Long-Term Carers Contributions

What are Long-Term Carers Contributions?

From January 2024, a new Long-Term Carers Contribution scheme will be introduced.

Under the scheme, if you have been a full-time carer for at least 20 years (1040 weeks), you can get Long-Term Carers Contributions to help you qualify for the State Pension (Contributory).

A Long-Term Carers Contribution is the same as a paid contribution on your PRSI record for each week that you provide full-time care. The contribution makes it easier for a carer to qualify for the State Pension Contributory when they reach pension age.

Legislation setting out the full detail of the scheme is not yet published. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

How to qualify

To qualify, you must:

  • Have lived in Ireland when you were providing the care
  • Have been over 16 years and under pension age when you provided care
  • Not have been in employment, self-employment, voluntary work, training or education courses for more than 18.5 hours a week
  • Not have been getting a weekly social welfare payment when you were caring, except for Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Carer's Support Grant
  • Have lived with the person you were caring for and provided full-time care and attention. In some circumstances, you may qualify if you did not live with the person being cared for, but you provided full-time care and attention

What is full-time care?

To get a Long-Term Carers Contribution, you must be providing full-time care to a person who needs full-time care.

A person is seen as needing full-time care when:

  • They need continual supervision to avoid danger to themselves, or
  • They need continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day with normal bodily functions. For example, help to walk and get about, eat or drink, get washed or dressed.

The person being cared for must have the nature and extent of their disability certified by a doctor.

How do I use Long-Term Carers Contributions to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory)?

To get a State Pension (Contributory) you must have a certain number of paid contributions. The number of contributions also determines your rate of pension.

Once you have reached 20 years (1040 weeks) of providing full-time care, you can include Long-Term Carers Contributions in the calculation of your State Pension (Contributory).

How to apply

You can apply for Long-Term Carers Contributions online at MyWelfare.ie. You must have a verified MyGovID account to apply using MyWelfare.ie.

If you cannot apply online, you can contact Pension Caring Supports in the Department of Social Protection to ask for a paper application form.

Contact details

Department of Social Protection

Pension Caring Supports
McCarter’s Road,
Co. Donegal,
F93 CH79

Tel: 01 471 5898
Locall: 0818 690 690
Page edited: 14 November 2023