Monday, October 30, 2017

Know Your Rights: Benefits for carers

I will need to take time out from work to provide full-time care for my father. 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 father) must be in need of full-time care and attention.

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 Employment Affairs and 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 may be entitled to a Free Travel Pass. If you live with the person you are caring for, you may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package.
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.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Service below. 
Know Your Rights has been compiled by Boyle Citizens Information Centre which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Tel: 0761 07 6330 
Address: Elphin Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon

Information is also available online at and from the Citizens Information Phone Service - 0761 07 4000

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