CNF - Carers Allowance

1 Carers Allowance

The Carer

The Carers Allowance is a weekly payment to a person on low income who is looking after a person or child who needs fulltime care and attention because of age, disability or illness including mental illness.

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

The carer must be at least 18 and normally resident in the state.

The Carers Allowance is means tested and is subject to the working hours of the carer. The carer cannot work or take part in training or education outside the home for more than 15 hours per week.

A half payment option is available where the carer is providing care on a part time basis to a person who attends a residential service on a part time basis or where 2 carers are, by arrangement, providing care to one person. Where a carer cares for 2 people the carer may receive a half payment for the second person.

The Respite Care Grant is automatically paid to people getting Carer's Allowance 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 fulltime care and attention,


Under 16 years of age, and getting a Domiciliary Care Allowance (DCA). Please note you can apply for Carer Allowance at the same time as applying for DCA.

Requiring fulltime 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 connection with normal bodily functions.

The condition must be likely to last for at least 1 year.

Qualification for the Carers Allowance Scheme is based on a medical assessment of the person needing care. With permission from the person needing care, their G.P. completes the Medical Report (Part 10 Section B of the Carers Allowance 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, particularly where care is required mostly for continuous supervision rather than assistance purposes.

For this reason it can be 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, any assessment reports, a family impact statement, an Individual Education Plan (IEP), a letter from the child’s teacher or SNA or child-minder, or a 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 report when you apply for Carer’s Allowance. The medical report part of the form will need to be completed to continue payments after the child’s 16th birthday.

The Carers Allowance Application Form

The application form (SWS CR 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.

Further information 

Carers allowance information PDF

Information for social welfare website

Information from Citizens Information website