Health Information for Carers

Financial Support & Information

The HSE website has a section dedicated to financial information for Carers:


Medical Card/GP Visit Card

Medical cards are issued by the HSE and provide the holder with certain health services free of charge.  To hold a medical card, your weekly income must be below a certain amount. If you don’t qualify for a medical card, you may qualify for a GP only visit card.

Further information is here:

Full details and application form here:



Carers’ Allowance

Carers Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are looking after a person who needs support because of age, disability or illness (including mental illness).

If you qualify for a Carers Allowance you may also qualify for free household benefits (if you are living with the person you are caring for) and a Free Travel Pass.

Further information on Carers Allowance here:…/carers/carers_allowance.html

Full details plus application here:—SW-41.aspx

Further information plus application on Household Benefits Packages here:

Further information on Free Travel Pass here:


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Carers’ Benefit

Carers Benefit is a payment for people who have made social insurance contributions and who have recently left the workforce (or have reduced their hours of work to 15 hours per week or less) and are looking after somebody in need of full-time care and attention. You can get Carers Benefit for a total of 2 years for each person being cared for.

Further information here:

Full details and application form are here:

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Carers’ Leave

Carers Leave allows you to leave your employment temporarily for up to 2 years  to provide full-time care for people in need of full-time care and attention. The leave is unpaid but people who take Carers Leave have their jobs kept open for the duration of the leave.

Further information here:

Full details and application form:

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Domiciliary Care Allowance

Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly payment for a severely disabled child who is under age 16 and needs full-time care and attention far beyond what is normally required by a child of the same age. As of 1 June 2017 all recipients of this allowance can be registered for a full medical card.

Summary of information here:

Full details plus application form here:

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Carers Support Grant (formerly Respite Care Grant)

The Carers Support Grant is an annual payment made to carers by the Department of Social Protection. You can use the grant for anything you wish, not only for respite care. It is automatically paid to recipients of Carers Allowance, Carers Benefit and Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Futher information here:

Full details and application form:

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Tax Credits.

The following are tax credits which may apply to carers and their families:

Home Carers Tax Credit is given to married or civilly partnered couples where one of them works in the home caring for a dependent person

Incapacitated child tax credit can be claimed if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is permanently incapacitated, either mentally or physically

You can also claim tax relief on the cost of employing a carer:

Tax credits are applied for through your local Revenue office. Contact details for your region can be found here:

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The Citizens Information website has useful information on the legal aspects of caring for someone unable to look after their own affairs:

Ward of Court

When a person becomes unable to manage their assets because of mental incapacity, an application can be made to the courts for them to become a Ward of Court.

More information here:

Power of Attorney

Power of attorney is a legal device in Ireland that can be set up by a person (the donor) during his/her life when he/she is in good mental health. It allows another specially appointed person (the attorney) to take actions on the donor’s behalf if he/she is absent, abroad or incapacitated through illness.

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List of Support Organisations

The HSE website has a full list of support organisations for Carers:


Family Carers Ireland (formerly The Carers Association)
Family Carers Ireland is a registered charity  for and of family carers in the home. It provides carers with emotional and practical support and advice and advocates for recognition and social justice for carers’ contribution to Irish society. Family Carers Ireland has regional support groups in 16 counties in Ireland.

The Young Carers Programme was established in 2012 to support carers aged 18 and under. The programme works with families and young carers across Ireland, providing practical and emotional support to ensure they have fun and achieve, just like their peers.

Freefone Careline: 1800 24 07 24



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SAGE – Support and Advocacy for Older People

Another good site for older people is Age and Opportunity with their motto “Life is for Living”.


Disability Federation of Ireland

A national support agency for voluntary disability organisations  – their website contains a list of all 132 participant organisations covering a range of physical, mental, intellectual disabilites

National Advocacy Service

076 107 3000

Independent representative service for people with disabilities

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Support for Carers – Caring for Yourself

The following is a list of online resources to support you as a Carer

The following links provide practical and emotional support for Carers

Counselling Service for Carers

Local Carer Groups run by Family Carers Ireland information

Carers  Resource centres (16 counties)

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Additional Information & Support

Local Health Offices

Local Health Offices provide need assessments for people being cared for (equipment, medical supplies etc) and also have information on local respite services

List of Local Health Offices

Nursing Home Support Scheme (Fair Deal)

For further information on what’s involved in placing someone into a nursing home

Disabled Parking Permit

Two bodies are responsible in Ireland for arranging this:

Disabled Drivers Association

Irish Wheelchair Association National Mobility Centre

Carers’ Emergency Card

A Handy card to complete cut out and keep with you in case you are in an accident or have any type of emergency

Communicating Effectively with Health Professionals

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