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25th May 2022

€500 to be given to Alopecia sufferers and cancer patients for wigs and hairpieces

Ellen Fitzpatrick

Great news.

Patients who suffer from illnesses that lead to hair loss are set to receive €500 per year off wigs and hairpieces.

While those who have suffered hair loss due to natural balding are not included, those suffering from cancer and alopecia can avail of the grant.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys revealed that around 2,000 people will be availing of the grant, which opens on Saturday.

Some people who have been diagnosed with alopecia, a medical condition which causes hair loss or are currently undergoing chemotherapy often spend thousands on wigs each year.

This grant will be treated the same as the benefit for dental treatments, hearing aids or eye tests, with it being paid to registered providers and taken off the final cost price.

“There’s also a taboo around alopecia as well, some people are afraid to talk about it, some people are afraid to say that they actually have this condition,” Ms Humphreys told

“We want to create that awareness and we want to provide support.”

While not available yet, she did not rule out expanding this grant to those with natural balding as the payment is to be reviewed and have changes made.

The grand is under the Department of Social Protection’s Treatment Benefit Scheme.

According to Paddy Pender of Alopecia Ireland, people with the illness may go through at least one wig each year and realistic wigs can cost thousands depending on length and style.