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The HomeCaring Periods Scheme makes it easier for you as a home carer to qualify for a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory) when you reach pension age.

HomeCaring Periods can only be used under the new State Pension Contributory Aggregated Calculation Method of pension calculation


A HomeCaring period may be awarded for each week not already covered by a paid or credited social insurance contribution, where you were caring for someone in one of the categories below.

You can only be awarded HomeCaring Periods if you were born on or after 1 September 1946.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Permanently live in the State (except in cases where provisions under EU of posted worker regulations apply)
  • Be aged over 16 and under 66 at the time you provided care
  • Not work full-time, however you can work and earn less than €38 gross per week
  • Not in receipt of a payment from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection with the exception of Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Carers Support Grant
  • Provide full time care for:
  • a child or children under 12 years,
  • a child or children over 12 years who needed an increased level of care, or
  • an adult who needed an increased level of care.

It is important to note that only one person can benefit from a HomeCaring Period for supporting a child or adult at any one time

For example:

Only one parent can benefit from one HomeCaring Period for one child at any one time.

How to apply

Applications will only be considered once you have submitted your application for State Pension (Contributory).

The quickest way to apply is to submit a claim via MyWelfare, all information on the application process is supplied here .

For anyone who cannot access the MyWelfare platform, please call (01) 471 5898 and request an application form.

Home Carer's Section

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, McCarter’s Road, Buncrana

Tel: (01) 471 5898(If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call + 353 1 471 5898)

Locall: 1890 690 690 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Operational Guidelines

Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.

Operational Guidelines: HomeCaring Periods