Caring for a loved one full time or part time can result in a loss of personal earnings. This can lead to financial worries and can add to your stress as a carer. While you are caring you may be able to qualify for the following payments which may help your situation. Be sure that you have applied for all of the benefits that you are entitled to as a carer, as well as benefits for the person you are caring for.
Household Benefits Package
You qualify for the Household Benefits Package if you are aged 70 or over. You do not need to be getting a pension and the package is not means tested. You also qualify if you are getting full-time Carer’s Allowance provided you are living with the person you are caring for). Everyone getting the Household Benefits Package must also meet general conditions (See ‘General conditions for the Household Benefits Package’ at the link below). The Household Benefits Package is a package of allowances which help you with the costs of running your household including an electricity or gas allowance and a free TV licence. It will also include a new Water Support payment towards water charges. You must be living in the State to qualify. Only one person in a household can qualify for the package at any time. If you are renting your home, your landlord must provide written confirmation that you are a tenant (including the MPRN or GPRN of the address you are living at) and confirm that you are paying your own energy bills.
For more information and to see if you qualify see here.
Exceptional Needs Payment
Under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme there is an exceptional needs payment which is a single payment to help meet essential, once-off, exceptional expenditure, which a person could not reasonably be expected to meet out of their weekly income. For example, payment can be made for special clothing for a person who has a serious illness, or for bedding or cooking utensils for someone setting up a home for the first time. The Department of Social Protection’s representatives (formerly known as Community Welfare Officers (CWOs)) are responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. They are based in health centres or Department of Social Protection offices. To apply you should contact the Department of Social Protection’s representative at your local health centre or DSP office. For a full list of offices see here.
Most care services need to be paid for and there are many things to take into account when planning on paying for the different costs of care and support services. Talk to your local care services provider to find out what the rates are in your area.