Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Carer's Allowance Payments

Photo of Seán HaugheySeán Haughey (Dublin Bay North, Fianna Fail)
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1231. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if consideration will be given to a position by which claimants in receipt of a primary social welfare benefit and who are also eligible for carer’s allowance can be paid the carer’s allowance at a full rate; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6060/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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I can assure the Deputy that I am very aware of the key role carers play in society and I will continue to keep the range of supports available to carers under review.  Combined spending on all  payments to carers in 2020 provided by my Department is expected to exceed €1.3 billion. 

The social welfare system generally operates under the principle of a single payment per person, whereby only one weekly social welfare payment is payable to an individual.  Persons qualifying for more than one social welfare payment receive the higher payment for which they are eligible.

Notwithstanding that principle, those in receipt of certain social welfare payments (other than Carer’s Allowance or Benefit) who are providing full-time care can retain their main payment and receive another payment, depending on their means, the maximum of which is equivalent to a half-rate Carer’s Allowance.  These arrangements apply to almost all weekly social welfare payments and to people in receipt of qualified adult allowances; however, recipients of Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit are not eligible given the job seeking nature of these payments.

Any proposed changes to these supports can only be considered in a budgetary context and in the light of available financial resources.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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