Written answers

Thursday, 6 May 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Social Welfare Rates

Photo of Thomas PringleThomas Pringle (Donegal, Independent)
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117. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if there are plans to increase the disability allowance or carer’s allowance payments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23420/21]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, 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. The total combined spending on the above payments to carers in 2020 was €1.2 billion.

The Carer’s Support Grant will be paid to carers this year at an estimated cost of over €265 million. This is a payment for carers throughout the State and is paid in June each year, not just to people in receipt of a carers payment, but also to other carers who may not be dependent on State income supports. An estimated 123,100 carers will receive the grant in respect of 141,200 care recipients. In recognition of the vital role that carers provide in our society, the Carers Support Grant was increased by €150 in Budget 2021 to bring the rate up to €1,850 – the highest ever rate at which it will have been paid since its introduction.

Disability Allowance (DA) is a means-tested payment for people with a specified disability who are aged between 16 and 66. The disability must be expected to last for at least one year and the allowance is subject to a medical assessment, a means test and a habitual residency test.

The annual expenditure on DA for 2020 was over €1.8 billion.

The Deputy will appreciate that any increases in Carer's Allowance or Disability Allowance can only be considered in a budgetary context and in the light of available financial resources.


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