Family Carers Ireland welcomes the launch of a new application form for Carer’s Allowance. The CR 1 document has been updated following an inclusive consultation process involving the Department of Employment and Social Protection, Family Carers Ireland and a focus group of family carers who shared their own experiences and made key recommendations on how the application could be improved.
While a high percentage of Ireland’s carers (75 per cent) do not receive Carer’s Allowance due to the eligibility criteria (means test and medical review), the payment (current rate is €214) is a vital support for some 76,000 people providing fulltime care in excess of 35 hours each week.
The revised form, which includes a new Care Report section, now allows family carers to provide additional details on the type and level of care they provide to their loved ones and the difficulties the person faces (e.g. mental health, communication, vision, feeding, bathing or showering, dressing, toileting and continence, mobility and sleeping).
Speaking at the launch in Dublin Castle, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland says, “Family Carers Ireland have campaigned for many years for the form to be revised as we have always felt that it leaned unfairly in favour of those with a physical and visible disability while making it far more difficult for a carer of somebody with mental health illness or on the autism spectrum to qualify for the allowance. We would hope that the new form will provide deciding officers with the information they need to expedite rulings on entitlement, reduce waiting times to decisions and reduce the number of applications going to review and appeal.”
The majority of family carers individually provide 45 hours and over of unpaid care to a loved one each week. The impact financially, socially or in terms of their own physical and mental health can be immense. Family Carers Ireland provides a range of supports and services for family carers through their nationwide resource centres nationwide and advocates fairness for carers.