Below are a list of advocacy services that may be useful for you. Please note that if you are looking for support around Carers Payments and the Habitual Residency Condition please contact Crosscare Migrant Project on 01 873 2844 Advocacy Support.

Citizens information Services:

Information providers advocate at different levels in relation to difficulties with access to social welfare, housing, health and employment.  They can help in explaning and filling in forms as well as explaining the appeals process.  There is a national network of Citizens Information Centres, for details of your nearest centre contact Locall 1890 777 121 or visit

National Services for People with Disabilties:

A new National Advocacy Service is to be set up to provide independent, representative advocacy services for people with disabilities. It will be managed by five Citizens Information Services and supported by the Citizens Information Board. The Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív TD made the announcement on 5th October 2010. From January 2011 the new Service will take over the work of the 46 pilot advocacy projects, with a particular remit for more vulnerable people with disabilities.

For more information see

Inclustion Ireland:

A national voluntary organisation working to promote the rights of people with an intellectual disability in Ireland to ensure their full and equal participation in society.

Bri, Aquired Brain Injury Advocacy Service:

BRí Advocacy Service works to promote justice and create equality of opportunity and participation.  This is done through Personal Representative Advocacy, Group Peer Advocacy and Lobbying.  From 16th December 2011 Bri's Advocacy Service cases will be transferred to the new National Advocacy Scheme. 

National Youth Council of Ireland:

Advocacy work focusing specifically on the needs of young people. 
For more information see

National Advocacy Partnership Alliance:

Since in 2008 the National Advocacy Programme has developed quite significantly. The first part of the three pronged approach was to develop a website that would inform the public about Nursing Homes/Community Units available in their area. This site has been developed as and is available to search for information on finding a nursing home in your area.


Irish Advocacy Network: Peer support for people experiencing mental health difficulties. There are regional advocates available for most health board areas in Ireland.

For more information see and also

HeadSpace Toolkit: Self-advocacy and rights based toolkit for young pople accessing inpatient mental health services.  Includes worksheets and information about young peoples mental health services.  For more information see

National Advocacy Council: The council was set up in 1999, to make sure that managers, directors and others hear the voices of people in the Brothers of Charity Services.  For more information see

There are a number of tax credits available.

These tax credits include

  • Incapacitated Child Tax Credit (download information below)
  • One Parent Family Tax Credit
  • Blind Person Tax Credit
  • Dependent Relative Tax Credit (download information below)
  • Incapacitated Person- Allowance for Employing a Carer (download information below)

Repayment may be claimed by disabled persons of the VAT paid on certain special aids and appliances. The relief is also available in certain circumstances to persons other than disabled persons who purchase such goods for handing over to a particular disabled person.

Full information is available here

There are a number of different schemes and services available through the HSE. Click the link below to link directly to their webpage. This contains information on the following topics

  • Public Health Nurses – Role and services
  • Home Help – to apply for home help you need to go through your public health nurse.
  • Home Care Packages - Home Care Packages comprise services and supports such as community health nursing, therapy services, home help services and access to both day and respite care provided to enable people, assessed as needing such supports, to return home from an acute hospital or to prevent admission to an acute hospital or long term residential care. You need to contact your local health centre for more information on the availability of these.
  • Training for Carers
  • Medication – advice and pointers for dealing with medication
  • Hospital Charges
  • Drug Payment Scheme
  • Medical Card
  • Long-term illness card


Grants and Schemes:
  • Nursing Home Support Scheme:
    The Nursing Home Support Scheme came into operation on October 27th 2009 and replaced the Nursing Home Subvention.  People going into nursing homes will be able to defer payment for their care until after their death, when the State will be able to recoup up to 15 per cent of the value of their home to cover the cost of their care.  The scheme has no minimum age limit which means that younger adults living in residential institutions for people with disabilities will come under the same rules.  See our October 2009 newsletter for a summary of the main points.
    Nursing Home Support Scheme: A Fair Deal
  •  Seniors Alert
    The Seniors Alert Scheme provides grant support for the supply of equipment to enable older people without sufficient means to continue to live securely in their homes.This scheme is administered by local community and voluntary groups registered with the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (CDGRA). The purpose of the Scheme is to encourage and assist the community's support for older people by means of a community based grant scheme to improve the security of its older members.
    Seniors Alert - Citizens Information Leaflet

  • Bereavement Grant:
    The Bereavement Grant administered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs is a once-off payment to help with funeral costs. Eligibility is usually based on PRSI contributions and is not related to ability to pay for the funeral. The grant is also paid on the death of a person who has been getting a contributory pension or on the death of their spouse, partner or someone for whom the contributory pensioner would have been getting an Increase for a Qualified Adult.
    Bereavement Grants

  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance:
    Supplementary welfare allowance is a scheme administered by Community Welfare Officers in the HSE on behalf of the Department of Social and Family Affairs. People with low incomes may qualify for an exceptional needs payment which is a single payment to help meet essential, once off, exceptional costs which the person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
    Community Welfare Services

There are a number of grants available for adapting your home to meet the needs of the person you are caring for. You can apply for these through your local authority, the links below are to Dublin City Council, you will need to contact your local authority to get the relevant form for that area.

From Tuesday 30th April 2013 applications for Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability and Mobility Aids Grant and Housing Aid for Older People will only be accepted from applicants who are of the highest medical priority. Further detail can be obtained by contacting the Home Grants Office on Tel: 01 2222195.

Click Dublin City Council: Renovate Your Home for more information

  • Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability
    The Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability is there to help people have works done which are reasonably necessary to make a house more suitable for a person with a disability to live in.  The person’s disability must be lasting and involve physical, sensory, mental health or learning difficulties. The types of works covered include the fitting of access ramps, downstairs toilet, stair-lifts, level access showers, changes to allow wheelchair access, extensions, and any other works which are reasonable necessary to make a house more suitable for a person with a disability to live in.

  • The Mobility Aids Housing Grant Scheme
    The Mobility Aids Housing Grant Scheme covers a basic range of works to fix problems with mobility most often, but not always, caused by aging.  The works covered include grab rails, access ramps, level access showers, stair-lifts, and other small works reasonably necessary to make a house more suitable for a person with mobility problems to live in.

  • The Housing Aid for Older People Grant Scheme
    The Housing Aid for Older People Grant Scheme is there to help older people living in poor housing conditions to make necessary repairs or improvements to their houses. The types of works covered by the scheme include re-roofing, re-wiring, putting in central heating (where none exists).

    Older People Grant Scheme see website for more information

    The amount of your grant is calculated on the basis on your gross household income. This includes both you and your spouse/partner (if applicable).

    The table below shows the grants available based on different types of income

    Gross Maximum Household

    Income P.A.

    % Of Costs Available

    Maximum Grant Available

    Up to €30,000



    €30,001 - €34,000



    €34,001 - €38,000



    €38,001 - €42,000



    €42,001 - €46,000



    €46,001 - €50,000



    €50,001 - €54,000



    €54,001 - €65,000



    In excess of €65,000

    No grant is payable

    No grant is payable



There are 4 main payments and a number of different schemes for Carers.


  1. Carers Allowance
  2. Carers Benefit
  3. Domiciliary Care Allowance
  4. Respite Care Grant
  1. Carer's Allowance:

    Carer's Allowance is a means-tested payment for carers who look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention on a full time basis. If you are in receipt of another social welfare payment and you are providing someone with full time care and attention you may qualify for a reduced rate of carer's allowance in addition to your original payment.

    Carer's Allowance Info
  2. Carers Benefit:

    Carer's Benefit is a payment for people who have made social insurance contributions and who have recently left the workforce and are looking after somebody in need of full-time care and attention. You can get carer's benefit for a total of 2 yearsfor each person being cared for. You may be eligible for carer's leave.

    Carer's Benefit
  3. Domiciliary Care Allowance:
    The Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly means tested payment, administrated by the HSE to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home

    Domiciliary Care Allowance
  4. Respite Care Grant:
    The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment for full-time carers who look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention. The payment is made regardless of the carer's means but is subject to certain conditions.

    Respite Care Grant

Other Schemes that you or the person you are caring for may qualify for:

  • Free Travel Pass (with Carers Allowance)
    If you are aged 66 or over and are getting a social welfare pension, the free travel pass will issue automatically. If you are under age 66, you will get a Free Travel pass automatically when you are awarded an Invalidity Pension, a Blind Pension, Disability Allowance or
    Carer’s Allowance. In all other circumstances, you must apply for free travel

    Free Travel
  • Free Travel Companion Pass
    Certain incapacitated people can get a free travel companion pass if they are assessed as unfit to travel alone. This type of pass allows any one person, aged 16 or over, to accompany them for free, when travelling.

    Free Travel Companion Pass
  • Free Household Benefits:
    (with Carers Allowance or You are caring for a person who is receiving Prescribed Relative's Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance)

    The Household Benefits Package is made up of three allowances, Electricity or Gas Allowance, Telephone Allowance and Free Television Licence. These allowances provide contributions towards your electricity or natural gas or bottled gas refill bill and telephone bill and cover the cost of your Television Licence each year. The allowances are applied directly to your bills, where applicable.

    The package is available to people aged over 70 who are resident in the State and to people under age 70 who are also resident in the State in certain circumstances. Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time.

    Household Benefits
  • Fuel Allowance:
    The person you are caring for may be eligible for this scheme if they have one of the
    following payments, live alone or only with you (as a person who gives them full-time
    care and attention if they have a disability or you receive Carers Allowance).
    There are some other qualifying conditions
    • State Pension (Contributory) or State Pension (Non-Contributory)
    • State Pension (Transition)
    • Widow's or Widower's (Contributory) Pension or Widow's or Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pension
    • Incapacity Supplement under the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme
    • Blind Pension
    • Invalidity Pension
    • Disability Allowance
    • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance
    • One-Parent Family Payment
    • Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
    • Farm Assist
    • Pre-Retirement Allowance
    • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance
    • Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance (15 months)
    • Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance
    • Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance
    • Social Security Pension from an EE/EEA country or a country with whom Ireland
      has a bilateral social security agreement
    • Special Department of Defence Allowance
  • You are taking part in Back to Work Allowance (BTWA), Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA), Rural Social Scheme, Revenue Job Assist or FÁS Community Employment
    and are entitled to keep your secondary benefits

    National Fuel Scheme
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance:
    Abolished in September 2011

Homemakers Scheme:
The Homemaker's Scheme makes it easier for a homemaker to qualify for the State Pension (Contributory). A homemaker is a person (male or female) who gives up work on or after 6 April 1994 to care for a child (nder 12) or someone who has a disability.

Homemakers Scheme

You do not need to register if you: Are getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or the Respite Care Grant or Are getting Child Benefit and are providing the child(ren) with full-time care. (The reason you do not need to register is because your claim for Child Benefit, Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit or the Respite Care Grant will be treated as an application to be registered as a Homemaker. This information will be noted automatically on your insurance record).

If you need to register, you should register before the end of the contribution year after the year in which you first become a Homemaker. For example, if you become a Homemaker between 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2008, you should register before 31 December 2009.

Along with your Homemaker's registration form , you will need to provide:

  • Your long birth certificate
  • The long birth certificates of all the people you are caring for in your household.

Birth certificates for social welfare purposes are available from the General Registers Office or from your local Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for €1. If you are unable to get the certificate(s) immediately, you should send in your claim with a note stating that the certificate(s) will be sent in as soon as possible.


Contact Us

Holy Cross College,
Clonliffe Road,
Dublin 3,

Tel: 01 836 0011
Fax: 01 836 7166
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