Written answers

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Benefits Eligibility

Photo of Margaret Murphy O'MahonyMargaret Murphy O'Mahony (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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209. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the rise in working hours for carers announced in budget 2020 from 15 to 18.5 hours from January 2020 is applicable to carer's benefit and carer's allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [45918/19]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

Carer's benefit (CARB) is a PRSI based payment, made to a person who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

A primary qualifying condition for the CA and CARB payments is that the applicant provides full-time care and attention to a person in need of such care.

However, in order to support a carer’s continued attachment to the workforce and broader social inclusion, a carer may engage in some limited employment, education or training, while still being regarded as being in a position to provide full-time care. During this time of employment, education or training, adequate provision must be made for the care of the relevant person.

Since 2006 the number of hours per week that a carer may engage in employment, education or training outside the home has been 15. As part of Budget 2020, this has been increased from 15 to 18.5 hours per week for both CA and CARB from January 2020.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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