Fine Gael TD Joe Carey has confirmed that an estimated €4.3 million was paid to almost 2,500 carers in Clare today through support grants from the Department of Social Protection.
Deputy Carey, who is a member of the Oireachtas committee on Social Protection, explained that the €1,700 grant is paid to those providing full-time care to a person with a disability. Some carers who provide care for two or more people will receive a grant for each person they are caring for.
He said that this represented an estimated payout of €181 million to 100,000 carers throughout the country with an estimated €4,300,000 going to carers in Clare.
The Carer’s Support Grant is not means-tested and does not depend on social insurance status.
It is paid automatically on the first Thursday in June to people in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Prescribed Relative’s Allowance. Other people who don’t receive a social welfare payment but who are providing full time care and attention may also be eligible.
Deputy Carey said: “This is a really important payment which is paid automatically to a huge range of carers. It’s designed to give them, or the people they care for, access to respite care. The grant is paid automatically to carers who are already in receipt of schemes like Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and Domiciliary Care Allowance. Last year, the grant was restored to its previous level of €1,700.
“Other full-time carers who are not eligible for these schemes can also apply for the grant. I want to encourage all full time carers who may not be getting any of these payments to apply. An applicant can find out more information and download a Carer’s Support Grant application form from www.welfare.ie or get one from their social welfare local office, Intreo Centre or Citizen’s Information Centre.
“Carers who provide full-time care for more than one person may also be entitled to €1,700 for each person they are caring for.”
This year, the Department of Social Protection will pay more than €1billion in supports to customers who are getting Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Carer’s Support Grant. This is an increase from under €752 million in 2010 or 39% over the period.
The current maximum weekly rate of Carer’s Benefit is €210. The current maximum rate of Carer’s Allowance for carers who are under age 66 is €209 per week while a carer aged 66 or over gets €247 per week. Carers who are receiving the Carer’s Allowance and who live with the person they are caring for may also receive the Household Benefits package of schemes which includes the Electricity/Gas Allowance and free TV Licence. Every carer who is getting a Carer’s Allowance payment also gets Free Travel.
More information and application forms for the Carer’s Support Grant can be downloaded at welfare.ie or at a social welfare local office, Intreo Centre or Citizens Information Centre.