Written answers

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Carer's Benefit

Photo of Aindrias MoynihanAindrias Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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58. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if full-time carers who use carer's leave from their employer can go on to access carer's benefit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25105/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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Carer's benefit is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce or reduce their working hours to care for a person in need of full-time care and attention.

Carer's leave legislation is administered by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and provides for temporary unpaid leave from employment for employees who satisfy certain conditions. The duration of Carer's leave is currently two years.

A person that has been approved by their employer for Carer’s leave may be entitled to Carer's benefit if they satisfy a number of qualifying conditions including:

- the carer must satisfy PRSI and employment conditions;

- the carer must show that they are or will be providing full-time care and attention and must show that the care recipient requires full-time care and attention.

Carer's benefit is payable for a maximum period of 2 years (104 weeks) for each care recipient and may be claimed in one block or over separate periods up to the total maximum period.

In cases where the care recipient is considered to require full-time care and attention but an application for Carer's benefit is refused because other qualifying conditions are not met, the applicant is advised of a possible entitlement to Carer's allowance.

Carer's allowance is subject to a means test and is conditional on the person being cared for needing full-time care and attention for at least 12 months. The applicant is also advised of his/her entitlement to credited employment contributions (credits) should he/she decide to avail of carer's Leave only.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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