7 June 2022
By Mary Bermingham
Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard has said that a series of improvements to the Government’s supports for carers have taken effect since 01 June.
“My colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD introduced changes to the means test for carers, the first such change in 14 years. This means that many more people in Cork will now be eligible for the Carer’s Allowance.
“The capital disregard for carers will increase from €20,000 to €50,000. Furthermore, the weekly income disregard for Carer’s Allowance will increase to €350 per week for single carers, and to €750 per week for a couple.
“Separately, 14,496 of our instrumental carers in Cork will be paid the annual Carer’s Support Grant. The annual grant of €1,850 was increased by Minister Humphreys in her first budget as Minister for Social Protection, in recognition of the vital role of carers and the contribution they make to society.
“It is available to all carers providing full-time care to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. It will be paid automatically to those who are receiving the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and those on Domiciliary Care Allowance schemes.
“Fine Gael is working to build stronger, safer communities. Carers make a hugely valuable contribution to our local communities and Fine Gael in Government will continue to ensure they are supported.”
Commenting on the changes to the means test, Minister Humphreys said: “Since my appointment as Minister for Social Protection, I have listened closely to the views of carers the length and breadth of the country.
“Our carers have endured a particularly difficult two and a half years, dealing with extraordinary daily challenges posed by the pandemic.
“I am therefore really pleased to put into effect significant changes to the carer’s means test – the first such changes in 14 years.
“The amount of capital and savings that are disregarded in the means assessment for carers will be increased from €20,000 to €50,000.
“I am also increasing the weekly earnings disregard to €350 for a single person and to €750 a week for a couple.
“These changes are significant and will mean many carers currently on a reduced rate of payment due to means will now qualify for the full rate.
“Equally, thousands of carers who may not have qualified for a payment at all up to this point will now be brought into the net.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank all carers in Ireland for the vital and valuable contribution you play in our society and in all our local communities. Your commitment and work in supporting those that need help and support is hugely important and is greatly appreciated.”