Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Carer's Support Grant

Christopher O'Sullivan (Cork South West, Fianna Fail)
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1250. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of the carer’s support grant; and if the grant will remain place for 2020 and going forward. [6312/20]

Photo of Regina DohertyRegina Doherty (Meath East, Fine Gael)
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The Government acknowledges the crucial role that family carers play and is fully committed to supporting carers in that role.  This commitment is recognised in both the Programme for Government and the National Carers’ Strategy.

The main income supports to carers provided by my Department are Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and the Carer’s Support Grant.  Combined spending on all DEASP payments to carers in 2020 is expected to exceed €1.3 billion. 

The Carer’s Support Grant is an non-means tested annual payment for carers who look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention.  Carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance on the 1st Thursday in June are paid the Grant automatically on that date.  A carer, not in receipt of one of these payments, may still qualify for the ‘standalone’ Carer’s Support Grant.  

It is a primary condition for receipt of the Carer’s Support Grant (as well as for Carer’s Benefit and Carer’s Allowance) that the carer must be providing full-time care and attention to a person who is so incapacitated that they require such full-time care and attention because of a specified illness or disability.  The period of full-time care and attention must last for at least six months.  This period of care must include the first Thursday in June.  The Grant is fully exempt from income tax, PRSI and USC. 

The current rate of Carer’s Support Grant is €1,700 and will issue to customers with an entitlement to payment on the first Thursday in June 2020.  This payment will automatically issue to people in receipt of the payments outlined above. Officials in my Department have also contacted customers who were awarded the ‘standalone’ Grant in 2019, advising them that the Grant would be paid to them automatically for 2020 and have requested that they contact the Department if they no longer meet the conditions for receipt of payment.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

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