Question: I need to take time out from work to care for my father. What supports are available for people in my situation?
Answer: There are several supports available to you. To qualify for these supports, the person you are caring for (your father) must need full-time care and attention.
If you are working at present and want to take time off to care for your father, you may be eligible for carer’s leave of up to two years. You must have worked for your employer for a continuous period of 12 months to qualify for this leave.
Your employer does not pay you while you are on carer’s leave but you can get credited social insurance contributions to maintain your PRSI record.
You are entitled to annual leave and public holidays for the first 13 weeks of carer’s leave. Your employer cannot dismiss you or victimise you for exercising your right to carer’s leave.
You may also be able to get Carer’s Benefit from the Department of Social Protection, if you have enough PRSI contributions to qualify.
If you do not qualify for Carer’s Benefit, you may qualify for a means-tested Carer’s Allowance. If you get Carer’s Allowance, you may be entitled to a Free Travel Pass. If you live with the person you are caring for, you may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package.
There is also an annual Carer’s Support Grant which is paid to full-time carers in June each year. From June 2021, the grant will increase from €1,700 to €1,850. Even if you are not getting any other social welfare payment, you can qualify for this grant if you meet the conditions.
You can find more information about support for carers on citizensinformation.ie.
During COVID-19, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at citizensinformation.ie/covid19/ and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:
Tralee on Tel: Call 0761 07 7860, Monday – Friday (10am-4pm)
The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
Our national call back service: Visit citizensinformation.ie/callback to request a phone call from an information officer.