The Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced a new grant of up to €500 towards the cost of a hairpiece, wig or hair replacement for people who suffer hair loss due to illness.
The new grant is expected to support approximately 2,000 women or men during the first year of its introduction.
The grant will fall under the Department of Social Protection’s Treatment Benefit Scheme and will cover hair loss resulting from cancer and forms of alopecia.
Minister Humphreys said “This new grant is being introduced in recognition of both the physical and psychological impact that sudden hair loss can have on someone’s life.
“This initiative, provided for in Budget 2022, is about supporting people who suffer from forms of alopecia or cancer.
“The grant of up to €500 will assist in the purchase of a wig or hairpiece, for people who suffer the trauma of hair loss.
“I really hope this new grant will help in some small way in improving the quality of life of people who need it. It is designed to support women or men who lose something that so many of us, on a daily basis, take for granted.”
Ms. Paddy Pender of Alopecia Ireland said his organisation are delighted with the news about the Hair Replacement Grant.
“Many of us struggle to maintain quality wigs, pieces and prostheses as we live with alopecia. This grant will help in no small way to alleviate some of the stress the condition causes us.
“Alopecia affects people in a variety of ways but all of us know the pain of hair loss. We are grateful for the financial support towards restoring our crowning glories!”
The €500 grant will be available to people, and their dependent spouse, civil partner or cohabitant who satisfy the medical requirements and the PRSI conditions of the Department’s Treatment Benefit scheme.
Employees paying PRSI contributions under Classes A, E, P and H as well as the self-employed who are insured under Class S may qualify for the grant.
The amount paid by the Department of Social Protection will be the full cost of one hair replacement item per calendar year, up to a maximum cost of €500 and will be available from the 28th May 2022. It is not available to people who avail of surgical or topical treatments.
The scheme covers hair loss resulting from a disease or treatment of a disease such as cancer and some forms of alopecia. The types of alopecia for which a grant may be paid are:
* alopecia areata (which includes alopecia totalis/universalis, diffuse
alopecia areata, alopecia ophiasis);
* primary scarring alopecias (also known as cicatricial alopecias);
* frontal fibrosing alopecia and lichen planopilaris (scarring alopecia);
* chemotherapy induced alopecia (anagen effluvium); and
* alopecia resulting from surgery or trauma, including burns.
Full details on how to qualify for the grant towards the cost of a hairpiece, wig or hair replacement are available on the Department of Social Protection’s website www.gov.ie/dsp