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What Carer's Benefit is

Carer’s Benefit is €220 a week. It is a payment made to people who leave work to care for a person or people who need full-time care and attention.

It is payable for a period of 2 years for each care recipient and may be claimed over separate periods up to a total of 2 years.

How to qualify

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

  • you are over 16 (over 15 and under 66 if applying as a parent caring for a child)
  • you have been employed for at least eight weeks, whether consecutive or not, in the previous 26-week period
  • you are working for a minimum of 16 hours per week or 32 hours per fortnight. You do not have to meet this condition if you were getting Carer’s Benefit in the previous 26 weeks
  • you give up work to be a full-time carer. Being a full-time carer means you must be living with or in a position to provide full-time care and attention to a person who needs care and who is not living in an institution
  • the maximum you earn is €332.50 a week after taxes
  • you are not working, self-employed, or on a training or education course outside the home for more than 15 hours a week
  • you do not live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution. But you may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention if you, or the person you care for, is having medical or other treatment in a hospital or other institution for less than 13 weeks
  • you meet the social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions

You may be able to get Carer’s Benefit if you care for a child who qualifies for Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA). You do not have to be the person who gets the allowance for the child to be the child’s carer.

If you are away

If you are away, you must be able to arrange adequate full-time care and attention for the person you care for.

The person you are caring for must meet these conditions:

  • they are 16 and over and require full-time care and attention or
  • they are under 16 and Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA) is being paid for them

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

  • they need continual supervision to avoid danger to themselves


  • 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

You can get Carer’s Benefit for up to 104 weeks for each person you care for.

You can claim your payment in a single period or in separate periods for up to 104 weeks. But if you claim Carer’s Benefit for less than six weeks in a row in any period, you must wait for a further six weeks before you can claim Carer’s Benefit to care for the same person again.

If you are caring for more than one person, you may get a payment for 104 weeks for each person you care for. This may result in the care periods overlapping or running at the same time (concurrently).

Rates of payment

Carer’s Benefit is €220 a week.

A person caring for two or more people may receive a higher rate of €330 a week.


It is recommended that you apply for Carer’s Benefit 10 weeks before you leave work.

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

You do not need a medical report if you are caring for a child getting Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA).

Return the application form at the end of this page, and the relevant supporting documentation, to:

Carer's Benefit Section
Address: Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford,
Phone: +353433340000
Email: Carersbenefit@welfare.ie

Application Form: Carer's Benefit (CARB1)

Application form for Carer's Benefit CARB1


Operational Guidelines

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