Thursday, 13 December 2012

Questions (96)

Robert Troy

Question:

96. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of the respite care grant and the percentage of recipients who are not in receipt of the carer's allowance, that is the number of persons who exceed the income limit for carer's allowance but who receive respite care grant; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [56089/12]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The respite care grant (RCG) is an annual payment made automatically to people in receipt of carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit, or domiciliary care allowance from my Department. Other people who are not in receipt of one of these payments, but who are providing full time care and attention can also apply for the grant via separate application. The total number of persons in receipt of respite care grant at end November 2012 is approximately 70,000.

The percentage of persons in receipt of RCG, who are not in receipt of a primary scheme, is 7%. The numbers of RCG, by scheme, who received the grant in 2012 are shown in Table 1.

Table 1 - Respite Care Grant Number of Carers (at end November 2012)

Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Benefit

Domiciliary Care Allowance

Standalone RCG

Total

38,000 *

1,000

26,000

5,000

70,000

* Note - Approximately 52,000 people are in receipt of carer’s allowance, of whom approximately 14,000 are also in receipt of domiciliary care allowance. Persons who are in receipt of both receive one respite payment. These people are shown under domiciliary care allowance in the above table.

The Government had to make very difficult decisions in the course of Budget 2013. In order to protect core weekly payments which people receive such as pensions, disability and carer’s allowance we had to look very carefully at other additional payment such as the respite care grant.

As part of Budget 2013, the respite care grant is being reduced by €325 to €1,375 per annum. I am aware that this reduction in the grant is significant and has implications for carers and their families; however, given the enormous pressures on the expenditure of my Department, I am not in a position to reverse this decision.