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.
You can request that a copy be posted to you by texting “Form CARB”, followed by your name and address to 51909.
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.