HomeCaring Periods Frequently Asked Questions


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  1. What are HomeCaring Periods and how will you use them to improve my SPC rate?

  2. How is the new HomeCaring Periods scheme different to the Home Makers scheme?

  3. I left the workforce when my first child was born and did not return to paid employment until my youngest reached 16 years of age. Are all these periods eligible to be considered as HomeCaring Periods?

  4. Am I eligible for HomeCaring Period for time I was living outside of the country?

  5. My spouse and I both have gaps in our record in the same period and have one child. Are we both eligible for HomeCaring Periods?

  6. My spouse and I both have gaps in our record in the same period and have more than one children. Are we both eligible for HomeCaring Periods?

  7. I was minding children (including grandchildren) in my own home. Will this qualify me for a HomeCaring Period?

  8. I am a step mother who stayed at home to mind her husband's children (shared custody). The children's Mother also stayed at home to mind her children. Will both women be awarded the HCP for the same children?


1. What are HomeCaring Periods and how will you use them to improve my SPC rate?

A Home Caring Period is the name for a period of time when you were not employed or signing on for credits because you were providing 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.

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

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 above categories. 

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

2. How is the new HomeCaring Periods scheme different to the Home Makers scheme?

The Homemakers scheme is a disregard for any periods spent as a Homemaker since 6 April 1994 onwards and applies to the yearly average method of calculating the State Contributory Pension only.

The HomeCaring Periods scheme applies to anyone who was born on or after the 1st of September 1946 and spent time out of the workforce for use under the new State Pension Contributory Aggregated Calculation Method of pension calculation.

3. I left the workforce when my first child was born and did not return to paid employment until my youngest reached 16 years of age. Are all these periods eligible to be considered as HomeCaring Periods?

HomeCaring Periods can be awarded from a child’s date of birth up until they are 12 years of age. 

If you had a number of children, and each was born within 12 years of each other, you be considered for HomeCaring Periods from the date of birth of the oldest child to the 12th birthday of the youngest child

You are not eligible to be considered for HomeCaring Periods once the child turns 12, unless your child is in need of an increased level of care.  In such instanced no upper age limit applies, but you would need to show the need for the increased level of care.

4. I was unemployed for some, but not all of the periods while I was caring for my children. Am I eligible to be considered for HomeCaring Periods?

Yes. Once you satisfy the conditions for the HomeCaring Periods scheme, we can award a HomeCaring Period for each week you were not receiving a jobseeker payment from us.

5. Am I eligible for HomeCaring Period for time I was living outside of the country?

No.  You must be living in the Republic of Ireland during the period in question to qualify for HomeCaring Periods.

6. My spouse and I both have gaps in our record in the same period and have one child. Are we both eligible for HomeCaring Periods?

Only one person can benefit from a HomeCaring Period for supporting a child or adult for any specific period — for example only one parent can benefit from one HomeCaring period for one child at a time.  It will be necessary for you to decide who (you or your spouse) will claim the HomeCaring Periods in respect of that child in situation where the gaps in your social insurance records coincide. 

It is possible to share the HomeCaring periods in respect of that child, for example you may wish to claim the HomeCaring Periods when your child was 0-6, and your spouse would benefit from them when your child was 6-12. 

7. My spouse and I both have gaps in our record in the same period and have more than one children. Are we both eligible for HomeCaring Periods?

Each child will be eligible to be considered for HomeCaring Period from each child’s date of birth until they each reach 12 years of age, unless they are in need of an increased level of care, where no upper age limit applies.  If it would benefit you and your spouse to claim HomeCarining Periods for different children,  you may do so.  However, only one parent can be awarded a HomeCaring Period for one child at a time. 

8. I was minding children (including grandchildren) in my own home. Will this qualify me for a HomeCaring Period?

No. Only parents (or foster parents) are eligible to claim a HomeCaring Period in relation to a child/ren under the age of 12.

9. I am a step mother who stayed at home to mind her husband's children (shared custody). The children's Mother also stayed at home to mind her children. Will both women be awarded the HCP for the same children?

HomeCaring for children up to the age of 12 will only be awarded to one of other parent (or foster parent) of the child/ren.  Only one person can benefit from a HomeCaring period for supporting a child or adult for any specific period - for example, in this case, only one parent can benefit from one HomeCaring period in respect of one child at a time. For child over the age of 12, or another adult, needing additional care, only the person providing the care can be awarded Home Caring Periods

Last modified:14/11/2018
 

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