Independent Living Movement Ireland

Carmichael House, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7
Tel: +353 (0)1 873 04 55 | Email:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Leader?

A Leader is a disabled person who employs directly or indirectly (through a service provider) Personal Assistants. A Leader takes full responsibility for the instructions given to the Personal Assistant, for the actions and consequences that follow from these, for training and day-to-day management of the service. The Leader is in charge.

What is a Personal Assistant?

A Personal Assistant, when on duty, only takes instructions from the Leader. A Personal Assistant does not report on Leader’s activities to service provider, nor does a Personal Assistant write in any ledger or notebook information about the Leader to be viewed by others, unless instructed by the Leader to do so.

Personal Assistants do not work in day centres or nursing homes or in any similar establishment where they are responsible only to management of the said establishment. Personal Assistant’s tasks are customized to the individual needs of the Leader and may include personal care, household help, assistance in the college or at the workplace, driving, interpretation etc. The major difference between a Personal Assistant and a carer is that in case of Personal Assistance the service is designed and managed by the service user directly.

What is a Direct Payment?

Direct Payment is cash paid to individuals to enable them to employ, either directly or indirectly, individuals to assist them with their everyday tasks. This system of direct service provision operates in a number of European countries including UK, Sweden, Austria, Finland, Holland and Germany.  More information on Direct Payments.

Accessing PA Services

There is no one process for individuals to access PA services as it varies around the country. applicants can apply directly to the service providers, but may be more successful though the Disability Area Manager in their local HSE area. For information on applying for a service from the Health Service Executive check out the HSE website for Personal Support Service for disabled people.

Recent services have been organised through ‘service packages’ by Disability Area Managers. These services are contracted by the HSE directly with a Service Provider to provide a defined number of PA hours to a named disabled person.

Who can avail of these services?

To be eligible for these services the individual must have a primary impairment that is either physical or sensory in nature. The service is available to adults under 65 years of age. If a child under 18 and is in need of a service you will need to apply on the same application form. These applications are dealt with in a separate process.

How can I apply for this service?

There is a standard application form which must be completed and is available from the HSE Area Manager for Disabilities in your area. There is no guarantee of a service due to funding limitations.

For more information, contact the HSE in your area Click here

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