Social Protection Benefits

Carers may be entitled to a number of supports from the Department of Social Protection. If you are caring for someone, a disabled child or adult or an older person, you may qualify for a Carer’s payment. The two main social welfare payments for Carers providing full-time care are Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit. You may also qualify for an annual Respite Care Grant.

Carers Allowance
This is a means tested payment for Carers on low incomes. If you are over 18 and caring for someone who needs constant care and attention because of their age, disability, (Physical or learning), or illness (including mental illness), you may be entitled to this assistance. You can also work for up to 15 hours per week outside the home while claiming this assistance.
Application form for Carers Allowance

Carer’s Support Grant
This is a non-taxable cash payment made to Carers in June each year and may be used to pay for respite for the person you are caring for. However Carers can also use this grant in any way they choose.
How to apply:
If you are in receipt of Carers allowance, Carers benefit, Constant Attendance Allowance or Prescribed Relatives Allowance you do not need to apply; it will be paid automatically each year. If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits a Respite Grant Application form should be completed.
Application form for Carer’s Support Grant

Carers Benefit
Carers Benefit is a payment made to someone who has to leave the workforce for a period of time to care for a person/s. It can be claimed as a single continuous period or as a number of separate periods up to 104 week.
Application form for Carer’s Benefit

Working Family Payment
Working Family Payment (WFP) (formerly known as Family Income Supplement (FIS)) is a weekly tax-free payment available to employees with children. It gives extra financial support to people on low pay. You cannot qualify for WFP if you are only self-employed – you must be an employee to qualify.
Application form for Family Income Supplement

Household Benefits Package
This is an allowance to help pay for Electricity/gas bills (including bottled gas), Telephone bills (including mobile phone), and a free television licence.
You can qualify in a number of ways and may be eligible if you are:

  • Aged 70 or over
  • Getting Carers Allowance
  • Caring for a person who gets Prescribed relatives allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Under 70 and in receipt of state pension/blind pension/invalidity pension or other qualifying benefit
  • Aged 66 to 69 and satisfy a means test

Application form for Household Benefits Package

Homemakers Scheme
This scheme is designed to make it easier for someone who is in caring position in the home, to qualify for a contributory state pension on reaching age 66. It may be available to you if you have lived with and cared for a child or incapacitated adult. The scheme ensures that you get tax credits for periods when you were caring for someone. Anyone in receipt of Child Benefit, Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit or Respite Care Grant does not need to register with the scheme as you are already considered a homemaker.
Application form for Homemakers Scheme

Supplementary Welfare Allowance
Supplementary welfare allowance is a scheme administered by Community Welfare Officers in the HSE on behalf of the Department of Social Protection. People with low incomes may qualify for an exceptional needs payment which is a single payment to help meet essential, once off, exceptional costs which the person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income.
Application form for Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Free Travel Scheme
This scheme is open to anyone over 66 or to people under 66 in receipt of certain welfare payments including:

  • Invalidity Pension
  • Blind Pension
  • Disability Allowance
  • Carers Allowance
  • Carers of people on Constant Attendance Allowance/Prescribed Relatives Allowance

The scheme allows free travel on all public transport (rail and bus) and many private companies providing public transport services. A Free travel companionship pass may also be available to a Carer who needs to travel with someone because they are unable to travel alone.
Application form for Free Travel Scheme

National Fuel Scheme
This scheme pays a weekly fuel allowance to qualifying households between the end of September and mid April. It is intended to help households that depend on long term social welfare or Health Service Executive Payments and who are unable to pay for their own heating needs.
Application form for National Fuel Scheme

Disability Benefit
This is a means tested benefit for people under 66 and is based on PRSI contributions. It is aimed at people who cannot work due to illness.
Application form for Disability Benefit

Disability Allowance
This is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability aged between 16 and 66. The disability must be expected to last at least one year and the allowance is both means tested and subject to a medical assessment.
Application form for Disability Allowance

Domiciliary Care Allowance
Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment to the Carer of a child with a disability so severe that the child requires care and attention and/or supervision substantially in excess of another child of the same age. This care and attention must be provided to allow the child to deal with the activities of daily living. The child must be likely to require this level of care and attention for at least 12 months.
Application form for Domiciliary Care Allowance

Bereavement Grant
As from January 1st 2014 the Bereavement Grant is no longer available.

West Cork Carers Support Groups Support-line Tel: 027-51731  
Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 10am to 1pm


Citizens Information
Dept, of Social Protection