Illness Benefit is not paid for the first 6 days of illness. This means that a person is not entitled to Illness Benefit for the first 6 days of their claim (unless the person was receiving Illness Benefit, Injury Benefit or a jobseekers' payment immediately before their claim). Those coming from Maternity Benefit will not be paid for the first 3 days of illness. No payment is made for any Sunday during your illness.
Illness Benefit is made up of a personal rate for you and may include increases for your qualified adult and qualified child(ren). Your rate of Illness Benefit depends on your average gross weekly earnings in the relevant tax year.
There are some exceptions to this for example, a volunteer development worker who returns to Ireland or a person who transfers from some other Social Welfare scheme.
Who is regarded as a qualified adult?
If you are married, in a civil partnership or living with someone as husband and wife and you are supporting them, you may get an increase for them as a qualified adult. If their average gross weekly earnings or income is €310 or less you will get an increase for them. The rate of increase will depend on their average gross weekly income.
You will not get an increase for them if they:
- have average gross weekly earnings or income of more than €310,
- are getting a social welfare payment (except Disablement Benefit, Child Benefit or certain Supplementary Welfare Allowance payments),
- are disqualified from getting Jobseeker's Allowance because of a trade dispute,
- are taking part in a full-time Solas (formerly known as FÁS) non-craft training course.
If you are single, widowed, a former civil partner or separated, and your children are living with you, you can claim an increase for a person aged 16 or over who is caring for them, if you are supporting that person.
Your spouse's, civil partner's or cohabitant's income or earnings includes earnings from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions and other sources, such as property, savings, capital and investments.
How we assess your spouse's, civil partner's or cohabitant's property, savings, capital and investments
When assessing income from property, savings, capital and investments we add together the following items to work out their means:
- the cash value of investments and property (except your home),
- money in a savings account, or any other kind of bank account,
The following formula is used:
||Weekly means assessed:|
€1 per €1,000
€2 per €1,000
€4 per €1,000
When property is held jointly (for example by a couple) half the value of the asset is taken as belonging to each person.
Who is regarded as a qualified child?
A qualified child is a child under 18 years of age who normally lives with you and is being supported by you. Sometimes a child who is not living with you can also be your qualified child if you are supporting them.
A child who is aged 18 and over and being maintained by you is also considered a qualified child:
- for the 3 month period after they leave second level education,
- for the 3 month period after they finish the Leaving Certificate,
- up to the end of the academic year in which they reach 18, as long as they are attending a full-time course of study by day at a school, college or university.
If you are getting Illness Benefit or a combination of certain other short-term payments for more than 156 days, you may be paid a Qualified Child Increase for a child in full-time education up to the age of 22 or up to the end of the academic year in which they reach 22.
You will not get the Qualified Child Increase if the child gets:
- a social welfare payment in their own right (except Disablement Benefit), or
- Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance (IDMA) from the Health Service Executive, or
What rate of Qualified Child Increase can I get?
You will get the full Qualified Child Increase if you:
- qualify for an increase for your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant,
- are a lone parent and not getting:
- One-Parent Family Payment,
- Deserted Wife's Benefit,
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner (Contributory) Pension.
You will get half the Qualified Child Increase if:
- your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting a social welfare payment in their own right. In this case, they will get half the Qualified Child Increase with their payment and you will get half the Qualified Child Increase with your Illness Benefit,
- your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has average gross weekly earnings between €310.01 and €400.00.
You will not get a Qualified Child Increase if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has average gross weekly earnings or income of more than €400 a week.