A person may qualify for carer’s benefit, if he is a carer, over 16 and resides with and provides full-time care and attention to a relevant person as defined. The definition is the same as that in respect of Carer’s Allowance.
The Carer’s Leave Act entitlements is not dependent on qualification for financial carer’s leave. That Act gives an entitlement to time off work.
The carer must have been engaged in full-time remunerative work as an employee contributor of at least eight weeks within the relevant period. The relevant period is employment of an aggregate of not less than 16 hours per week, not less than 32 hours in a fortnight within the eight-week period prior to the claim. The relevant period is six months before the claim.
The carer must not engage in employment or self-employment, education or training of more than 15 hours per week. The below mentioned contribution requirements, must be fulfilled.
The person must have 156 paid contributions, 39 paid in the second last contribution year for the year in which the claim is made or in the 12 months prior to the claim or 26 in the second and third last year before the year of the claim.
Household benefits are not payable as it is in the nature of a short-term payment. The benefit is payable for up to two years, which need not be consecutive.
A person is not entitled to Carer’s Benefit, if absent from the State or undergoing imprisonment.
A person who has been in receipt of the benefit for less than six weeks who is entitled to benefit and ceases to be entitled to the benefit, becomes disqualified for the benefits in relation to the same person for six weeks from the date of last disqualification.
A Respite Care Grant is an annual payment of up to €1700. It may be paid to a person
- ordinarily resident in the State,
- over 16 years of age,
- in receipt of a Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance or a prescribed a relative in relation to whom an allowance is payable;
- providing full time care and attention to the person who is in receipt of an increase of Disablement Pension, in need for constant attention;
- resides with, has provided or is providing full-time care and attention for such periods as may be prescribed in relation to the person;
- or subject to conditions does not reside with but has provided or is providing or is likely to provide full-time care and attention for such periods as may be prescribed.
The relevant person is defined in the same way as the person who is receiving care for the purpose of the Carer’s Allowance and Benefit. Respite Care is not subject to means tests or contribution requirements.
2008 amendments provide that the Grant is not paid to persons
- who engage in employment or self-employment,
- are entitled to or in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit or Allowance;
- in receipt of credited contributions in respect of unemployment;
- or if the person receiving care is resident in an institution.
Institution is defined in the same way as above.
The carer must be ordinarily resident in the State.
A carer may be regarded as providing full time care and attention when
- the carer is undergoing medical or other treatment of a temporary nature in intuitions for a period of not more than 13 weeks;
- the person being cared for is undergoing medical or other treatment of a temporary nature in an institution; or
- is temporarily being cared for or residing with another for a period of not more than 13 weeks;
- the person being cared for is attending a non-residential course of rehabilitation training provided by a body recognised by the Department of Health or a non-residential place of day care approved by the Minister for Health or
- the carer is undertaking a training course or education outside the home for up to 15 hours per week, subject to such conditions as may be specified.
A carer is disqualified from receiving the Respite Care Grant if he fails without good cause to attend, submit to medical examination.
Carers Benefit is payable to a person who meets contribution conditions and leaves employment to provide full time care and attention. Carer’s leave is an equivalent entitlement under the Carer’s Leave Act 2001. It operates, however, separately to it.
The Person must reside with and provide full time care and attention to the relevant person. The carer must not engage in employment, self employment or trading more than 15 hours a week. Contribution conditions must be satisfied. The person must have
- paid 156 contributions at least 39 of which are paid or credited in the penultimate contribution year or
- in the 12 months prior to the date or
- 26 weeks in the second and third last year.
The payment is a flat rate payment with increments for the dependent children. The conditions as to the person to whom care is given is the same as under carers allowance.
A respite care grant be an annul payment of up to € 1,700 may also be payable, subject to conditions person must receive care as benefit or allowance.
The 2011 Act provided for discontinuing the entitlement to the payment of a half-rate qualified child increase where the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the beneficiary has weekly income in excess of a prescribed amount (i.e. €400) in the case of new claimants for Carer’s Benefit, State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Transition) and Invalidity Pension, with effect from the beginning of July 2012. It also extends the reference to the ‘‘spouse’’ of the beneficiary, in the case of similar provisions applying to the Incapacity Supplement scheme, to include a reference also to the ‘‘civil partner or cohabitant’’ of the beneficiary.