Carer Entitlements Ireland
Carers may be entitled to a number of supports from the Department of Social Protection. If you are caring for an older person, you may qualify for a carer’s payment. The two main social welfare payments for carers providing full-time care are Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit. You may also qualify for an annual Carer’s Support Grant (formerly known as a Respite Care Grant).
Carer’s Benefit is a short-term payment paid for up to 24 months to people who give up employment to care on a full-time basis for someone who requires full-time care and attention. After one year’s service employees may take unpaid Carer’s Leave of up to 2 years to provide full-time care for someone who needs it. Carer’s Benefit may be paid during this time. Additional payments are made if you are looking after more than one person. If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance is a payment for people who are caring on a full-time basis for someone who requires full-time care and attention and will require it for at least 12 months. You must satisfy a means test and the habitual residency condition. A half-rate Carer’s Allowance is payable with certain other social welfare payments, this means that you can keep your main social welfare payment and get half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well. If you get Carer’s Allowance you are entitled to a Free Travel Pass.
The Carer’s Support Grant is an annual payment made to carers, aged 16 or over, providing full-time care for at least six months a year. However, this period must include the first Thursday in June. You are allowed to work for a certain number of hours each week. A Carer’s Support Grant is paid for each person being cared for. If you are getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance you do not need to apply for the grant, it is automatically paid to you in June. Respite care can allow any carer to take a break from caring.