CFN - Carers Benefit

2 Carers Benefit

The Carer

The Carers Benefit is a payment to an insured person who has recently left the workplace to look after a person or child who needs full-time care and attention because of age, disability or illness including mental illness.

The carer must be living with or in a position to provide full-time care and attention to the person or child in need of care.

The carer must be at least 16 and normally resident in the state. 

The Carers Benefit is subject to PRSI criteria. The carer cannot work or take part in training or education outside the home for more than 15 hours per week and net earnings must not exceed €323.50 per week.

Carers benefit is paid for a total of 2 years for each person you are caring for. The Carer can avail of a 2 year ‘Carer’s Leave’ to care for an individual. Their job is held open during this time. A Carer may continue in their job for the 15 hours per week (with employer’s consent).

The Respite Care Grant is automatically paid to people getting Carer's Benefit in June of each year.

The Person Being Cared for

The person being cared for must be

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


Under 16 years of age, and getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Requiring full-time care and attention means he or she is so incapacitated as to need continuous supervision to avoid danger to him or her or constant supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in concern with normal bodily functions.

Qualification for the Carers Benefit Scheme is based on a medical assessment form for the person needing care. With permission from the person needing care, their G.P. completes the Medical Report (Part 10 Section B of your Carers Benefit application form).

Include Extra Information

The medical report is very short and you may feel it does not completely describe the ability/disability profile of the person needing care. This is particularly true, where care is required for continuous supervision rather than assistance purposes. For this reason it is useful to include extra information to demonstrate the need for fulltime care and attention.

Extra information can include reports from community health doctors, therapists or consultants, an Assessment of Need report, a family impact statement, an Individual Education Plan, a letter from the child’s teacher, or SNA, or child-minder, or day service key worker.

A daily care diary can be a useful way to record and demonstrate extra care and attention needs. Begin the diary in the morning and continue right through to night time, including any waking during the night. Use the diary to record all care needs over a few days and include it with your application. Be very detailed noting every single instance of care or supervision. When carrying out any task ask yourself would you be doing this for a typically developing person of the same age.

Note: if you are caring for a child who qualifies for Domiciliary Care Allowance you do not need to fill in the medical section when you apply for Carer’s Benefit.  The medical report part of the form will need to be completed to continue payments after the child’s 16th birthday.

The Carers Benefit Application Form

The application form (SWS CARB 1) and assistance completing the form is available on request from the Department of Social and Family Protection (DSP) or local Citizens Information Centre, or online.

The Carers Benefit application form is long and detailed. Allow time to complete each section and gather together the additional information you may want to include with your application form. It can be useful for your own records to keep a copy of the completed application form.

Further Information

Carers Benefit information PDF

Information from social welfare website

Information from Citizens Information website