Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Questions (537)

Eugene Murphy

Question:

537. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if an application for a carer's allowance by a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [20924/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a person who has such a disability that they require that level of care.

It is a condition for receipt of CA that the applicant’s means are less than the statutory limit which in this case is €265.10 weekly.

CA was in payment to the person concerned from 2 May 2013 to 9 May 2018. Once claims are in payment, the Department periodically reviews them to ensure that there is continued entitlement. Depending on the circumstances in each case and to make best use of resources, a review may only concentrate on a specific condition of entitlement.

Means are any income belonging to the carer and their spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant, property, (except their own home) or an asset that could bring in money or provide them with an income, for example occupational pensions, or pensions or benefits from another country.

Following a review, CA was disallowed and her payment stopped as her means of €325.17 exceeded the statutory limit.

The person concerned was notified on 14 April 2018 of this decision the reason for it and her right of review and appeal.

The person concerned has not requested a review of this decision.

The person concerned continues to receive a domiciliary care allowance (DCA). DCA is a monthly payment for a child aged under 16 with a severe disability, who requires ongoing care and attention, substantially over and above the care and attention usually required by a child of the same age. It is not means tested.

While receiving DCA, the person concerned will continue to receive the annual carer’s support grant, which is payable on the first Thursday in June each year.

It would also be open to the spouse of the person concerned to apply for carer’s leave from his employment. The Carer's Leave Act 2001 allows employees to leave their employment temporarily to provide full-time care for someone in need of full-time care and attention. They may be entitled to take carer’s leave of at least 13 weeks up to a maximum of 104 weeks.

While on this leave, they may be entitled to carer’s benefit (CARB) which is a payment made to insured people who leave the workforce to care for a person(s) in need of full-time care and attention. It is not means-tested but based on the PRSI paid by the employee.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.