The €200 increase in the annual Respite Care Grant which was announced in the Budget comes into effect today.

Carers are now entitled to €1,700 per year.

The grant is available to anyone who looks after an older person, or a person with a disability on a full-time basis, regardless of their means or social insurance contributions. 

Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin said the Government was committed to supporting people who were caring for their loved ones, and this additional grant could be used by the carer to support them with their responsibilities.