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What Carer's Allowance is

Carer’s Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are caring full-time for a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness) The person being cared for must require full-time care and attention.

How to qualify

You may qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you meet these requirements:

  • you are 18 or over
  • you live with or are able to provide full-time care and attention to a person who needs care and who does not normally live in an institution. However, you may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention if you or the person being cared for is undergoing medical or other treatment in a hospital or other institution, for a period not longer than 13 weeks.
  • you are not working, self-employed, or on a training or education course outside the home for more than 18.5 hours a week. (Note: you must show us that the person you are caring for has adequate care while you are working, on an education course, or both)
  • you are habitually resident in the Irish State
  • satisfy a Means Test for the Carer's Allowance (a test of your income and any income from your spouse or partner, and the results will be used to work out your rate of pay)
  • you live with or are able to provide full-time care and attention to a person who needs care and who does not normally live in an institution
  • you do not live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution

The person you are caring for must be:

  • over the age of 16 and so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention or
  • aged under 16 and getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance

A person is regarded as requiring full-time care and attention when:

  • they are so incapacitated as to need continual supervision to avoid danger to themselves or
  • they need continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions and
  • they are likely to require full-time care and attention for at least 12 months
  • if the person you are caring for goes into a nursing home on a full-time basis, payment of the allowance may continue for a period of 12 weeks. A letter from the nursing home confirming date of admittance should be submitted to the department

Carer’s Allowance and half-rate payments

If you are getting certain social welfare payments and you are providing full time care and attention to another person whilst also meeting all other conditions for Carer’s Allowance, you can keep your main social welfare payment and get Half-Rate Carer's Allowance as well.

Rates of payment

The rate of payment depends on the outcome of the means test. The table below shows the maximum personal weekly rate of payment a person can receive if they have no income from any source.

    Carer’s age Maximum weekly rate (full rate) Maximum weekly rate (half rate)
    Carer under 66 €219 €109.50
    Carer 66 and over €257 €128.50
    Increase for a qualified child Under 12 Over 12
    Full-rate €36.00 €40.00
    Half-rate €18.50 €20.00


To apply, fill in the application form below. Include a doctor’s medical report that is also signed by the person you will be caring for.

You do not need a medical form if you are caring for a child getting Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Return your application, with the relevant supporting documentation to this department:

Carer's Allowance Section

Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford, N39 E4E0
(Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Application Form: Carer's Allowance (CR1)

Application form for Carer's Allowance CR1


Operational Guidelines

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