of for two years. This certificate will be returned to you immediately.
If the vehicle has previously qualified for tax relief under the scheme, the maximum amount of tax relief that can be claimed for the vehicle will probably have already been claimed. However, you should still submit form DD1 with all the required documentation as listed above.
Applying for refund of excise duty on fuel
Claims for repayment of excise duty on fuel should be made once a year on Form DD3 (pdf) which will be automatically sent to you by the Central Repayments Office.
You need to keep receipts for the fuel purchased for two years, but do not have to submit them with your claim. You have to estimate the percentage of that fuel that is used for your own transport or the transport of a disabled passenger.
Applying for exemption from motor tax
If your vehicle is being registered in Ireland for the first time, you need to present your Vehicle Registration Certificate to your local Motor Taxation Office.
If your vehicle was previously registered in Ireland before you entered the scheme, you will be given a Certificate of Approval by the Central Repayments Office, which you should present at your Motor Taxation Office.
Where To Apply
You can find further information on the tax relief scheme (pdf) on the Revenue Commissioners’ website
Central Repayments Office
Office of the Revenue Commissioners
M: TEK II Building
Just a quick update to let you all know that due to a hormone level increase in one area and some bizarre symptoms, the doctors had been worried about a pituitary adenoma in the brain. An MRI, paid for by the fund has been completed to rule out the possible Pituitary adenoma, and I am delighted to say, other than obvious signs of a history of bad ear trouble in my mastoid bones, it came out all clear. Thank you once again for your support, this test goes towards one of the tests I needed to have completed for my first trip to London in August :)
The first appointment with Prof. Rodney Graham at the Hypermobility unit in The Hospital of St. John and St. Elizabeth has been booked for the 26th of August and flights and accommodation have been purchased, again with thanks and help from the Go Fund Me fund, so I am all ready for the first trip over and I am looking forward to it now. I hope he can shed some light on things and my health can start to improve if at all possible.
Another treatment I have had in the mean time, this one just through the medical card, was steroid injections into my sacroiliac joint and right hip in Croom Hospital under Prof. Harmon. They hurt, I wont lie, but I have to say, after a few days of initial soreness from the injection sights, I have found an improvement in the pain. I hope with a continuation of these pain killing injections and the trip to London it may start me in the right direction to get my ass out of this wheelchair, but I won’t jump the gun just yet. The best things happen slow and steady.
All I can do for now is continue to hope and do my daily physio! :)
Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed and helped with the Go Fund Me campaign, I am overwhelmed with the level of support I have received so far. I cant thank you all enough.
Thanks also to Mark Griffin and Richard Lynch or organising a benefit Quiz night in Dolans Limerick on Thursday the 24th of July at 8pm, all welcome and all information on this event may be found HERE.
It was Friday morning and all through the house, not a creature was stirring… except for my husband, Keith and my sister, Jessica frantically calling out my name trying to wake me out of a syncope that had just happened after I got onto the floor to play with our pup Boo who now found herself up on my chest trying to worriedly figure out what the hell was happening to her mom.
There is a video, but I wont traumatise you… unless you want to that is, if so, let me know and I will share the video of my husband giving me rescue breaths while I fail to breath while out cold. It’s not a pretty site, I assure you.
I hadn’t come too, Keith called an ambulance and continued to give me rescue breaths for a further 17 minutes until they arrived.
All hell broke loose on the landing of the stairs while they proded and poked me with IV lines, Blood Pressure monitors, temperature readings and heart rate monitors and as I wasn’t breathing very well they decided to intubate me into my nose which immediately sent me into a full blown seizure, just to add to the mix for good measure!
This is what I am told of the day, as of the moment I passed out on the landing while petting Boo, I don’t recall a single sausage!
I was rushed to hospital in a state of Status Epilepticus while they tried to stabilise me and filled me full of every sedative probably known to man while I promptly and apparently completely ignored them and kept up the shake and vac, just to spite them!
Keith bagged up everything I needed, along with Jessica and Boo into the car, dropped them at my parents house and rushed into the hospital to be with me where I was in re-suss continuing to seize, even while doped up to the eyeballs and completely out of it.
A CT and full set of bloods was ordered and subsequently came back clear, yet I was still seizing and in and out of consciousness and while conscious, I apparantly kept looking around myself in utter awe and repeatedly asked, “Where is this place?!”… What an idiot, LOL! but in my own defense I was completely wrecked at the time and on all manner of wonderful drugs!
I was in the hospital for roughly 13hours before I started to make any manner of mental sense. This had them worried in that all day I was acting completely confused and not at all myself. They hadn’t been sure up to this point whether it was the drugs or if I had very seriously suffered some sort of oxygen deprivation to the brain.
Eventually I started to come round, still a little confused but as Keith explained everything that had happened, it was like all emotion suddenly connected with his words and I started to cry, a little in confusion and a little in the guilt I felt in all the bother I had caused everyone, especially Keith and my family. A completely irrational feeling but I couldn’t help it.
They admitted me and Keith decided to head home for a rest. The next day, Saturday, I don’t remember much of either as I mostly slept and puked and had a few more seizures, just to keep them on their toes!
Sunday is the first day I truly remember and I felt absolutely dreadful. My muscles were stiff and sore from seizing and I kept getting ill because of all the medication in my system and I had one hell of a headache and very low blood pressure.
I was in hospital after this for 2 weeks where I recieved just one more diagnostic test in all that time, an EEG. They were testing me for Epilepsy.
The EEG came back clear also but the Neurologist (now my newest addition to my team of doctors) informed me that he had seen people with epilepsy going through years of EEG’s before being able to catch the electrical activity in the brain so that they were going to start treating me for it anyway, and would continue testing as an outpatient, as I was continuing to have seizures and signs of the condition, like waking up with bites on the inside of my cheek and blood on my pillow. He said I had all the hallmark signs of it and so he started me on the new drug Keppra and sent me home on exactly the 14th day of my stay in hospital. I was delighted to be going home.
He told me to prepare for tiredness but boy, that was an understatement! The addition of this drug to the rest of my medications make my total daily tablet intake number 22 and has completely knocked me for six. The quality of my life is currently down due to the amount I need to rest and how ill I feel, especially after a seizure but hopefully once I get used to the new med in my system, I will be back on the right direction again.
The Keppra seems to be working also, any seizures I have had since coming home have been very mild and nowhere near as intense as they had been while I was in the hospital which is surely a good thing.
So now as well as Dysautonomia, Pots and EDS, I am now being treated for Epilepsy too.
I tell you one thing, I have an extreme new found respect for anyone who has lifelong Epilepsy, seizures really knock the crap out of you!
So where I
stand am, now is that I have a lot of tests left to do, as an outpatient. Why they couldn’t do these as an inpatient ever yet boggles the mind, but there you have it. My hormones are so out of whack I may infact have a pituitary gland adenoma but no MRI was requested… this will be done as an out patient, if needed.
I have to have more EEG’s done as well as some Video EEG’s but they dont do them in Limerick, instead I will have to wait to be called to Cork or Galway, again as an outpatient.
Bloods, as an outpatient,
Urine, as an outpatient,
Life, The Universe, Everything, Outpatient!
Deboned, grated and put on a pizza, Outpatient!
Le sigh… but at least I am home and on the mend.
Also, because of these ongoing delays in my treatment (and in some cases the complete lack thereof) I have decided to set up a medical fund to help me get to London to Prof. Rodney Grahame and Prof. Mathias’ clinic who are specialists in Dysautonomia and it’s related conditions.
The treatment fund has been going amazingly well and the support has been amazing, I cant thank everyone enough for their contributions so far, once I reach the €5000 mark, I should be able to make my first trip over to get the ball in motion with my treatment.
That is all the news I have for now, I just wanted to update all that had happened while I was in hospital and there you have it! Hope you are all well :) :) – The Fainting Goat :)
Hey all, I have decided to bite the bullet and go for treatment abroad in London, there is just no way I am getting all the care I need here in Ireland. If you can spare anything, even just a few minutes to share this link, I would greatly appreciate it, Please click on the image below to donate or find out more. Thank you <3
In 2013 Lette’s hips failed. She now uses a wheelchair. In May 2014 after a syncope and respiratory arrest, where she needed rescue-breathing for 17 minutes, she started to experience recurring seizures. The health system’s slow pace means Lette must wait months to begin investigations to rule out a brain adenoma.
We decided to ask for your help because, over the past 3 years Lette’s health has deteriorated. These conditions are very rare, and treatment is complicated by a lack of understanding by healthcare professionals. Specialist treatment is simply unavailable in Ireland.
Your assistance will allow Lette to travel for initial, and follow-up sessions with 3 specialist consultants in London. It will provide for diagnostic and clinical examinations, treatments, scans, and associated expenses to discover a course of treatment for her condition, allow her to promptly rule out any high-risk complications, and most importantly to hopefully improve her quality of life.
We deeply appreciate any contribution that you can make, or awareness you can spread, to help Lette get access to the treatment that she needs.
You may find the full article here, but I will copy pasta the article for you to read anyhow.
A massive thank you to Yvonne Evans for doing the interview with both Deirdre O’Grady and myself. Much appreciated :)
Pots and pain
Lette currently takes 18 pills a day and even still, she continues to faint. At the time of this interview, she is on day 10 of her latest hospital visit after suffering seizures which are also associated with POTS. She has yet to receive any tests to find out why she has started having seizures.
“I have a good team of medical professionals now, but I had to find them myself. There are no specialists in Ireland that I can find,” she said.
“The cocktails of drugs had been working. Last year I saw a big improvement in my health and I was feeling well enough to look for work. I then landed a job and it was perfect. I could work from home. But then my POTS started acting up again. I would have to put people on hold and be sick,” says Lette.
Last summer after an 11 day hospital visit, Lette’s consultant recommended that the 31 year old should stop working altogether.
Deirdre O’Grady from Macroom is the mother of two children, Kerri (14) and Aaron (8). Both of her children suffer greatly from POTS and are often hospitalised much to their mother’s frustration.
“I have been often told by doctors that fainting and low blood pressure are normal for children.Two years ago Aaron was diagnosed with EDS and POTS by Professor Grahame in London. I knew when he started walking that there was something wrong but no one listened. We have to travel to the UK to access treatment, the next trip will cost us around €2,000,” says the mother of two.
14 year old Kerri who is sitting her Junior Cert exams this year, often passes out and has been seen by four different hospitals here in Ireland.
“On a trip to Canada, Kerri began complaining about headaches and feeling nauseous. That never went away and after Aaron being diagnosed, I knew in my heart it was EDS and POTS too. She passes out very often, one day she didn’t regain consciousness so she was brought to hospital via ambulance,” explains Deirdre.
Both Lette and Deirdre have expressed their disappointment with the Irish health system. The treatment abroad scheme is available here in Ireland if patients can not access treatment in Ireland. However very few patients are granted the scheme and often spend thousands on each each visit to the UK. Lette has started an online Facebook support group for those who suffer from POTS and other forms of dysautonomia.
Lette is now confined to a wheelchair and Deirdre’s son often needs a wheelchair too.
“It is an invisible illness but it is there, there needs to be a better understanding of both conditions here in Ireland. Kerri’s school have been very accommodating to her condition but I still have to fight for Aaron in school,” says Deirdre.
just to let you know things are going slow on the blog and the related forums at the moment as I was rushed to hospital on Friday, with severe seizures.
I won’t fill you in on the finer details just yet but, I will do a full post about it when I am out of here! :)
I am currently having neurological assessments and will know more soon, in the meantime bear with me and as soon as I’m near a computer, I’ll spill all!
Lets just say, I have a completely new found, ultimate respect for people who have Epileptic or related seizures, I never realised just how rough they can be on the ould body, but sure, we will keep fighting!
updates soon, Fainting Goat :)