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April 03, 2008

Almost 800 Kildare carers benefit from payment changes

Kildare carers are set to benefit from increases in their payments in April as changes announced in Budget 2008 for Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit come into force according to local Fianna Fail T.D. Áine Brady.

“Almost 800 Kildare carers could benefit from changes to the Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit schemes which will come into effect this week.”

“It is only right that the Government, through the Budget each year, should continue to recognise the great contribution that carers make to the welfare of so many people in our society.”

“The changes relate to a carer's income disregard or discounted income which was announced as part of a €37.7 million carer's package in Budget 2008. This should allow even more carers to qualify for payment.”

"Increases to the Carer’s Allowance income disregard provided for in Budget 2008 means that from this Thursday, 3 April, a single person can have an income of €332.50 per week and a couple can have an income of up to €665 per week and still qualify for the maximum rate of Carer’s Allowance."

"The previous levels were €320 and €640 per week respectively. The earnings threshold for Carer’s Benefit is being similarly increased so that a carer with earnings of up to €332.50 per week can still qualify for Carer’s Benefit from 3 April."

"I am very much in support of this change, which allows for further, practical supports for the important work that carers do."

"The upward adjustment to the income levels means that over 3,000 carers nationally will receive a weekly increase in their carer’s payment with some carers now, for the first time, coming in under the net and qualifying for a carer’s payment.”

"The changes to come into effect this week follow payment increases which came into effect in January, further underlining the Government's commitment to supporting carers who do such vital work in our communities."

"Furthermore carers receiving these payments can engage in employment, self-employment, education/training outside of their caring role, for up to 15 hours per week.

"Carers in receipt of Carer’s Allowance can also avail of Free Travel and receive the Household Benefits Package which includes an electricity/gas allowance, telephone allowance and a free television licence."

"And recipients of the Carer’s Allowance and Carer’s Benefit automatically receive the annual Respite Care Grant, which increases to €1,700 in respect of each care recipient from June."

“There is also an opportunity to participate in the consultation process for the National Carer’s Strategy which continues until April 18.”

"The Strategy will set out the Government’s vision for family and informal carers and establish a set of goals and actions in areas such as income support, health care and services, housing, transport, information services, labour market issues, programmes of training, social inclusion and research and technology development," concluded Deputy Brady.

Submissions on the development of the National Carer’s Strategy can be made to the Department of Social and Family Affairs by:


faxing to 01-7043457, or by

post to National Carer’s Strategy Consultation, Planning Unit, Floor 1, Department of Social and Family Affairs, Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin 1.