Friday, October 21, 2016

Benefits for carers

October 2016
My mother is in hospital and I will need to provide full-time care for at least 6 months when she gets out. What is available for people in my situation?

There are several entitlements available to you. In order for you to qualify, the person you are caring for (your mother) must be deemed to be in need of full-time care and attention. This decision will be made by the Department of Social Protection, based on information provided by your mother’s GP.

If you are working at present and will be taking time off to care, you may be eligible for carer's leave of up to 2 years. You must have worked for your employer for a continuous period of 12 months to qualify for this leave.

While you are on carer’s leave, you are entitled to get credited social insurance contributions to maintain your PRSI record.

You are entitled to annual leave and public holidays in respect of the first 13 weeks of carer’s leave. Your employer cannot dismiss you or victimise you for exercising your right to carer’s leave.

You may also be entitled to Carer’s Benefit from the Department of Social Protection, if you have enough PRSI contributions to qualify.

If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit, you may qualify for a means-tested Carer’s Allowance.  If you get Carer's Allowance, you are entitled to a Free Travel Pass. You may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package if you live with the person you are caring for.

There is also an annual Carer’s Support Grant of €1,700, formerly known as the Respite Care Grant, which is paid to full-time carers in June each year. Even if you are not getting any other social welfare payment, you can qualify for this grant if you fulfil the conditions.

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