Carer's Benefit is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce
to care for a person(s) in need of full-time care and attention.
You can get Carer's Benefit for a total period of 104 weeks for each person
being cared for. This may be claimed as a single continuous period or in any
number of separate periods up to a total of 104 weeks. However, if you claim
Carer's Benefit for less than six consecutive weeks in any given period you
must wait for a further six weeks before you can claim Carer's Benefit to care
for the same person again.
If you are caring for more than one person, you may receive payment for each
care recipient for 104 weeks. This may result in the care periods overlapping
or running concurrently.
The Respite Care Grant is
an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Social Protection. It is
paid on the first Thursday in June of each year. Find out more about respite
You are awarded credited
contributions or credits automatically when you are getting
Carer's Benefit. Credits are awarded at the same rate as your last paid
contribution. These credits help protect your future entitlement to social
welfare benefits and pensions.
right to carer's leave from employment complements the Carer's Benefit
Scheme. Carer's leave allows you to leave your employment temporarily for up to
104 weeks to provide full-time care for people in need of full-time care and
attention. The leave is unpaid but people who take carer's leave have
their jobs kept open for the duration of the leave. You do not have to
be eligible for Carer's Benefit to get carer's leave.
If you think you have been wrongly refused Carer's Benefit, or you are
unhappy about a decision of a Social Welfare Deciding Officer about your
entitlements, you can appeal this decision.
You may be eligible for Carer's Benefit if:
- You are aged 16 or over and under 66.
- You have been in employment for at least 8 weeks in the previous 26 weeks
before becoming a carer. You must have worked for a minimum of 16 hours per
week or 32 hours per fortnight.
- You are resident in the State.
- You give up work in order to be a full-time carer. Being a full-time
carer means you must be living with or in a position to provide full-time
care and attention to a person in need of care who is not living in an
- You are not living in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar
institution. However, you may continue to be regarded as providing
full-time care and attention, if you or the person being cared for is
having medical or other treatment in a hospital or other institution for a
period not longer than 13 weeks.
- You meet the PRSI contribution conditions.
- The person being cared for is so incapacitated as to require full-time
care and attention and is not normally living in an institution. Medical
certification is required unless, the person being cared for is a child who
is getting Domiciliary
Care Allowance. The carer of a child on a Domiciliary Care Allowance
does not need to be the person who receives that allowance on the child's
- You must not be engaged in employment, self-employment, training or
education courses outside the home for more than 15 hours a week. The
maximum amount you can earn is €332.50 per week. (€332.50 is your net
income after you have deducted income tax and Universal Social Charge,
PRSI, superannuation (pension payments), pension levy, union dues and
subscriptions to Friendly Societies from your total wage.)
PRSI contribution conditions
You must have at least 156 contributions paid at any time between entry into
insurance and the time the claim for Carer's Benefit is made and:
- 39 contributions paid in the Relevant Tax Year or
- 39 contributions paid in the 12-month period before the start of Carer's
- 26 contributions paid in the Relevant Tax Year and 26 contributions paid
in the Relevant Tax Year before that.
The contributions do not have to be Class A. Instead, all employment
contributions count (except Class S (self-employed) contributions). The
Relevant Tax Year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which
you make your claim. So, for claims made in 2013, the Relevant Tax Year is
Claiming an increase for a child dependant
You can claim an increase
for a child if they are under age 18, normally live with you and are
maintained by you. If a child is in full-time education by day at a recognised
school or college this increase is payable until the end of the academic year
in which the the child reaches age 22. (This child does not have to live at
home). A full-rate Qualified Child Increase (IQC) is payable if you are single,
widowed, separated or a civil partner who is not living with the other civil
partner. You may get a half-rate IQC if you are living with your spouse, civil
partner or cohabitant. If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting a
payment from the Department of Social Protection, you will each get a half-rate
increase. From 5 July 2012, you can no longer claim a half-rate IQC with your
Carer's Benefit if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of
over €400 a week.
This is a taxable source of income and should be advised to your local tax
Continuing the payment after a death
If the person you are caring for dies, payment of Carer's Benefit will
continue for 6 weeks following the death. A Bereavement Grant may also be
payable. Find out more
about Bereavement Grants.
Carer's Benefit rates in 2013:
|Carer aged under 66
||Maximum weekly rate
|Caring for 1 person
|Caring for 2 persons
|Increase for each qualified child
||€29.80 (full rate), €14.90 (half rate)
How to apply
To apply fill in an application form
for Carers Benefit (pdf). This form (CARB1) is also available from your
local Social Welfare Office or from the Carer's Benefit Section, (see 'Where to
Parts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 should be completed by you. Part 3 should be
completed, signed and stamped by your employer. Part 9 should be completed by
the person(s) receiving care from you and his/her doctor should complete, sign
and stamp the Medical Report.
Carers have important legal rights under Irish law. If you
think your rights as a carer have been breached, you can make
a complaint to the Labour Relations Commission under the Carer's Leave Act,
Where to apply
For more information on Carer's Benefit, contact your local Social Welfare
Department of Social Protection
Carer's Benefit Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel:(043) 334 0000
Locall:1890 92 77 70
For more information on carer's leave contact:
Workplace Relations Customer Services
(formerly Information Services of the National Employment Rights Authority)
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Opening Hours: Mon. to Fri. 9.30am to 5pm
Tel: (059) 917 8990
Locall: 1890 80 80 90
Further information on making a complaint to the Labour Relations Commission
is available from:
Labour Relations Commission
Tom Johnson House
Tel:+353 (0)1 613 6700
Fax:+353 (0)1 617 6701