Other Social Welfare Payments
Carer’s Benefit is payable to people who are insured, having made PRSI contributions, who leave the work place to care for someone in need of full time care and attention. A person can receive 104 weeks in total, in order to care for the person. This can be taken all at once or in any number of separate chunks, up to 104 weeks.
In order to qualify for this payment the applicant must be:
- Aged 16-66
- Must have 156 contributions paid at any time between entry into the workforce and the time you apply for Carer’s Benefit and:
- 39 contributions paid in relevant tax year or
- 29 contributions paid in a 12 month period before the start of Carer’s Benefit or
- 26 contributions paid in the relevant tax year and 26 in the previous year.
- Self employed contributions do not count.
- Have been employed for at least 8 weeks, consecutive or not, in the previous 26 week period and must be employed for at least 16 hours per week or 32 hours per fortnight.
The rate of Carer’s Benefit is a maximum of €220 a week (caring for one person), plus €38 per week, per child under 12 and €45 for children aged 12 and over, from January 2021.
Household Benefits Package and Free Travel are not applicable to someone on Carer’s Benefit.
Working or studying and caring
Working or studying whilst caring is possible however you are only allowed to work 18.5 hours or less when on a carer’s payment, as the person you are in receipt of the carer’s payment for, must require full-time care and attention. This work must be approved by the Department and the amount you earn will be means tested.
Carer’s leave allows for employees, who have been working for their employer for a minimum of 12 months, to leave their work on a temporary basis, in order to provide full time care and attention to someone in need. The minimum is 13 weeks and the maximum is 104 weeks. Carer’s leave is unpaid leave however you may be eligible for either Carer’s Benefit, if you meet the requirements for PRSI contributions or you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance, which is means tested. You do not have to be eligible for either of these payments in order to take Carer’s leave.
In order to receive Carer’s Allowance, the person you are providing care for must be under the age of 16 and you must be in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance for them; or the person is over 16 and is incapacitated to an extent that they need full-time care and attention. The person must be living with you or you need to be in a position to provide the necessary full time care and attention to the person you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance for.
The application process for both Carer’s Benefit and Carer’s Allowance can be a lengthy process so it is helpful to have your research done and to have as much information as possible about the illness or reasons the person you are applying for carers on behalf of, to hand. Information should include any letters or reports from GP’s, hospitals or specialists, supporting information from schools (if applicable) and any other letters or reports which you feel you may strengthen your claim. Many people also include a carer’s statement, which explains what day to day life is like, caring for the individual, even showing what a regular daily timetable looks like.
The full rate of Carer’s Allowance is €219 a week plus €38 per week for a qualified child aged under 12 and €45 for a child of 12 and over ( from January 2021) It is possible to care for more than one person and if so the rate increases to €328.50 a week, plus the increase per week, per qualified child.
Half rate Carer’s Allowance
If a person is deemed eligible for the half-rate Carer’s Allowance then this paid at half of the full rate so €109.50 a week. There is no additional rate per qualified child as this is paid alongside the main social welfare payment, such as One Parent Family Payment.
Working or studying and caring
Working or studying whilst caring is possible however you are only allowed to work 18.5 hours or less when on a carer’s payment, as the person you are in receipt of the carer’s payment for, must require full-time care and attention. This work must be approved by the Department and the amount you earn will be means tested. Due to the limit on working hours, a person parenting on their own, would not be able to claim Working Family Payment (WFP) as a person needs to work a minimum of 38 hours in a fortnight to qualify for WFP.