The Respite Care Grant was paid to you on the 5th of June 2014. It 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 entitle to a payment for each person you are caring for.

Respite Care Grant is not a means tested payment but has been cut from €1,700 to €1,375 in Budget 2013. You do not pay tax on the grant so you do not have to declare it to the Revenue (unlike Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit).

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 will 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 will need to fill out a RCG 1 form & remember to claim separately for each additional child you are carer to.

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 like clearing a personal loan, build your savings, putting the money toward your child’s trust fund.

Or I think you might prefer Dolores recommendation.

Go On A Holiday !!

This article was prepared by Allan Cuthbert, a Special Needs Trust Planner. If you have a question, feel free to email or call 021 482 3635.