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

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Clonliffe Road,
Dublin 3,

Tel: 01 836 0011
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