Carers will get an extra 12 weeks allowance from January in new measures

It's estimated that at least 1,000 will benefit from this extension in 2017

Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar has signed new measures into law aimed at benefiting carers and lone parents. 

In 2017, carers will receive Carer’s Allowance for an additional 12 weeks if the person for whom they are caring moves into full-time care.

There are almost 70,000 carers in Ireland and it’s estimated that at least 1,000 will benefit from this extension in 2017.

A law allowing lone parents to earn more while retaining their full One-Parent Family or Jobseekers’ Transitional payment will also come into effect next year. The income disregards for the One Parent Family Payment and Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment will rise by €20, from €90 to €110 per week, partially reversing previous reductions, to encourage one parent families to stay in and return to work. 

Some 40,000 people receive the One-Parent Family payment supporting almost 73,000 children. Some 14,500 lone parents receive the Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment.

The change to the Carer’s Allowance is being introduced by Minister Varadkar following discussions with the Family Carer’s Association in the lead up to the last Budget. Minister Varadkar cited the need for carers to readjust to life post-caring as the need for the additional allowance.

"They [carers] need this time to adjust and assess the options open to them in terms of up-skilling and work opportunities without having to worry about an immediate transfer to another social welfare payment," Minister Varadkar said.

As of November 30th, the number of people receiving Carer's Allowance was just under 70,000.