Minister Cullen highlights improved financial support to carers

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• To benefit up to 18,000 carers around the country at cost of €57 million
• National advertising campaign to highlight new arrangements


Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Martin Cullen, TD, together with the Minister of State for Older People, Máire Hoctor, TD today (Thursday 27 September 2007) announced details of new arrangements in the Government’s support for carers which will allow for the first time, an entitlement by a carer to retain a full social welfare payment and to receive, in addition, up to a half rate Carer's Allowance. "This new measure", said Minister Cullen, "which comes in to effect from today, will boost the weekly income of an estimated 18,000 carers around the country by up to €109 per week at a cost of €57 million in a full year."

Minister Cullen said: "Up until now, a carer who had an entitlement to a Carer's Allowance and another social welfare payment only received one social welfare payment – either the Carer's Allowance or the other payment - whichever was the most beneficial to them. A new arrangement is now in place from today whereby people in receipt of certain other social welfare payments, who are also providing full-time care and attention to a person will be able to retain their main welfare payment and receive a half rate carer’s allowance, depending on their means."

Minister of State Máire Hoctor said: "Carers who currently receive a Carer's Allowance and who may have an underlying entitlement to another social welfare payment will be able transfer over to that payment and continue to also receive up to a half rate Carer's Allowance. At present there are over 30,000 people in receipt of a Carer's Allowance. Of these, approximately 14,000 were in receipt of another social welfare payment immediately prior to claiming a carer’s allowance. Many of these will have retained an underlying eligibility for their original payment."

Minister Cullen also said: "This is a significant change and since the beginning of September, my Department has contacted approximately 55,000 people by post (recipients of the Carer's Allowance, Respite Care Grant and the HSE administered Domiciliary Care Allowance) advising them of the new arrangements. Another important component of our efforts to raise awareness of the changes is a national awareness advertising campaign which I am launching today. The campaign includes TV, national and regional radio and print media advertisements."

Minister Cullen concluded: "Supporting and recognising carers and their contribution to communities across the country is and has been a priority of the Government since 1997. Carers play a very valuable, and much valued, role in our society. This Government is committed to supporting carers and to facilitating older people and people with disabilities to remain in their own homes for as long as possible."

People with queries on the new arrangements can contact the Department’s Information Service on LoCall 1890 66 22 44 or alternatively they can email If lines are busy callers will be given the option of transferring to the Citizen’s Information Phonebank. Information booklets and application forms for all social welfare schemes or services are available at, or by email from

Issued by:
Michelle Hoctor 087 856 3070
Niamh Fitzgerald 087 2547232


From 27 September 2007 up to a Half Rate Carer's Allowance may be payable with the following benefits:
  • State Pension (Contributory) Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Deserted Wives Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Invalidity Pension Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Jobseekers Benefit Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Illness Benefit
  • Illness Benefit Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Widows/ers Contributory
  • Injury Benefit
  • Injury Benefit Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Death Benefit
  • Health & Safety Benefit
  • Maternity Benefit
  • Adoptive Benefit
From 27 September 2007 up to Half Rate Carer's Allowance may be payable with the following Assistance Payments:
  • State Pen (Non Contributory)
  • State Pen (Non Contributory) Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Blind Pension
  • Blind Pension Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Widow/ers Non Contributory
  • Prisoners Wives Allowance
  • One Parent Family Payment
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Jobseekers Allowance Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Disability Allowance Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Incapacity Supplement Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Farm Assist Qualified Adult Allowance
  • Back to Education Allowance (Lecturers must not exceed 15 hours per week)
Half Rate Carer's Allowance is not payable with the following:
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance Qualified Adult
  • Jobseekers Benefit
  • Family Income Supplement
  • Jobseekers Allowance
  • Back to Work Allowance


Last modified:27/09/2007