Taking time off work to care
The Carer’s Leave Act 2001 allows employees in Ireland to leave their job temporarily to care for someone who needs full-time care and attention.
The shortest period of leave allowed is 13 weeks and the longest is 104 weeks. Carer’s Leave is unpaid, but your employer must keep your job open for you while you are on leave.
Carer’s Benefit and Carer’s Allowance
You may be eligible for Carer’s Benefit if you have enough PRSI contributions.
If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit, you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance, which is means tested. In other words, the payment will be based on the income that your family receives through work or other social welfare payments.
If you qualify for the allowance, you may also get a free household benefits package. This includes allowances for gas or electricity, and a free television licence and travel pass.
You may also be entitled to an annual respite care payment.
If you are receiving certain social welfare payments and are providing full-time care and attention to another person, you can keep your main social welfare payment and get a half-rate Carer’s Allowance as well.
You can still take Carer’s Leave even if you do not qualify for any of the above payments.
Carer's Support Grant
The Carer's Support Grant (formerly called the Respite Care Grant) is automatically paid to people getting Carer's Allowance or Carer’s Benefit. It is paid on the first Thursday of June of each year.
This is a tax-free payment of €1,700 per year (in 2019). If you are getting a half-rate Carer’s Allowance, you will get 50% of the Carer’s Support Grant (€850).
You can also call into your Intreo office and speak to a Department of Social protection (DSP) official about exceptional needs payments. Or, talk to an information officer in your local Citizens Information Centre.
You can call our Financial Support adviser on 01 231 6643 or download our booklet Managing the Financial Impact of Cancer – A Guide for Patients and their Families:
For more information
1800 200 700