Over 48,000 Carers set to benefit - Hanafin
The annual Respite Care Grant, which is payable from today, is being increased from €1,500 to €1,700 per annum the Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Hanafin TD, today announced. “This grant is available to all carers providing full-time care and attention to an older person or a person with disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. The Government is committed to supporting people who are caring for their loved ones, and this additional grant can be used by the Carer to support them with their caring responsibilities.”
The Respite Care Grant is paid automatically to carers in receipt of Carer's Allowance and Carer's Benefit which are administered by the Department. Carers of children who receive Domiciliary Care Allowance, which is administered by the Health Service Executive, will also receive the Grant automatically. The Respite Care Grant Scheme was extended in 2005 to include carers not in receipt of these payments.
Minister Hanafin said “this year the grant will benefit more than 48,000 carers. Almost 42,000 people in receipt of the Carer's Allowance and Carer's Benefit schemes will receive the grant along with approximately 7,000 additional full-time carers who are not in receipt of one of these payments. The estimated cost of the scheme in 2008 is over €90 million.”
“If carers are providing full-time care for more than one person, they may be entitled to €1,700 in respect of each person that they are caring for” said Minister Hanafin. For example, a person giving full-time care to two people with disabilities will be entitled to €3,400. Another feature of this particular grant is that the carer may spend this money any way they see fit.
Minister Hanafin went on to say that the Government will continue to support and recognise carers in our society. “I cannot emphasise enough how important it is that the work of carers is recognised and acknowledged by practical support measures, such as the Respite Care Grant. A break from caring is one of the greatest needs identified by family carers. By increasing the Respite Care Grant to €1,700, we are providing a significant contribution to enable carers to get a much deserved break which can benefit them as well as their family members."
Newsdesks note - Minister Hanafin is available for interview on this issue today please contact Ger Butler on 087 9483511 to arrange interviews.
The annual Respite Care Grant was first introduced in June 1999 at the rate of €254 in recognition of the importance of respite to carers. It has been increased each year since then, rising from €1,000 in 2005 to the current rate of €1,700 this year.
In 2005, the grant was improved in a number of ways:
- It was extended to all full time Carers, regardless of means but subject to certain other conditions and
- The grant could now be paid in respect of each care recipient to recognise the particular challenges which are faced by carers who are caring for more than one person.
Further information on the Respite Care Grant is available:
- from all Social Welfare Offices,
- at LoCall 1890 66 22 44 (from the Republic of Ireland only) 9.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday To Friday