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€110.6 million has been provided to pay Respite Care Grants to full-time carers this year

More than 72,800 carers will get €1,375 Respite Care Grant from this week

Over €775 million will be spent on schemes to support carers in 2013

The annual Respite Care Grant is paid to carers providing full-time care and attention to a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions.

More than 72,800 carers will benefit from the grant which is set at €1,375 in 2013; the majority of these carers will get the grant this week.

The Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD, said: “I have provided over €110.6 million for the Respite Care Grant which is paid to full-time carers in the first week in June each year. It helps carers to get some respite for themselves or for the person for whom they are caring. The amount of the grant is €1,375 in respect of each care recipient.

“Carers who are providing full-time care for more than one person may be entitled to €1,375 in respect of each person that they are caring for. For example, a person giving full-time care to two people with disabilities may be entitled to €2,750.”

The Grant is paid automatically to carers in receipt of schemes, such as Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and Domiciliary Care Allowance. Other full time carers who are not eligible for these schemes may apply separately for the grant, which is not means tested.

Minister Burton continued: “This year my Department is providing more than €775 million in payments to support carers through the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance and Respite Care Grant schemes. Carers remain one of the few groups of people to whom the Department continues to make double payments in recognition of the valuable work that carers do; the half-rate Carer’s Allowance is paid to full-time carers who are also getting another social welfare payment.”

Despite the economic pressures and the ongoing requirement for the Department to make savings, the €776 million budgeted for carers this year represents an increase on 2012, when €773 million was spent in this area.

The rate of Carer’s Allowance for carers over 66 years of age is €239.00 per week while the weekly rate of Carer’s Allowance for someone under 66 is €204.00. Recipients of Carer’s Allowance who live with the person they are caring for may also receive the Household Benefits package of schemes which includes the Electricity/Gas Allowance, Telephone Allowance and free TV Licence and all Carer’s Allowance recipients also get a Free Travel pass.

Further information on the Respite Care Grant is available:

· at,

· from all Social Welfare Offices and

· at LoCall 1890 66 22 44 (from the Republic of Ireland only) 9.30 a.m.- to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday.