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Family Services

Homemaker’s Scheme

What is the Homemaker’s Scheme?

The Homemaker's Scheme in Ireland is designed to support people who leave work to care full-time for a child under 12 years old, or an incapacitated adult.

This scheme allows for up to 20 years spent as a homemaker to be disregarded when calculating the yearly average for the State Pension (Contributory) Application Form (SPC1), thereby potentially resulting in a higher pension

How to qualify for Homemaker’s Scheme:

To qualify for the Homemaker's Scheme, you must:
  • Be under 66 years of age.
  • Have been in insurable employment or self-employment between the ages of 16 and 56.
  • Not working full-time, but you can work and earn less than €38 gross a week.
  • Be providing full-time care for a child under 12, or an incapacitated adult.

  • Only one person in a household can be considered a homemaker at a time. If the role of the homemaker changes within the household (e.g., switching between spouses), it is important to inform the department promptly.

    You don't need to apply directly for this scheme if you're already receiving Child Benefit, Carer's Benefit Application Form (CARB1), Carer's Allowance, or Carer's Support Grant Application Form (CSG1).

    PRSI Contributions:

    In terms of social insurance (PRSI), years spent as a homemaker are not included when calculating your PRSI contributions for pension purposes, up to a maximum of 20 years. This can help increase your average contributions and thus increase your pension.

    Partial years of care are considered differently. Homemaker’s credits are awarded for a period of caring which is less than a full year and for part of a year at the start and/or end of a caring period. These credits ensure that you are not disadvantaged for the time you spent caring for a child or incapacitated adult.

    How to Apply

    To apply, please complete the Homemaker's Scheme application form at the bottom of this page. You can also get this form at your local Intreo Centre.

    Please return your completed application form to:

    Homemaker’s Section
    Address: Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant,
    Department of Social Protection,
    McCarter's Road,
    Co Donegal,
    F93 CH79

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

    Homemaker’s Scheme (HM1)