Carer’s Benefit is a payment available to insured people who may need to leave work or reduce their hours to care for a person or people in need of full-time care.
It can be paid for a period of 2 years (104 weeks) for each person being cared for and may be claimed over separate periods up to a total of 2 years (104 weeks).
How to qualify
You may qualify for Carer’s Benefit if:
you are 16 or over
you are or will be caring for a person who needs full-time care and who does not live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution
you have been employed for at least 8 weeks in the previous 26 week period for at least 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 do not take part in employment, self-employment, voluntary work, training or education courses which add up to more than 18.5 hours a week
you do not live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution
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 their carer.
Social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions
If you are claiming Carer’s Benefit for the first time, you must have paid at least 156 PRSI contributions since you first started work. You must also have:
39 PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year, or
39 PRSI contributions paid in the 12 months immediately before your Carer’s Benefit claim starts, or
26 PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year and 26 PRSI contributions paid in the previous relevant tax year
The relevant tax year is the second-last complete tax year before the year in which your claim for Carer’s Benefit begins. For example, if you make a claim in 2023, the relevant tax year is 2021.
Only contributions at Class A, B, C, D, H and E are counted towards Carer's Benefit. Class S (self-employed contributions) do not count.
You only need to satisfy the contribution conditions the first time you are awarded Carer’s Benefit.
How long you can get Carer’s Benefit for
You can get Carer’s Benefit for up to 104 weeks (2 years) for each person you care for.
You can claim your payment in a single period or in separate periods for up to 104 weeks. If you claim Carer’s Benefit for less than 6 weeks in a row in any period, you must wait for a further 6 weeks before you can claim Carer’s Benefit to care for the same person again.
If you are caring for more than 1 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).
If you are away, you must arrange suitable full-time care and attention for the person you care for.
Rates of payment
Carer’s Benefit is €249 a week for 1 care recipient.
A person caring for 2 or more people may get a higher rate of €373.50 a week.