The pressures of being a Carer are enormous. Even the government acknowledges the need for rest for all parties involved in bringing up a child with special needs.

The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment made by the Department of Social Protection. In June of each year you will receive €1,700 tax free for each child you are a nominated Carer. This payment is not means tested but subjected to the following small print:

  • You cannot working more than 15 hours per week
  • You are not in receipt of jobseeker or unemployment credits

If you are in receipt of Carer’s or Domiciliary Care Allowance then you will automatically be enrolled for this grant. However, I suggest checking with the Department of Social Protection if this is your first year applying. You may need to fill out a RCG 1 form & remember to claim separately for each additional child you are carer to.

Around April of each year you will get a letter with a short questionnaire on the back.  To maintain your annual payment you must answer the questions & return the letter to – Respite Care Section.

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. I would suggest you have a defined plan for the grant otherwise it can be quiet easy to waste the money!