Social Welfare Act, 1990


Carer's Allowance

Carer's allowance.

17.— The Principal Act is hereby amended by the insertion after section 198F (inserted by section 12 of this Act) of the following sections:

“Chapter 5B

Carer's Allowance

Interpretation (carer's allowance).

198G.— (1) Subject to this Act and regulations made under this Act, in this Chapter—

‘carer’ means a person who resides with and provides full-time care and attention to a relevant pensioner;

‘relevant pensioner’ means a person (other than a person in receipt of a payment in respect of need for constant attendance under section 46) who is so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention, and who under the provisions of this Act—

(a) is in receipt of—

(i) old age (contributory) pension,

(ii) invalidity pension,

(iii) old age (non-contributory) pension, or

(iv) blind pension, or

(b) who has attained pensionable age and is in receipt of—

(i) death benefit by way of widow's or widower's pension,

(ii) death benefit by way of parent's pension,

(iii) retirement pension,

(iv) widow's (contributory) pension,

(v) deserted wife's benefit,

(vi) widow's (non-contributory) pension,

(vii) deserted wife's allowance,

(viii) prisoner's wife's allowance,

(ix) social assistance allowance,

(x) widower's (non-contributory) pension,

(xi) deserted husband's allowance, or

(xii) lone parent's allowance,

or who is in receipt of a prescribed payment under section 69 of the Health Act, 1970 ;

‘prescribed relative allowance’ means an increase for a prescribed relative under section 50 (11), 51 (2) (a), 81 (3), 86 (3), 91 (3), 95 (2), 103 (2), 162 (1) (a), 179 (a) or under regulations applying the provisions of section 179 (a) to any pension or allowance under this Act;

‘weekly means’ means the yearly means divided by 52.

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter, means shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in the Third Schedule.

Right to carer's allowance.

198H.— Subject to this Chapter, an allowance (in this Act referred to as a ‘carer's allowance’) shall, in such circumstances and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed, be payable to a carer.

Rate of allowance.

198I.— (1) The rate (in this Chapter referred to as the scheduled rate) of carer's allowance shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part I of the Fourth Schedule increased, where there is a qualified child or there are qualified children, by the appropriate amount set out in column (4) or (5) of that Part in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the carer.

(2) a carer's allowance shall be payable—

(a) where the weekly means of the carer do not exceed £2, at the scheduled rate, and

(b) where such weekly means exceed £2, at the scheduled rate reduced by £2 for each amount (if any) of £2 by which those weekly means exceed £2, any fraction of £2 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as £2:

Provided that, if the rate calculated pursuant to this paragraph at which, but for this proviso, the carer's allowance would be payable is less than £2, the allowance shall not be payable.

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where, immediately before the commencement of this Chapter, a prescribed relative allowance was being paid to or in respect of a claimant for a carer's allowance, the carer's allowance shall be paid at the weekly rate of £29.40, unless the weekly rate of carer's allowance as calculated in accordance with subsection (2) payable to that claimant is greater than £29.40, in which case the greater amount shall be paid.

(4) Any increase in carer's allowance payable pursuant to subsection (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the applicant or recipient and with the spouse of the applicant or recipient shall be payable at one-half of the appropriate amount.

Payment of carer's allowance.

198J.— Notwithstanding the provisions of this Chapter, only one carer's allowance shall be payable to a carer, and only one carer's allowance shall be payable in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant pensioner.

Entitlement to prescribed relative allowance.

198K.— (1) A prescribed relative allowance shall cease to be paid to a relevant pensioner or prescribed relative, as the case may be, where the prescribed relative becomes entitled to and receives a carer's allowance.

(2) Notwithstanding section 50 (11), 51 (2) (a), 81 (3), 86 (3), 91 (3), 95 (2), 103 (2), 162 (1) (a), 179 (a) or regulations applying the provisions of section 179 (a) to any pension or allowance under this Act, a prescribed relative allowance shall not be paid where a claim for such allowance is made on or after the commencement of this Chapter.


198L.—(1) The Minister shall make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Chapter.

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1)—

(a) apply (with or without modification), or make provisions corresponding (with or without modification) to, any provisions of, or regulations under, this Act,

(b) provide for amounts paid in respect of prescribed relative allowance following the commencement of this Chapter to be treated as payment on account of carer's allowance,

(c) provide for entitling to carer's allowance such class or classes of person as may be prescribed who would be entitled thereto but for the fact that the conditions as to means as calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in the Third Schedule are not satisfied and the rate of allowance so payable may vary in accordance with the claimants' means.

Commencement of Chapter 5B.

198M.— This Chapter shall come into operation on such day as the Minister may appoint by order.”.