The Carer's Support Grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Social Protection. The name was changed in 2016. It was formerly called the Respite Care Grant. Carers can use the grant in whatever way they wish. You can use the grant to pay for respite care if you wish, but you do not have to do so. More information about respite care facilities is available.
In June of each year (usually on the first Thursday of the month), the Department of Social Protection pays the grant automatically to carers getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Prescribed Relative's Allowance from the Department. Only one Carer's Support Grant can be paid for each person getting care.
The Grant will increase to €1,700 in June 2016. It was renamed the Carer's Support Grant to better reflect how it is used by carers.
The grant is paid to people getting one of the payments mentioned above. It can also be paid to certain other carers providing full-time care. If you are not getting one of the above payments, you must be:
You do not qualify if you are working more than 15 hours per week outside the home, if you are taking part in an education or training course for more than 15 hours a week, if you are getting a jobseeker's payment or if you are signing on for jobseeker credits. You also do not qualify if you are living in a hospital, convalescent home or similar institution.
If you are caring for more than one person, a grant is paid for each of them.
A Carer's Support Grant of €1,700 is paid once each year, usually on the first Thursday in June, for each person you are caring for. It is not taxable.
If you are getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Prescribed Relative's Allowance from the Department of Social Protection, you do not need to apply for the Carer's Support Grant . It will be automatically paid to you in June.
If you are not getting one of these payments you should fill in an application form (pdf). If you are caring for two people or more you must fill in an additional form for each additional person (pdf) and attach it to your completed application form. You can apply for the 2016 grant from 7 April 2016 (8 weeks before the date the grant is payable).
If you are not getting one of the above payments and you got the Respite Care Grant (now called the Carer's Support Grant) last year, you do not need to reapply this year. If you got the grant last year, you will get a letter at the end of April this year from the Carer's Support Grant section in the Department of Social Protection with a short questionnaire on the back. You must answer the questions on the back and return the letter to the Carer's Support Grant section. A freepost envelope will be included with your letter. After you return the letter, the Department will use this and the information on file to reassess you for the Carer's Support Grant.
You can apply for a Carer's Support Grant for any given year until 31 December of the following year. So, for example, you can apply for a grant for 2015 up until 31 December 2016.
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.