rollypoly Registered User

Hi am looking after 2 eldery relatives who are totally dependant on me i have been doing this for 4 months now completely unpaid even for petrol expenses. I put in 3 to 4 hours a day. Does any one know if this will qualify for carers allowance. Is there a minimum requirement I know i have to reduce my working hours to 15 a week which is fine. My son and daughter also put in some hours sitting with one or the other of them when i take them to doctors etc. can i add these hours to mine. any advice appreciated

rollypoly Registered User

thanks tried this already it doesnt specify how many hours just says those who offer full time care

TheQ47 Registered User

The information leaflet (SW41) of the Department, says this:

What does 'full-time care and attention' mean?

The person being cared for must need:

  • continuous supervision and frequent help throughout the day with their personal needs, such as walking and getting about, dressing, washing, eating and drinking,
  • or
  • continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves,
  • and
  • full-time care and attention for at least 12 months.

Also, the Operational Guidelines (the guidelines used by the Department to make decisions) say the following in relation to what full-time means:

- Residency requirements
The Carer must live with the person being cared for. In certain limited circumstances this requirement may be relaxed.

The following guidelines will apply when eligibility for Carer's Allowance is being considered for a non-resident carer.
  • A carer must be providing full-time care and attention.
  • A carer's personal circumstances must be suitable to allow him/her to provide full time care and attention.
  • All non-resident care situations may require investigation by a Social Welfare Inspector before consideration by the Deciding Officer.
  • A direct system of communication must exist between the carer's residence and that of the care recipient. This may be a telephone or alarm type system.
  • The care recipient must not already be receiving full-time care and attention within his or her own residence from another person.
  • Only one Carer's Allowance will be payable in respect of any one caring situation.
- Carer must be caring for the person on a full-time basis
A Carer may continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention to a person while either s/he, or the person being cared for, is undergoing medical or other treatment, in a hospital or other institution for a period not longer than 13 weeks.
A Carer may also continue to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention where the person being cared for is attending a non-residential course of rehabilitation training, or a non-residential day care centre approved by the Minister for Health.
A Carer may attend an educational or training course or participate in voluntary or community based activity for 15 hours a week, provided they make adequate provision for the care of the person in their absence.
- Care Sharing
From 14/03/2005, two carers who are providing care on a part-time basis in an established pattern can now be accommodated on the carer's allowance scheme. Each carer will share the carer's allowance income support payment and the annual respite care grant.

A carer who is providing care on a part-time basis, say on alternate weeks and where the care recipient attends a residential institution every other week can now be accommodated on the carers allowance scheme.
A carer providing full time care on a part time basis is required under legislation to provide care for a complete week i.e. Monday to Sunday.
All the usual qualifying conditions for carers allowance will apply to carers availing of these arrangements. Both carers will receive the household benefits package of free schemes.

I'd say the best thing you can do is contact the carer's allowance section at Social Welfare Services, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Longford
LoCall: 1890 92 77 70 (from the Republic of Ireland only)
+ 353 43 3340000 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

mp22 Moderator

The way i took the guidelines,is that you must be carering for the person for all the hours in the week apart from the 15 you can be missing for.I think?

TheQ47 Registered User

mp22 said:
The way i took the guidelines,is that you must be carering for the person for all the hours in the week apart from the 15 you can be missing for.I think?

How would you classify your care? Are you more like a home help who comes in for a few hours a day, or are you their only carer, and they rely on you for everything? If the latter, you'd have to persuade the Inspector/Deciding Officer of this. When you're not there, for example, how do the ycare for themsleves? Do they look after their own needs, or do they have to call on you? This may help strengthen your case if the latter.

The best thing to do, really, is to contact the Longford office. They'll give you the benefit of their experience.

skate22 Registered User

I applied in July 2010 for carers allowance after taking over from my sister in caring for my mother because my sister was emigrating. I put on the application form that I was doing approx 30 - 35 hours a week, the very same as my sister had put in her application. I was turned down on the basis that I was not doing enough hours. Wrote to them and told them since I had taken over from my sister that I only now realise the amount of time she did do. Increased my hours to about 48 per week which is what I am doing. I have now been waiting over 7 months for a decision. Was seen by a social welfare officer in Oct but as yet she has not signed off on my file. am getting extremely frustrated now with this ridiculous waiting time. I am owed over 7000 euro which I owe to my credit card and my mortgage is in arrears.. Don't know what to do

taram Registered User

skate22, I don't know if you're in contact with them, but contact your local carer's association, they can hopefully point you in the right direction of who to talk to next. Good luck.

skate22 Registered User

Hi Taram, I havn't contacted the carer's association but have looked them up on the net. I have made a complaint to the head office of social welfare and told them that their staff work at a rate that is consistant with a geriatric snail. I also told them that if I got no satisfaction that I would bring my mother into the local office and leave her there in her wheelchair and that they could sort out a carer for her and that I was holding them personally responsible for her having to go on anti-depressants and not sleeping. She is very worried that she will have a stranger coming into care for her or worse still that she will have to go into a home. It would cost the state a lot more to pay someone to look after her. She is a genuine case as she has needed a carer for the last 4 years.

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