The Respite Care 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 will be paid on Thursday 2nd of June 2016. This payment is tax-free, similar to Domiciliary Carer Allowance, unlike Carers Allowance and Carers Benefit which are both taxable sources of income.

It has also now been renamed as the Carer’s Support Grant to better reflect how it can be used by parents.

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.

Automatically Enrolled

If you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance or Domiciliary Care Allowance then you will automatically be enrolled for this grant. Around April of each year, you may receive a letter with a short questionnaire on the back.  To maintain your annual payment you must answer the questions & return the letter to the Respite Care Section.

Who Else Can Claim?

If you are not in receipt of the above allowances you may still be entitled to this grant, in particular if one of the parents is not working over 15-hours per week.

This is another unclaimed entitlement that I come across on a regular basis. In particular with parents whose children transition on to Disability Allowance from Domiciliary Care Allowance. You should contact the Carer’s Support Grant Section on 01 673 2222 to enquire and if successful then you will have to apply each year.