As we all get to grips with Budget 2022 and try to figure out how it will impact us. I just want to make sure our families know the specific changes for Carers and people with additional needs.
- Carer’s Allowance and Domiciliary Care Allowance will now be paid for six months if your child is in hospital long term and not three months (Jan 2022).
- 1,165 additional SNA’s will now bring the total number of SNA’s to almost 19,200
- Wage subsidy scheme rate for people with additional needs in the workplace will rise by €1 per hour
- A Christmas Bonus of 100% will be paid in early December 2021 to people getting a long-term social welfare payment (minimum payment €20).
- You can now receive up to €375 per week (previous €350) before issues in maintaining your Disability Allowance.
Carer’s Allowance Changes
This is the one area I want to highlight as we get lots of calls from our families on a regular basis around the means-testing of Carer’s Allowance. A review by the department can be quite stressful, and the end result is usually a reduction or, in many cases, our parents end up losing their Carer’s Allowance.
I still believe that Carer’s Allowance should never be means-tested as it is not a choice but a necessity to take on the role of a Carer. But that is for another day.
Your child must require additional support because of age, illness, physical or learning disability. To receive your payment, you must not be engaged in employment or education courses for more than 18.5 hours a week. The Carer’s Allowance is means-tested; the first €332 for a single parent or €665 of a couple’s weekly gross income is disregarded. Any savings, investments, shares, second property equity or other assets under €20,000 is also disregarded. These bands can be slightly increased if you contribute to a pension, travel to work, and PRSI can also be included.
Budget 2022 Changes
In June 2022, the means has moved to €350 for a single parent or €750 for couples. Any asset (other than the family home) over €50,000 will now form part of your means.
If you have been one of the unlucky parents to have been turned down or got your payment reduced because of the means-test. Now is the time to do a bit of investigation and fingers crossed, you might end up with a little bit more in your pocket.
Before you rush off and contact the Carer’s Allowance Department and stir the hornets’ nest, I would strongly encourage parents to ring Citizen Information first on 0761 07 4000. They have the Carer’s Allowance calculator and will be able to give you an estimate of your new rate if you were to apply or appeal. Before you call, just have a recent payslip, bank statements, list of any assets you own, and this should give you the information you need to base your next step. Citizen Information will also be able to send you out the form you need.
As always, feel free to phone or email me if you need any further guidance.