The government has given its approval to legislation that will create a redress scheme for Mother and Baby Home survivors.
It’s expected that roughly 34,000 people will be eligible for payments under the provisions of the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill.
It is also expected that some 19,000 people will be eligible for an enhanced medical card as part of the scheme.
The scheme is expected to open to applicants next year, after the legislation is passed, with an estimated total cost of €800 million.
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderic O’Gorman said “With Government having now approved the Mother and Baby Institutions Payment Scheme Bill, I am committed to bringing this very important legislation through the Houses over the coming months.”
“Intensive work is also underway in my department to establish the Office to deal with applications which will open as soon as possible after the legislation is passed.”
The Payment Scheme will operate as follows:
- all mothers who spent time in a Mother and Baby Institution will be eligible for a payment, with the amount increasing based on their length of stay
- all children who spent 6 months or more in an institution will be eligible for payment based on their length of stay
- there will also be an additional, work-related payment for women who were resident in certain institutions for more than three months and who undertook what might be termed commercial work
- an enhanced medical card will be available to everybody who was resident in a Mother and Baby or County Home Institution for 6 months or more
Applicants to the scheme will qualify based on proof of residency, and it allows for temporary absences of up to 180 days when calculating how long a person spent in a Mother and Baby Home.
Survivors living abroad will receive the same payment as those in Ireland, and will get to choose between an enhanced medical card, or a once-off payment of €3,000 for their health needs.
Minister O’Gorman said that the scheme represents a, “significant milestone in the State’s acknowledgment of its past failures and of the needless suffering experienced by so many of its citizens.”