The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Social Protection. 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 Respite Care Grant can be paid for each person getting care.
It was announced in Budget 2016 that the Respite Care Grant will increase to €1,700 in 2016. It will also be 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 Respite Care Grant of €1,375 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 Respite Care 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 for the Respite Care Grant RCG 1 (pdf). If you are caring for two people or more you must fill in an RCG 1(a) Respite Care Grant form for each additional person (pdf) and attach it to your completed RCG 1 form.If you are not getting one of the above payments and you got the Respite Care Grant last year, you do not need to reapply this year using the RCG 1 form. If you got the grant last year, you will get a letter at the end of April this year from the Respite Care 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 Respite Care 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 Respite Care Grant.
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.