I recently became a carer for a family member. Can I get the Carer’s Allowance?
Carer's Allowance is a weekly social welfare payment for people who are caring for someone who needs support because of their age, disability or illness (including mental illness ).
The person you are caring for must be either:
· Age 16 or over and so incapacitated that they need full-time care and attention, or · Under 16 and getting Domiciliary Care Allowance
You must be 18 or over and: · Provide full-time care to a person who is not living in a hospital or other institution
· Not be working, studying, volunteering or training more than 18.5 hours a week · Live in Ireland and meet the habitual residence condition
· Pass a means test
How is my income assessed in the means test?
Your income must be below a certain amount to get Carer’s Allowance. The Department of Social Protection examines all sources of income.
If you are single, €350 of your total weekly income is not taken into account in the means test. If you are a couple, the first €750 of your combined total weekly income is not taken into account.
The first €50,000 of your capital is not taken into account. Capital includes savings, investments, shares, or any property you have (but not your own home ).
How much is the Carer’s Allowance?
Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for any child dependants. Carer's Allowance has no qualified adult payment.
If you are under 66, the maximum weekly rate is:
· €236 if you are caring for one person
· €354 if you are caring for two or more people
If you are 66 or over, the maximum weekly rate is:
· €274 if you are caring for one person
· €411 if you are caring for two or more people
The increases for a child dependant are:
· €42 (full-rate ) and €21 (half-rate ) for a child under 12
· €50 (full-rate ) and €25 (half-rate ) for a child aged 12 or over
How do I apply for Carer’s Allowance?
To apply, complete a Carer’s Allowance application form (pdf ) for each person you are caring for and post it to the Carer’s Allowance Section in the Department of Social Protection.
Part of the form includes a medical report which must be signed by the person you are caring for and their doctor. You do not need a medical report if you are caring for a child getting Domiciliary Care Allowance.
You can get this form from your local Intreo Centre, Social Welfare Branch Office or Citizens Information Centre.