Níl an leathanach seo ar fáil as Gaeilge fós


Print page

Internal Guidelines used in processing claims

Table of Contents

PART 1: ENTITLEMENT
Description of Scheme
Information Leaflet:
Legislation
Regulations
Administration
Qualifying Conditions in Summary
Qualifying Conditions in Detail
Carer
Person Being Cared For
Prescribed Relatives Allowance
Contributions towards cost of Carer's Allowance

DISQUALIFICATIONS
Absence from the State
Imprisonment
Late Claims
Rates Structure
Extra Benefits
Over 66 allowance
Free Travel Pass
Free Telephone Rental Allowance
Free Schemes
Respite Payment
After Death Benefits
Other benefits available from a Health Service Executive
Overlapping Provisions

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES:
Claims
Documentation
Offences
Late Claims
Investigation of Claim
Decisions
Appeals

PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD
Payment Day
Arrears
Duration of Payment
Maintenance
Lost/Stolen Social Welfare swipe card (E.I.T.)/Cheque action
Payments to an agent
Change of Post Office of payment or change of address
Absence from the State
Illness/Hospital stay
Certification of ongoing entitlement
Review
Suspension/Revocation of payment
Tax implications
Credits
Homemakers Scheme
Back to Work Scheme
Back to Education Scheme


PART 1: ENTITLEMENT

Description of Scheme

Carer's Allowance is a means-tested payment for people who provide full-time care and attention to:

  1. Persons who are over age 16 and who require full time care and attention, and
  2. Persons who are under age 16 who require full time care and attention and in respect of whom a domiciliary care allowance is being paid.

The Scheme was introduced on 1 November 1990 and was extended from 27th September 2007 to include half rate payment for those already on or claimed on certain Social Welfare payments or on or claimed as Qualified Adults on certain other Social Welfare payments.

Information Leaflet:

Carer's Allowance - SW 41

Legislation

The main legislative provisions relating to Carer's Allowance is contained in Chapter 8 of Part III of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 as amended, (Sections 179 to 186) and in Part III of the Third Schedule of that Act (as amended). The payment of Half Rate Carers with other primary Social welfare payments has been legislated for in Section 24 of the SW & pensions Bill 2007.

Regulations

Social Welfare (Consolidated Claims, Payments and Control) Regualations 2007 SI 142 of 2007.

Administration

The scheme is administered by the Social Welfare Services Office, Ballinalee Road, Longford.

Qualifying Conditions in Summary

Carer must:

  • be aged 18 or over;
  • satisfy a means test;
  • be living with the person s/he is looking after, or be in a position to provide full time care and attention to a person who is not living with him/her.
  • be caring for the person on a full-time basis;
  • not be employed or self-employed outside the home for more than 15 hours per week;
  • not be living in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution;
  • be fit to care.

Person being cared for (referred to in the legislation as the 'Relevant Person) must:

  • be so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention and be likely to require this full-time care and attention for at least 12 months;
  • if under age 16 must be a person in respect of whom a Domiciliary Care Allowance is paid.

Habitual Residence Condition

From 1 May 2004 all applicants for Carers Allowance must be habitually resident in Ireland. (For details of Habitual Residence please see Guidelines on Habitual Residence Condition)

Qualifying Conditions in Detail - CARER

- Carer must be aged 18 or over

There is no upper age limit.

- Carer must satisfy a means test

Means for the purposes of Carer's allowance are calculated in accordance with Part III of the Third Schedule to the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005 (as amended).

The Carer's means are any income the Carer or his/her spouse/partner have e.g. earnings, an occupational pension or pensions/benefits from another country or an asset such as property (except family home) which could bring in money or provide the Carer with an income.

Where the carer receives a social welfare payment from another State, an amount up the maximum rate of the Irish State Pension Contribuotory is exempt from the means test. Any foreign social welfare payment in excess of the maximum Irish State Pension Contributory is treated as income for the means test.

- Special provision regarding means applicable to Carer's Allowance:

Assessment of Means of a Married/in a civil partnership /co-habiting Carer
Where the claimant or spouse/civil partner/cohabitant have reckonable earnings the figure to be taken is the gross pay (i.e. including overtime, bonuses etc.)where the income of a carer and his/her spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is being assessed under the means test the first 665.00 of gross weekly income is disregarded i.e. is not taken into account.

In addition, where the income in question is earned as salary by the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant or from self employment the following are deducted:

  • amounts paid in respect of PRSI, union dues and travel expenses.

Where the carer's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant receives a pension which is a social welfare pension paid by another State, an amount of that pension equal to the maximum rate of an Irish State Pension (contributory) is exempt from the means test. Any foreign social welfare payment in excess of the maximum Irish State Pension Contributory is treated as income in the means test.The �665 a week disregard referred to above is applied to this excess.

Assessment of Means of a Single/Separated/civil partner who is not living with the other civil partner of the civil partnership Carer
The first 332.50 weekly income enjoyed by a single carer is not assessed under the means test.

Where the Carer is in receipt of a pension which is a social welfare pension paid by another State, the �332.50 disregard is applied to any foreign social welfare payment in excess of the maximum Irish State Pension Contributory.

See separate guideline on " Means Assessment" for fuller details.

- Residency requirements

The Carer must live with the person being cared for. In certain limited circumstances this requirement may be relaxed.

The following guidelines will apply when eligibility for Carer's Allowance is being considered for a non-resident carer.

  1. A carer must be providing full-time care and attention.
  2. A carer's personal circumstances must be suitable to allow him/her to provide full time care and attention.
  3. All non-resident care situations may require investigation by a Social Welfare Inspector before consideration by the Deciding Officer.
  4. A direct system of communication must exist between the carer's residence and that of the care recipient. This may be a telephone or alarm type system.
  5. The care recipient must not already be receiving full-time care and attention within his or her own residence from another person.
  6. Only one Carer's Allowance will be payable in respect of any one caring situation.

- Carer must be caring for the person on a full-time basis

A Carer may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention to a person while either s/he, or the person being cared for, is undergoing medical or other treatment, in a hospital or other institution for a period not longer than 13 weeks.

A Carer may also continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention where the person being cared for is attending a non-residential course of rehabilitation training, or a non-residential day care centre approved by the Minister for Health.

A Carer may attend an educational or training course or participate in voluntary or community based activity for 15 hours a week, provided they make adequate provision for the care of the person in their absence.

- Care Sharing

From 14/03/2005, two carers who are providing care on a part-time basis in an established pattern can now be accommodated on the carer's allowance scheme. Each carer will share the carer's allowance income support payment and the annual respite care grant.

A carer who is providing care on a part-time basis, say on alternate weeks and where the care recipient attends a residential institution every other week can now be accommodated on the carers allowance scheme.

A carer providing full time care on a part time basis is required under legislation to provide care for a complete week i.e. Monday to Sunday.

All the usual qualifying conditions for carers allowance will apply to carers availing of these arrangements. Both carers will receive the household benefits package of free schemes.

- Carer must not be employed or self-employed outside the home

A Carer may engage in limited self-employment or outwork within the home provided the care recipient continues to receive full-time care and attention. Income from this employment would be assessable as means if the aggregate of 332.50 for a single/separated/civil partner who is not living with the other civil partner of the civil partnership Carer or 665.00 for a married/in a civil partnership/co-habiting Carer.
or

A Carer may, with the prior permission of the Department, engage in employment outside the home for up to 15 hours per week. The cared for person must be adequately cared for in the Carer's absence. Income from this employment would be assessable as means if the aggregate of all income exceeds the disregard amounts of 332.50 for a single/separated/civil partner who is not living with the other civil partner of the civil partnership Carer or 665.00 or a married/ in a civil partnership/ co-habiting Carer.
or

A carer may also work as a home-help for a Health Service Executive for up to 15 hours week, provided s/he makes adequate provision for care of the care recipient in their absence. Means from this employment is assessable from January 2012.

- Carer or Person being Cared for must not be resident in an Institution.

For the purposes of Carer's Allowance, the legislation defines institution as meaning "a hospital, convalescent home or home for persons suffering from physical or mental disability or accommodation ancillary thereto, and any other similar establishment providing residence, maintenance or care for persons therein"

- Carer must be fit to Care

Claimants for Carer's Allowance who are in receipt of an illness-related payment at the time of making the claim may be asked to submit medical evidence confirming that they are capable of providing full-time care and attention.

Qualifying Conditions in detail - Person being cared for

- Person being cared for is aged under 16

A Domiciliary Care Allowance must be in payment in respect of this person.

- Person being cared for must be so invalided or disabled as to need full-time care and attention

A person is regarded as requiring full-time care and attention when

(a) s/he is so disabled or invalided that s/he requires from another person

  • Continual supervision in order to avoid danger to him/herself
    or
  • Continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with his/her normal personal needs, for example help to walk and get about, eat or drink, wash, bathe, dress etc.

and

(b) s/he is so disabled or invalided as to be likely to require full-time care and attention for a period of at least 12 months.

The degree of medical incapacity and the expected duration of the incapacity must be certified by a medical doctor.

Prescribed Relatives Allowance

This allowance preceded the introduction of the Carer's Allowance scheme. It was payable in respect of a relative (specified in legislation) of a social welfare pensioner, who was living with and providing full-time care and attention to the pensioner.

Initially, the allowance was paid by way of an increase in the pension payment. In 1989 provision was made for direct payment of the allowance to the relative providing the care. The allowance is payable at a flat-rate and is not means tested.

Following the introduction of the Carer's Allowance in 1990, relatives of pensioners in receipt of prescribed relatives allowance, were invited to apply for Carer's allowance. Where they applied, and it was to their financial advantage, arrangements were made to make payment of Carer's allowance direct to the relative providing full-time care and attention to the pensioner.

Prescribed Relatives Allowance continues to be paid to a small number of people. In a number of cases it is paid by way of increase in the social welfare payment of a pensioner, and in other cases it is paid directly to the relative providing the full-time care. No new claims for this allowance have been accepted since the introduction of Carer's allowance in 1990.

Contributions towards cost of Carer's Allowance

Social Welfare legislation makes provision for a cared for person to be required to make a contribution towards to the support of a Carer. In determining the amount which it could be reasonably expected a person to pay, no account would be taken of income from any benefit or assistance payment being made by the Department to the person.

This provision has not been operated by the Department since the introduction of Carer's allowance.

Disqualifications

Absence from the State

A person is not entitled to Carer's Allowance while absent from the State. However carer's may take holidays of up to 3 weeks in a year and receive payment. See Part 3 and separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for more detail.

Imprisonment

Where the Carer or the cared for person is undergoing penal servitude, imprisonment or detention in legal custody, the statutory "full time care" requirement is not satisfied during the detention period. Carer's Allowance is not payable in respect of this period.

Late Claims

A person is disqualified from payment of Carer's Allowance for any period before the date on which the claim is made. However, the claim can be backdated for up to 6 months in circumstances where "good cause" is shown for the delay in making the claim. The same procedure applies to claims for increases for qualified child/ren. See entry on "Late Claims" at Part 2 of this document.

See also separate guideline on " Claims and Late Claims" for more information on late claims and other circumstances in which backdated payment of the allowance or increases for qualified child/ren may be made.

Rates Structure

Payment is made up of a personal rate and increases for a Qualified Child (IQC), where appropriate. The IQC is half the normal IQC rate payable, except where the Carer is caring for children without the financial support of a spouse/civil partner/cohabitant - in such cases it is payable at the full standard rate (See "Social Welfare Rates of Payment" SW 19 which is updated each year).

IQC is payable up to age 18, or up to end of academic year of the year in which the qualified child reaches age 22, if s/he is in full-time education by day at any university, college, school or other prescribed educational establishment. See separate guideline on " Increases" for more detail on IQC.

Only one Carer's Allowance can be paid in respect of a person requiring full-time care and attention. If, however,the Carer is giving full-time care and attention to more than one person, the rate of Carer's Allowance payable is increased by 50% of the standard personal rate.

Two carers who are providing full-time care on a part-time basis in an established pattern can share the carers allowance income support payment and the annual respite care grant.

If you are caring on alternate weeks where the care recipient attends a residential institution every other week, you will receive payment of Carer's Allowance for the week you are providing the care.

From 27th September 2007, if you satisfy all the qualifying conditions you may receive a half rate payment of Carers Allowance and certain other Social Welfare Payments.

Extra Benefits

Increase for Living on Specified Islands

This is payable if a pensioner is age 66 or over and ordinarily resident on one of a list of specified islands off the coast of Ireland (It is paid automatically - there is no need to apply). It is not payable to those in receipt of another SW payment and Half Rate Carers Allowance.

See " Increase for Living on Specified Islands" guideline for more general information.

Over 66 allowance

An additional allowance is payable when a Carer is aged 66 and over. This is paid automatically by the Department.

Over 80 allowance

An additional allowance is payable when a carer is aged 80 and over. This is paid automatically by the Department.

Free Travel Pass

A person receiving Carer's Allowance will receive a free Travel Pass in his/her own right.

For fuller details see separate guideline on " Free Travel" .

Free Telephone Rental Allowance

A Carer my be entitled to a free Telephone Rental Allowance. For details see separate guideline on "Household Benefits Package"

Free Schemes

In certain circumstances a Carer, aged 66 or over, may also qualify for:

  • Free Electricity/Natural Gas/Bottled Gas Refill Allowance
  • Free Television Licence

For fuller detail see separate guideline "Household Benefits Package".

Respite Payment

The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment for carers who look after certain people who need full-time care and attention. From June 2005, it is extended to carers who provide full-time care and attention regardless of means and who satisfy other qualifying conditions.

You do not need to apply for a Respite Care Grant if you qualify for Carer's Allowance. It is automatically paid on the first Thursday in June and is paid to carer's to cover the cost of respite care. This grant is at a fixed amount for all carer's, and does not vary with the weekly rate in payment.

The Respite Care Grant is paid for every person you care for provided you satisfy other conditions.

If you are care sharing the Respite Care Grant will be split proportionately.

After Death Benefits

Payment of Carer's allowance may continue for 6 weeks after the death of the person being cared for.

If you are care sharing the 6 week payment after death will be split proportionately.

See at Part 3 below and separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for more detail on after death benefits.

Other benefits available from Health Service Executive

Medical Card
Rent or Mortgage Interest Subsidy
Exceptional Needs Payments

Application should be made to the local Health Service Executive. A means test and other qualifying conditions may apply.

See separate guideline " SWA/Basic" on Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

Overlapping Provisions

Carer's Allowance is not payable concurrently with another payment from the Department (other than Child Benefit). See separate guideline on " Overlapping Benefits" .

From 27th September 2007 if you satisfy the qualifying conditions you may receive a Half Rate Carers Allowance payment and certain other Social Welfare Payments.

If the Carer's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant is in receipt of a payment from the Department, which included an increase in respect of him/her as a dependant, the increase on the spouse/civil partner/cohabitant's social welfare payment will continue to be payable along with a Half Rate Carers Allowance payment.

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES

Claims

There is an onus on a person under Social Welfare legislation to apply for a Carer's Allowance if s/he considers that they satisfy the qualifying conditions.

The Carer's Allowance claim form, CR 1, should be completed in full and signed by the Carer and the person being cared for, in all cases. The claimant is required to give his/her full name, address, date of birth, Personal Public Service Number ( PPS No.) and details of means etc. Details of the person being cared for as well as details of child dependants, for whom an increase is being claimed, should also be given. Where either the Carer or the person(s) being cared for are unable to sign the claim form, their mark must be witnessed.

If a claimant does not have a PPS Number one will be allocated when the claim is received in the Department.

On receipt of the claim, an acknowledgement is issued by the Department showing claim reference number. This reference number should be quoted in any future contact with the Department regarding Carer's Allowance.

Depending on financial circumstances, a person may claim Supplementary Welfare Allowance from a Health Service Executive, while awaiting a decision on entitlement to Carer's allowance.

Documentation

The claimant is required under social welfare legislation to produce certificates, documents, information and evidence as required, including birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable), means details i.e. P60, current payslip, etc. in support of the claim.

The relevant documentation may be furnished after the claim has been made if it is not immediately available.

A medical certificate is incorporated into the claim form (CR 1). This must be completed and signed by a doctor attending the person(s) being cared for.

Where immediately prior to the award of Carer's Allowance, the Carer was in receipt of any illness-related payment, s/he may be required to provide medical evidence that s/he is capable of providing the required care and attention. The Carer may be required in other cases also to furnish medical evidence that s/he is capable of looking after the pensioner where any doubt arises.

A Deciding Officer may not be in a position to decide on entitlement until all requested documentation has been received in the Department.

Offences

It is an offence for a person to knowingly make a false or misleading statement or to provide documents or information which s/he knows to be false in some respect for the purpose of obtaining or establishing entitlement to pension, or pension at a higher rate. A person found guilty of such an offence could be liable to a fine of 1,500 or a term of imprisonment of up to 6 months or both. Any overpayment of pension would also be repayable to the Department.

Late Claims

A person is disqualified from payment of Carer's Allowance for any period before the date on which the claim is made. However, the claim can be backdated for up to 6 months where "good cause" is shown for the delay in making the claim, provided the claimant can prove to the satisfaction of the Deciding Officer or Appeals Officer that s/he satisfied the qualifying conditions for receipt of payment during that period e.g. resided with the person, provided full-time care and attention and satisfied a means test. The same procedure applies to claims for IQC.

Good cause may be shown to exist where wrong information received from the Department or ill health prevented a person making a claim to Carer's Allowance at the correct time.

Further back-dating may also be possible in certain circumstances. Where a claim was made before 25/5/2000, such cases are dealt with on an extra statutory basis. On that date backdating provisions for Carer's Allowance were brought under Social Welfare legislation and the question of backdating in respect of claims made on or after 25/5/00 is dealt with on a statutory basis. See section 4.2 of the separate guidelines on " Claims and Late Claims".

Failure to claim the Carer's allowance at the correct time may result in loss of payment of the allowance

See also separate guideline on " Claims and Late Claims" for more information on late claims and other circumstances in which backdated payment of the allowance or IQC may be made. This guideline also deals with the circumstances in which extra statutory payments may be made.

Investigation of Claim

When the claim to Carer's Allowance is received in the Department, it is registered as received on a pensions computer system. The claim is referred to a Deciding Officer for decision. The claim is decided on the basis of the details furnished on the application form and supporting documentation supplied by the claimant, provided all relevant details are available.

The medical form attached to the claim form is passed to the Department's Chief Medical Adviser. The Adviser will advise the Deciding Officer on whether the care recipient is in need of full time care/attention, as defined by Social Welfare legislation.

Where the details furnished are not to the satisfaction of the Deciding Officer e.g. full-time care and attention, residence and/or means details are not clear, further enquiries are made, either by correspondence with the claimant or by referring the file containing the claim form and supporting documentation to a Social Welfare Inspector for the area where the claimant lives. A report on means is completed by the Social Welfare Inspector, usually following an interview with the claimant. The file is returned to a Deciding Officer who then makes a decision on entitlement, provided all the relevant details are available.

See separate guideline " SWI/Carer's Allowance" on Social Welfare Inspectors and Interviews.

Date of award of Claim

Where the day on which the claim is received is a day in the week other than Thursday, the payment takes effect from the next following Thursday. The same procedure applies where there is a change in the rate of payment.

Decisions

Claims are decided by Deciding Officers appointed by the Minister under Section 299 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 2005. They are independent in the exercise of their function in deciding on entitlement to Carer's Allowance.

See separate guideline on " Decision-Making" .

A written notification of the decision is issued to the claimant. Where claims are disallowed or allowed at a rate other than the maximum rate of payment, the claimant is given an explanation of the basis for the decision, in writing, including details of the means assessment. Claimants are also advised of their right of appeal against a Deciding Officer's decision.

Any decision of a Deciding Officer may be subsequently revised by a Deciding Officer in the light of new information or evidence. This could arise where new information is made available as part of an appeal by the claimant. In such circumstances, a Deciding Officer may revise a decision on entitlement, if it is to the advantage of the claimant. There is also a right of appeal against a revised decision.

See separate guideline on " Revised Decisions" .

Appeals

A person who is dissatisfied with the Deciding Officer's decision e.g. refused award of allowance or awarded a reduced rate allowance, may appeal the decision. The appeal should be made by writing to the Chief Appeals Officer, Social Welfare Appeals Office, D'Olier House, Dublin 2, within 21 days of notification of the Deciding Officer's decision, stating the grounds of appeal. The Appeals Officer can decide the matter summarily or may deal with the case by way of an oral hearing.

A statement is prepared on the facts relied on by the Deciding Officer in the making of a decision on entitlement to Carer's Allowance and on the extent to which the facts and contentions advanced by the appellant are admitted or disputed. This statement is put before the Chief Appeals Officer.

A person may be interviewed by a Social Welfare Inspector regarding any facts or evidence put forward in support of an appeal, where the facts/evidence conflict with previous statements made by the claimant

PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD

Payment Day

Payment maybe made through a Post Office of the Carer's choice by Social Welfare swipe card (E.I.T.).

Alternatively, a Carer may have the allowance paid by electronic fund transfer (E.F.T.) into his/her account in a financial institution.

Carer's Allowance is paid weekly in advance on a Thursday.

See separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for fuller details on procedures and time limits for the cashing of Carers allowance.

Arrears

Any arrears of payment due may be included in the normal method of payment or paid by cheque.

See separate guideline on " Payment Methods".

Duration of Payment

Carer's Allowance and increases for qualified child/ren are payable as long as all the qualifying conditions are satisfied and the person is not disqualified from receipt of the Allowance e.g. ceases to provide full-time care and attention, fails to satisfy a means test, or leaves the State.

If the person being cared for dies, Carer's Allowance continues to be payable for 6 weeks afterwards.

See separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for full details of the circumstances in which payments after death are made.

Maintenance

Stop dates are inserted into the Department's computerised payment systems as appropriate, to ensure that IQC is discontinued when the child ceases to be regarded as a depandent i.e. at age 18, or if in full-time education, the date the child ceases full-time education or age 22, whichever is the earliest (if a child reaches age 22 during the school year, IQC continues to be payable to the end of the school year).

See separate guideline on " Increases" for more detail re IQC.

Lost/Stolen Social Welfare swipe card (E.I.T.)/Cheque action

See separate guideline on " Payment Methods" re action to be taken when a Social Welfare swipe card (E.I.T.) or a cheque from the Department, is lost or stolen. The Department, the Garda and the Post Office of payment should be notified immediately of any such loss or theft.

Payments to an agent

A Carer who is unable to cash his/her Carers Allowance payment by Social Welfare swipe card (E.I.T.) may nominate another person to collect the payment on his/her behalf.

See separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for fuller details relating to appointment of an Agent.

Change of Post Office of payment or change of address

The Department should be notified as soon as possible in writing. See separate guideline on " Payment Methods" for more detail.

Absence from the State

Carer's allowance is not payable outside of the State. A Carer should notify the Department if leaving the State and payment of the allowance will normally be suspended for the period of absence abroad.

EXCEPTIONS:

Payment may be made in certain circumstances for periods during which a Carer is temporarily outside of the State. Carer's Allowance may be paid for up to 3 weeks if the recipient is abroad on a respite break. In such cases the payment book need not be returned to the Department but may be retained and the payment orders cashed on return.

Carer's Allowance may also be paid where the carer accompanies the cared-for person abroad for approved medical treatment for his/her existing incapacity. The Department must be notified in advance of departure.

Illness/Hospital stay

A Carer may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention to a pensioner while s/he or the person being cared for is undergoing medical treatment in a hospital or other institution for a period not longer than 13 weeks in a year.

Certification of ongoing entitlement

Social Welfare legislation puts an onus on the Carer to notify the Department of any changes in circumstances - see below.

Any increase in means/income of the Carer or spouse/civil partner/cohabitant must be notified to the Department within seven days.

When Carer's Allowance is awarded, the Carer is issued with a list of circumstances and events which may affect entitlement to the allowance.

The following are some circumstances and events which may affect a persons entitlement to a Carer's Allowance:

  • Change in means.
  • Change of address of Carer or person being cared for
  • Change of Post Office.
  • Death of person(s) being cared for
  • The Carer or the person being cared for leaves the State.
  • Person being cared for goes into hospital or institutional care
  • Carer goes into hospital
  • Carer no longer providing full-time care and attention .
  • Carer returns to work.
  • Carer's spouse/civil partner/cohabitant returns to work.
  • Death of a Qualified Child.
  • A Qualified Child no longer living with or being maintained by the Carer.
  • A Qualified Child who reaches 18 years (or 22 years if in full-time education).
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance no longer in payment in respect of a child under 16 years of age.
  • Imprisonment or detention of the carer, the person being cared for or a dependent child
  • Change in marital status.

Claimants in receipt of Half Rate Carers Allowance payment and another Social Welfare Payment must ensure that all changes in household or Caree circumstances must be notified to both scheme areas.

Failure to notify the Department of any of the above events may result in an overpayment of the Carer's allowance which may be recoverable from the Carer by way of lump sum repayment or weekly deductions. It may equally result in an underpayment of the Carer's allowance e.g. where means have reduced. Effective date of payment of any underpayment of allowance would normally be decided by reference to legislative and other provisions in relation to late claims - see at Part 2 above.

See separate guideline on " Overpayment Recovery" .

Review

A review is initiated when the Carer notifies the Department of any changes in his/her circumstances or in the circumstances of the person(s) being cared for. The review is carried out by way of a visit by a Social Welfare Inspector, or by direct correspondence with the Carer.

Periodic reviews are also initiated by the Department to confirm that the Carer's allowance is correctly in payment and that the Carer continues to fulfil the qualifying conditions for receipt of the allowance.

Suspension/Revocation of payment

Where initial enquiries with the Carer, including written communication, fail to establish the facts as required payment of the Allowance may be suspended in whole or in part until the relevant information has been provided by the Carer. The Carer is informed in writing of decision to suspend payment.

Where facts have been established, following a review of the qualifying conditions for payment of Carer's Allowance, and where a Deciding Officer deems that the qualifying conditions are no longer satisfied, the Carer will be so advised in writing.

The letter will outline the conditions for receipt of the Carer's Allowance currently in payment. The Carer will be given 21 days to comment. If new evidence or fresh information is advanced by the Carer, the Deciding Officer will re-examine the case. If, however, no new information is advanced or that advanced is considered by the Deciding Officer to have no material bearing on the case, the Deciding Officer will make a decision revising entitlement downwards or revoking the allowance entirely, as appropriate. There will be a right of appeal against this decision, as referred to already in this guideline. If an overpayment of Carer's Allowance has occurred it may be recoverable by the Department.

See separate guideline " Overpayment Recovery" .

See also separate guidelines " Decision-Making" and " Revised Decisions" in relation to principles of Natural Justice and Revised Decisions.

Tax implications

This is a taxable source of income and should be advised to your local tax office.

Credits

Credits are awarded to recipients of Carer's Allowance in the following circumstances:

  • if the claimant was employed and paid PRSI contributions prior to receiving Carer's Allowance s/he may be entitled to credits. If, however, there is a gap of two years in the claimant's insurance record, credits are not valid until at least 26 PRSI contributions have been paid
  • if the claimant was in receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (provided s/he has at least one paid Class A PRSI contribution) Jobseeker's Benefit or Illness Benefit immediately prior to claiming Carer's Allowance.

See also separate guideline on " Credits Award" for further details.

Homemakers Scheme

This scheme is of benefit to people who are providing full time care and attention to:

  • a child under 12 or
  • a person who is so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention

Persons in receipt of Carer�s Allowance who do not qualify for credited contributions may benefit from the Homemaker�s Scheme.The years spent caring may be disregarded (for the purpose of the yearly average contribution test) when calculating entitlement to State Pension (contributory) at age 66.

Person's who apply for Carer's Allowance and satisfy the qualifying conditions as to full-time care and attention and residence but who have their claim disallowed because their means are in excess of allowable limits, may also be covered by the Homemakers Scheme. See separate guideline "Homemakers" for full details.

See separate guideline " Homemakers" for full details.

Back to Work Allowance

This scheme allows a person to return to work and retain some of his/her Carer's Allowance payment.

If a person has been a Carer for at least 12 months and returns to work immediately after caring ceases, s/he is eligible to transfer onto the Back To Work Allowance scheme. A person should apply for this allowance immediately on commencing employment.

See separate guidelines on " Back To Work" for fuller details.

Back to Education Programme

This scheme allows a person to enter full time education and receive a payment equal to full rate Carer's Allowance. (Full rate Carer's Allowance is paid even where the Carer has received a partial rate allowance).

This Programme covers both second and third level approved courses. To qualify a person must:

  • be aged 21 or over.
  • have been in receipt of Carer's Allowance for at least a year.
  • be attending a second or third level course at a recognised school or college.

It often happens that a caring situation ceases at a time of the year when no course of education is due to start. Flexibility is applied in allowing the applicant time to arrange acceptance onto a suitable course.

While on Back To Education Allowance a person can have any other income without affecting the payment, (e.g. work during the holiday period).

See separate guidelines on " Back to Education" .


Last modified:27/01/2012
 

 Foirmeacha Iarratais

 
 

 Íoslódáilí