The Carer’s Support Grant is an annual payment made by the Department of Social Protection to the parents/carers of people with special needs. If you are caring for more than one person, you are entitled to a payment for each person you are caring for.
The Grant has increased from €1,375 (2015 payment) back to the pre-recession level of €1,700 and 2018 Grant was paid on Thursday 7th of June. This payment is tax-free, similar to Domiciliary Care Allowance, but unlike Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit which are both taxable sources of income.
Up to recently, the payment was called the Respite Care Grant but the Department changed the name to better reflect the purpose of the grant as parents assumed you had to spend the grant on respite for their child.
An interesting point to note is you can use the grant in whatever way you wish. It’s not mandatory you get respite care for your child. Most of my families seem to use it towards their summer holidays.
If you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit or Domiciliary Care Allowance then you will automatically be enrolled for this grant.
Who Else Can Claim?
Over the years I have come across many families who are entitled to this payment but were unaware. The majority of time parents lose out on this payment is when their child transitions from Domiciliary Care Allowance to Disability Allowance then they are no longer entitled to this payment.
However, if one of the parents provides full-time care and is not working outside of the home for more than 15-hrs per week then they may still be entitled to this payment. Because the payment isn’t automatically granted they parents need to complete the application form CSG 1 in respect of each person you are caring for.
Once granted then the Department will send you a letter and a short 2-page questionnaire in April of each year. You must return the completed questionnaire as it will be used to assess your claim for that year.
It is not too late if you just missed out on June payment. You can apply for the 2018 grant at any time from April 2018 up until 31 December 2019.
For more information or the CSG 1 form then you can contact Citizens Information Centre (www.citizensinformation.ie) or the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (www.welfare.ie)