Question: I have recently become a carer for a family member. What is the Carer’s Allowance and can I get it?
Answer: Carer’s Allowance is a weekly social welfare payment for people who are caring for someone who needs support because of their age, illness or disability.
The person you are caring for must be:
Age 16 or over and so incapacitated that they need full-time care and attention or
Under 16 and getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA).
You must also be over 18 and:
Provide full-time care to a person who is not living in a hospital or other institution
Not be working, studying or training more than 18.5 hours a week
Live in Ireland and meet the Habitual Residence Condition (HRC)
Pass a means test – in a means test the Department of Social Protection examines all your sources of income. Your income must be below a certain amount to get Carer’s Allowance.
Since 1 June 2022, the weekly income not taken into account in the means test for Carer’s Allowance increased from €332.50 to €350 for a single person, and from €665 to €750 for a couple. Capital (for example, savings and investments) not taken into account also increased from €20,000 to €50,000.
How much is the Carer’s Allowance?
For carers aged under 66 the maximum weekly rate is:
Caring for 1 person – €224
Caring for 2 or more persons – €336
For carers aged 66 and over the maximum weekly rate is:
Caring for 1 person – €262
Caring for 2 or more persons – €393
The increase for a child dependant is €40 (full-rate) and €20 (half-rate) for a child under 12 and €48 (full-rate) and €24 (half-rate) for a child aged 12 and over.
Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for any child dependants. Carer’s Allowance has no qualified adult payment.
How do I apply and where?
To apply, fill in a Carer’s Allowance application form for each person you are caring for and post it to the Carer’s Allowance Section in the Department of Social Protection.
If you are applying for Carer’s Allowance for a child getting DCA, a doctor must fill in part of the form and the person you are caring for must sign it.
You can get this form from your local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre.
Read more about the Carer’s Allowance on citizensinformation.ie 👉 https://bit.ly/Carers_Allowance
Know Your Rights has been compiled by South Connacht Citizens Information Service CLG, which provides a free and confidential service to the public.
Tel: 0818 07 6330 Address: Boyle CIC, Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon
Information is also available online at citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0818 07 4000.