Carer's Allowance

Introduction

Carer’s Allowance is a means tested payment that can be paid to carers on low incomes who look after people who need full-time care and attention. If you are looking after more than one person you may be entitled to an additional 50% of the maximum rate of Carer’s Allowance each week. If you qualify for the Allowance, you may also qualify for the free Household Benefits Package and a Free Travel pass.

If you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance on the first Thursday in June, you will be eligible for the Carer’s Support Grant (formerly known as the Respite Care Grant). There is no need to apply separately for the grant. There is no Qualified Adult payment with the Carers Allowance.


Rates of Payment

Aged under 66, caring for 1 person  €219.00
Aged under 66, caring for 2 or more persons  €328.50 
Aged 66 or over and caring for 1 person  €257.00
Aged 66+, caring for 2 or more persons  €385.50
Qualified Adult    N/A
Qualified ChildUnder 12Full-Rate€36.00
Half-Rate€18.00
12 and OverFull-Rate€40.00
Half-Rate€20.00

*You may claim a full-rate increase in your payment for a Qualified Child if you are a carer and are single, widowed, separated or a civil partner who is not living with the other civil partner. You may claim a half-rate increase in your payment for a Qualified Child if you are a carer and are living with your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant.

You can claim an increase for a child if they are under age 18, normally live with you and are maintained by you. If a child is in full-time education by day at a recognised school or college this increase is payable until the end of the academic year in which the child reaches age 22.

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Means Test

The means test for the Carer’s Allowance involves assessing your income from savings, investments, property (excluding your home) and your spouse/civil partners/cohabitants income. For a single person claiming the Carer’s Allowance the amount of weekly income that is not taken into account is €332.50.

For married couples, civil partners or cohabitants, (except for Social Welfare payments from other states, to which special rules apply) the first €665 of their combined weekly income is disregarded.


Other Social Welfare payments

If you are getting certain Social Welfare payments and satisfy the normal qualifying conditions for a Carer’s Allowance, you can keep your main Social Welfare payment and get half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well.

If you are getting Carer’s Allowance and subsequently become entitled to another payment, you may be able to claim the other payment and get half your rate of Carer’s Allowance – but only if the other payment is a qualifying payment for half-rate Carer’s Allowance.


Half-rate payment

If you are getting certain Social Welfare payments and satisfy the normal qualifying conditions for a Carer’s Allowance, you can keep your main Social Welfare payment and get a half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well.


Qualified Adult payment

If you are being claimed for as a Qualified Adult on your spouse/civil partner/cohabitant’s Social Welfare payment and you are providing full time care to another person, you may apply for half-rate Carer’s Allowance in your own right and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may retain the full Qualified Adult payment for you on their Social Welfare payment.

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Contact Us

Telephone

You can speak, in complete confidence, to an Information Officer in the Information and Advocacy section directly at 01 - 856 0088 , Monday - Thursday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm and Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm.

Online

Use the online Contact Us form on the INOU website

E-mail

You can send your query directly to us by e-mail at welfare@inou.ie