Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Minister of State Martin Heydon has welcome a series of improvements to the Government’s supports for carers which will take effect from today.

“My colleague the Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD is introducing changes to the means test for carers, the first such change in 14 years. This means that more people in County Kildare will now become eligible for Carer’s Allowance and those on reduced rates of payments due to means may now qualify for a higher amount.

“The capital disregard for carers will increase from €20,000 to €50,000.  Furthermore, the weekly income disregard for Carer’s Allowance will increase to €350 per week for single carers, and to €750 per week for a couple.

“Separately, 4,804 carers in County Kildare will be paid the annual Carer’s Support Grant from tomorrow (Thursday). The annual grant of €1,850 was increased by Minister Humphreys in her first budget as Minister for Social Protection, in recognition of the vital role of carers and the contribution they make to society.

“It is available to all carers providing full-time care to an older person or a person with a disability, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions.  It will be paid automatically to those who are receiving the Carer’s Allowance, Carer’s Benefit and those on Domiciliary Care Allowance schemes.

“Fine Gael is working to build stronger, safer communities. Carers make a hugely valuable contribution to local communities all across County Kildare and we will continue to ensure they are listened to and supported.

“I know from meeting many Kildare carers as part of my daily work that it can be a very difficult role but one they take on with compassion and commitment to look after family members.  Covid in particular was difficult for them and I recognise that and want to ensure their needs are highlighted and addressed. They provide a vital service for our state which is very much appreciated, concluded Minister Heydon.