Partial Capacity Benefit is a social welfare scheme which allows you to
return to work or self-employment (if you have reduced capacity to work) and
continue to receive a payment from the Department of Social Protection.
If you have been getting Illness Benefit (for a minimum of six months) or
Invalidity Pension and wish to return to work you may qualify for Partial
Capacity Benefit if your capacity for work is reduced by your medical
You will qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if your restriction on
capacity for work is assessed as moderate, severe, or profound. If it is
assessed as mild you will not qualify and your continued eligibility to Illness
Benefit or Invalidity Pension will also be reviewed.
Participation on the Partial Capacity Benefit scheme is voluntary and you
may return to Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension if, for example, your
employment ceases or if you find you cannot continue to work.
You do not have to transfer onto the Partial Capacity Scheme if you wish to do
Replacement of exemption arrangements
From 13 February 2012 Partial Capacity Benefit replaces the previous
exemption arrangements where people on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension
could get permission to work part-time (known as an exemption) for
rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes and keep their full social welfare
Those who currently have this permission will not be affected until their
permission comes up for review. At that stage, the exemption will no longer be
available to them but they have the option of applying for Partial Capacity
Benefit. There is no requirement that the work a person does while on Partial
Capacity Benefit has to be for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes.
If you are on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension and want to do a FÁS
training course, you do not go onto Partial Capacity Benefit. You apply to
the Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension section, as appropriate. You may get
the training allowance as well as your normal social welfare payment.
You cannot get Partial Capacity Benefit and take part in a Community
To qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit you need to be currently getting
You may not work until you have received written approval to do so from the
Department of Social Protection. You should also get the approval of your
doctor before taking up employment.
There is no restriction on earnings or number of hours you can work. You can
work in a self-employed capacity while getting Partial Capacity Benefit. You
cannot get Partial Capacity Benefit and Family
Income Supplement together.
Note that Disability Allowance and Blind Pension are not qualifying payments
for Partial Capacity Benefit.
Partial Capacity Benefit is made up of a personal rate for you and may
include increases for your qualified adult and qualified child(ren). The
personal rate of payment is based on the assessment of your restriction on
capacity for work, whether you were in receipt of Illness Benefit or Invalidity
Pension and your current rate of payment.
% of your personal rate of Illness Benefit or Invalidity
for qualified children and adults
continue to be paid at the same rate. The conditions for payment of increases
are the same as those that applied to your Illness Benefit or Invalidity
Maximum rates of Partial Capacity Benefit 2013
||Person previously getting Illness Benefit at the maximum
personal rate €188.00
||Person aged under 65 and previously getting Invalidity
Pension at the maximum personal rate €193.50
Partial Capacity Benefit will be paid directly by Electronic Funds Transfer
(EFT) into your Irish bank or building society account (not a mortgage account)
or your employer’s Irish bank or building society account. It
If you were getting Invalidity Pension and were entitled to Free
Travel or Island
Allowance you can keep them if you qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit.
You cannot keep your Fuel Allowance or your Living Alone Allowance. If you were
getting the Household
Benefits Package (electricity/gas, telephone and television) you can also
retain it, subject to a means test after two years.
You should check with the Department
of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare
Officer) in your local health
centre to see how your Rent
Supplement or Mortgage
Interest Supplement may be affected by your participation in the Partial
How to apply
Contact the Partial
Capacity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection. They will
send out an application form to you (forms are not currently available
A Medical Assessor of the Department will assess the restriction on your
capacity for work. This may require you to attend a medical assessment. You
should include all appropriate medical evidence with your application. If you
qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit, you are not required to send in medical
You can appeal a decision of a Deciding Officer on your claim for Partial
Capacity Benefit to the independent Social
Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days of the date of the decision. In
advance of an appeal you can seek a review of the decision by another Deciding
Where to apply
Partial Capacity Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada
Tel:(01) 704 3950/3039/3735/3991
Locall:1890 928 400 (from the Republic of Ireland only) or +353 1 704300 (Northern Ireland or overseas)