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what is carer's allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are caring full-time for a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness). The person being cared for must require full-time care and attention. 

The Shine Family Support team can offer help, advise and support should you wish to make an application you can contact the Family Support Team on 021 4377052 or email

how to qualify

You may qualify for Carer’s Allowance if you meet these requirements:

1. 18 years or over

2. You live with or are able to provide full-time care and attention to a person who needs care and who does not normally live in an institution. However, you may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention if you or the person being cared for is undergoing medical or other treatment in a hospital or other institution, for a period not longer than 13 weeks.

3. You are not working, self-employed, or on a training or education course for more than 18.5 hours a week. (Note: you must show us that the person you are caring for has adequate care while you are working, on an education course, or both)

4. You are habitually resident in the Irish State

5. Satisfy a means test for the Carer's Allowance (a test of your income and any income from your spouse or partner, and the results will be used to work out your rate of pay)

6. You live with or are able to provide full-time care and attention to a person who needs care and who does not normally live in an institution

7. You do not live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution

8. The person you are caring for must be:

Over the age of 16 and so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention or

Aged under 16 and getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance

A person is regarded as requiring full-time care and attention when:

They are so incapacitated as to need continual supervision to avoid danger to themselves or

They need continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions and

They are likely to require full-time care and attention for at least 12 months

9. If the person you are caring for goes into a nursing home on a full-time basis, payment of the allowance may continue for a period of 12 weeks. A letter from the nursing home confirming date of admittance should be submitted to the department

Rates of payment

The rate of payment depends on the outcome of the means test. The table below shows the maximum personal weekly rate of payment a person can receive if they have no income from any source.

Carer's age

Carer under 66 

Carer 66 and over

Increase for a Qualified Child



Maximum weekly rate (full rate)



Under 12



Maximum weekly rate (half rate)



Over 12



Carer’s Allowance and half-rate payments:

If you are getting certain social welfare payments and you are providing full time care and attention to another person whilst also meeting all other conditions for Carer’s Allowance, you can keep your main social welfare payment and get half-rate Carer's Allowance as well.

If you are getting Carer’s Allowance and you also meet the qualifying conditions for another social welfare payment (for example, a State Pension or Illness Benefit) you may apply for the other payment. If awarded, and provided the other payment is a qualifying payment for half-rate Carer’s allowance, you will be paid the other payment in full and also get half your rate of Carer’s Allowance.


To apply, fill in the application form. Include a doctor’s medical report that is also signed by the person you will be caring for.

You do not need a medical report if you are caring for a child getting Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Please return your completed CR1 application form, with the relevant supporting documentation to :


Carer's Allowance Section


Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Co. Longford, N39 E4E0


Phone number: 0818 927770   +353 43 334 0000


Brightening the future for autistic children & their families

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