It can be difficult to make ends meet when caring for a patient full or part time. Time must be taken off work in order to go on hospital visits or to help the patient if they are having a treatment that day. Because of this there are financial supports in which a carer can apply for.
Carer’s Benefit is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce to care for a person in need of full-time care and attention. You can get Carer’s Benefit for a total period of 104 weeks for each person being cared for. This may be claimed as a single continuous period or in any number of separate periods up to a total of 104 weeks. Carer’s Benefit can be up to €215.00 a week for a carer aged under 66.
- Respite care : The carers support grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. It is paid on the first Thursday in June of each year.
- Carer’s leave: Your right to carer’s leave from employment complements the Carer’s Benefit Scheme. Carer’s leave allows you to leave your employment temporarily for up to 104 weeks to provide full-time care for people in need of full-time care and attention. The leave is unpaid but people who take carer’s leave have their jobs kept open for the duration of the leave. You do not have to be eligible for Carer’s Benefit to get carer’s leave.
Carer’s Allowance is a payment to people who need support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness). Carer’s allowance can be up to €214 a week for a carer aged under 66.
You will qualify if you the carer:
- Are aged 18 or over
- Satisfy a means test
- Live with the person you are looking after or can be contacted quickly by a direct system of communication (for example, telephone or alarm) between your home and the home of the person you are caring for
- Care for the person on a full-time basis
- Take up limited self-employment or are not employed outside the home for more than 15 hours a week
The person being cared for must need:
- Continuous supervision and frequent help throughout the day with their personal needs, such as walking and getting about, dressing, washing, eating and drinking
- Continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves
- Full-time care and attention for at least 12 months.
If you qualify for a Carer’s Allowance you may also qualify for Secondary Benefits such as:
• The Household Benefits package (Free Electricity Units and free TV Licence) if you are living with the person to whom you are providing care.
• The Carer’s Support Grant (€1,700) which is automatically paid to people getting Carer’s Allowance in June of each year.
For more information on financial support for caregivers and how to apply, contact your Social Welfare Branch Office or visit www.welfare.ie.