Local Fine Gael Minister of State, Deputy Peter Burke has confirmed that a series of improvements to the Government’s supports for carers are now in effect.
“My colleague, the Minister for Social Protection, Deputy Heather Humphreys, is introducing changes to the means test for carers, the first such change in 14 years. This means that many more people will now be eligible for the Carer’s Allowance.
“The capital disregard for carers will increase from €20,000 to €50,000. Furthermore, the weekly income disregard for Carer’s Allowance will increase to €350 per week for single carers, and to €750 per week for a couple.
“Separately, 2825 carers in Westmeath will now be paid the annual Carer’s Support Grant. The annual grant of €1,850 was increased by Minister Humphreys in her first budget as Minister for Social Protection, in recognition of the vital role of carers and the contribution they make to society.
“It is available to all carers providing full-time care to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. It will be paid automatically to those who are receiving the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and those on Domiciliary Care Allowance schemes.
“Fine Gael is working to build stronger, safer communities. Carers make a hugely valuable contribution to local communities all across the country and Fine Gael in Government will continue to ensure they are supported, and this contribution is acknowledged.
“Carers save the state millions of euro and their work can often be thankless. It can be lonely for many and since my election in 2016, it has been a priority to fight for services to assist carers as well as increased financial support. We know we must increase respite and community therapies for many, as well as residential placements for those who are no longer able to be supported to continue being cared for at home,” Deputy Burke asserted.