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Pensions and +65s

HomeCaring Periods

What is the HomeCaring Periods Scheme?

The HomeCaring Periods Scheme is a program designed to make it easier for those who have served as home carers to qualify for a higher rate of State Pension (Contributory) upon reaching the pension age of 66.

This scheme allows for periods of time spent caring for someone to be considered as part of your social insurance record. It should be noted that HomeCaring Periods can only be used under the new State Pension (Contributory) Aggregated Calculation Method of pension calculation.

How to qualify for the HomeCaring Periods Scheme:

You may qualify if:

  • You were born after August 31, 1946, and
  • You have provided full-time care for someone.

  • A HomeCaring period can be awarded for each week not covered by a paid or credited social insurance contribution where you were providing full-time care for:

  • A child or children under 12 years old,
  • A child or children over 12 years old who needed an increased level of care, or
  • An adult who required an increased level of care.

  • Other conditions that must be met to qualify include:

  • Having been a permanent resident of the State (exceptions may apply under EU or posted worker regulations)
  • Being between the ages of 16 and 66 at the time of providing care
  • Not having been engaged in full-time work (you can have worked, but earnings must have been less than €38 gross per week)
  • Not having received a social welfare payment, except for Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance, or Carer's Support Grant.

  • It should be noted that only one person can be credited with a HomeCaring Period for providing care to a child or adult at any given time. For example, only one parent can receive a HomeCaring Period for one child at a time.

    Rates of Payment:

    There are no direct payments for periods spent as a home carer. Instead, these periods are included when calculating your State Pension (Contributory) rate. The more HomeCaring periods you have, the higher your State Pension (Contributory) may be.

    How to Apply:

    You do not need to apply if you are or were getting certain social welfare payments. HomeCaring Periods will be applied automatically if you spent time getting:

    Applications will only be considered once you have submitted your application for State Pension (Contributory).

    You can also get this form at your local Intreo Centre.

    Home Carer's Section

    Address: Department of Social Protection,
    McCarter’s Road,
    Co. Donegal
    F93 CH79

    Email: HomeMakersScheme@welfare.ie
    Phone number: 0818 690690 or 01 4715898

    You can also make an application at your local Intreo Centre.