Carer's Allowance is a means tested social assistance payment, made to persons who are providing full time care and attention to a person requiring such care. The carer may work or engage in training for a maximum of 15 hours per week and still be regarded as providing full-time care and attention.
Only one carer's allowance is payable in respect of any one caring situation, however two carers who are sharing care in an established pattern can be accommodated on the carer's allowance scheme. All the usual qualifying conditions for carer's allowance apply to carers availing of these arrangements. Each carer may share the carer's allowance income support payment and the annual carer’s support grant. A carer providing full time care on a part time basis is required under legislation to provide care for a complete week i.e. Monday to Sunday.
Other financial assistance may be available to the family. Domiciliary Care Allowance (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. The family may also claim a Carer's Support Grant, which is paid each year during the month of June.
I have no plans to change the current care sharing arrangements which would have to be considered in a budgetary context.
I hope that this clarifies the position for the Deputy.