HomeCaring Periods

Print page


HomeCaring Periods are part of a measure announced by the Government on 23 January 2018 to make improvements to pension calculations for post September 2012 state pension (contributory) pensioners with social insurance contribution gaps in their record.

For the purposes of the scheme anyone who was born on or after the 1st of September 1946 and spent time out of the workforce for caring duties can apply for a Home Caring Period for use under the new State Pension Contributory Aggregated Calculation Method of pension calculation.


A HomeCaring period may be awarded for each week not already covered by a paid or credited social insurance contribution, where you were caring for someone in the one of the categories below. 

You can only be awarded HomeCaring Periods if you were born on or after 1 September 1946.

HomeCaring Periods can only be used in a State Pension Contributory Aggregated Calculation Method test.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Permanently live in the State (except in cases where provisions under EU of posted worker regulations apply)
  • Be aged over 16 and under 66 at the time you provided care
  • Not work full-time, however you can work and earn less than €38 gross per week
  • Not in receipt of a payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with the exception of Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Carers Support Grant
  • Provide full time care for:

    • -a child or children under 12 years,   
    • -a child or children over 12 years who needed an increased level of care, or
    • -an adult who needed an increased level of care.

It is important to note that only one person can benefit from a HomeCaring Period for supporting a child or adult at any one time – for example only one parent can benefit from one HomeCaring Period for one child at any one time.

Frequently Asked Questions for HomeCaring Periods are available here.

How to apply

Applications will only be considered once you reach pension age.

If you reached pension age since 1 September 2012 and you are already in receipt of the of state pension contributory at a rate which is lower than the maximum rate you will be reassessed as part of a State Pension Contributory Pension Rate Review and your HomeCaring Periods will be assessed as part of this review. We will be in touch with you in the coming months telling you what to do next. You do not need to take any further action until we contact you directly. More information on the pensions review process can be found here.

If you have not yet reached pension age then information required to assess you for HomeCaring Periods will be collected as part of your State Contributory Pension application.

Where to apply


Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
McCarter’s Road

Tel: (01) 471 5898(If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call + 353 1 471 5898)
Locall: 1890 690 690 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Last modified:14/11/2018