Section 6: EU/Out of State


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  1. I live in Northern Ireland but work in the Republic and pay PRSI. What should I do if I need to claim Illness Benefit? Will certificates from my doctor in Northern Ireland be accepted?

  2. I live in the Republic but work in Northern Ireland. Where do I claim from if I am unable to work due to illness?

  3. I am resident in a country covered by EU Regulations and was last insurably employed in Ireland, and wish to claim Illness Benefit, what should I do?

  4. If my medical certificates are from another country and are printed/written in that country’s language, what should I do?

  5. If I am living in a country covered by EU Regulations and claiming Illness Benefit from Ireland, will I be required to attend for periodic medical assessments? If so, what should I do?

  6. What should I do if, while claiming Illness Benefit, I wish to return to my home country to receive medical treatment during the course of my illness?

  7. I am a citizen of a country which is not part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and I have been working in Ireland for a number of years and paying PRSI. If I need to claim Illness Benefit what documentation should I send with my claim?

  8. If I become ill while visiting another country can I make a claim for Illness Benefit?

  9. If it became necessary for me, due to family/other reasons, to go to live temporarily with a family member/other person, who lives in another country, what should I do and how would such circumstances affect my Illness Benefit claim?

  10. If I wish to go and live permanently, or for a long period of time, in another country, what should I do and how would this affect my Illness Benefit claim?

  11. If I am being paid Illness Benefit or sending certificates for credit purposes only, can I go on holiday and if so, for how long?

1. I live in Northern Ireland but work in the Republic and pay PRSI.  What should I do if I need to claim Illness Benefit?  Will certificates from my doctor in Northern Ireland be accepted?

We will accept medical certificates from your doctor but you will need to do the following:

  1. Ensure that the certificate(s) from your doctor state the nature of your illness and show the date from which you are unfit for work and the date you will be fit to resume.
  2. Obtain and complete Form IB/OB1, which is available at your nearest Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Office in the Republic or directly from Illness Benefit Branch, by telephoning:  LoCall 1890 92 84 00 (from Republic of Ireland) or + 353 1 704 3300 (from Northern Ireland and overseas). 
  3. Send the completed form (IB/OB1) and certificate(s) to: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, P.O. Box 1650, Dublin 1.

Note: Your PPS number must be quoted on all medical certificates and correspondence as well as your current postal address.


2. I live in the Republic but work in Northern Ireland.  Where do I claim from if I am unable to work due to illness?

If you are insurably employed by a UK company your claim would be proper to the Social Security Agency at the Department for Social Development (Northern Ireland).   If you work for an Irish registered company and you pay Irish PRSI you should claim Illness Benefit from this Department.  See response to Q.1 (Section 1) for details on how to apply for Illness Benefit and Q.2 (Section1) for the PRSI contribution conditions.


3. I am resident in a country covered by EU Regulations and was last insurably employed in Ireland, and wish to claim Illness Benefit, what should I do?

If you become ill, while resident in a country covered by EU regulations* and wish to claim Illness Benefit from this Department, the following procedures must be followed:-

  1. Get an initial certificate from the doctor you attend in the country where you are living.  This certificate should state the nature of your illness and the date your illness began
  2. Send the certificate within 7 days of the onset of illness to: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, P.O. Box 1650, Dublin 1.  When we receive your first medical certificate we will send you an Illness Benefit form (IB/OB1) which you should complete in full and return to this Department so that your claim can be processed and a decision issued to you.
  3. You must also send a certificate to the Department every week while your illness lasts unless the Department tells you otherwise.
  4. When your doctor decides you are fit to resume work you should get a Final Certificate stating the date you are fit to return to work.

* (See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries covered by EU Regulations)

Note: Your PPS number must be quoted on all medical certificates and correspondence as well as your current postal address.


4. If my medical certificates are from another country and are printed/written in that country’s language, what should I do?

If your certificates are from a country covered by EU Regulations* you should send them directly to this Department and we will arrange to have them translated.  Please send ORIGINAL certificate(s) as we will not accept photocopied or scanned certificates. 

* (See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries covered by EU Regulations)

If your certificates are from a country not covered by EU Regulations, it may not be possible for you to receive Illness Benefit, depending on the circumstances of your case.  (See response to Q.8 for more information.)

Note: Your PPS number must be quoted on all medical certificates and correspondence as well as your current postal address.

 

All certificates and correspondence should be sent to the following address:

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
P.O. Box 1650
Dublin 1
Ireland

 


5. If I am living in a country covered by EU Regulations and claiming Illness Benefit from Ireland, will I be required to attend for periodic medical assessments?  If so, what should I do?

Yes, you may be called for medical assessment.  This will be arranged, at our request, by the Social Security Office of the country you are in.  You must attend for a medical assessment when asked, or your benefit will be suspended.


6. What should I do if, while claiming Illness Benefit, I wish to return to my home country to receive medical treatment during the course of my illness?

It depends on whether or not your home country is one of the countries covered by EU Regulations. (See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries)

Going to another country covered by EU Regulations:

You should notify the Department, in advance and supply the following details:-

  • when you are leaving
  • where you are going
  • the address at which you will be resident
  • when you are due to return

You must ensure that you get medical certificates from the doctor you attend in your home country and forward them to this Department on a regular basis, in order to avoid any unnecessary delay in the payment of your benefit.  You should maintain contact with this Department and keep us informed of any change in your circumstances.

Going to a country not covered by EU Regulations:

Illness Benefit is not paid if you decide to live in a country not covered by EU Regulations.

However, if you go to a country not covered by EU Regulations, to get approved treatment for your illness or injury, your payment will stop while you are away and resume when you return, subject to satisfactory medical evidence, as set out below.  You may be entitled to arrears of Illness Benefit, having regard to the circumstances of your case, if the absence is temporary and for the specific purpose of receiving treatment for an incapacity which commenced before you left the State.

Before leaving you must tell us:

  • when you are leaving
  • where you are going
  • the address at which you will be resident
  • when you are due to return

While in the other country you should gather as much medical documentation relating to your illness as possible (for example, a specialist report giving details of treatment and any periods of hospitalisation).  On your return to Ireland, send them to us at:

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection,
P.O. Box 1650
Dublin 1.

Note: Your PPS number must be quoted on all medical certificates and correspondence as well as your current postal address.


7. I am a citizen of a country which is not part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and I have been working in Ireland for a number of years and paying PRSI.  If I need to claim Illness Benefit what documentation should I send with my claim?

You should send us your work permit or proof of your immigration status from the Garda National Immigration Bureau i.e. your GNIB card.  The reason for this is that we have to ensure that any PRSI contributions you have made in Ireland are valid and based on permission to work in this country.

If you have become a naturalised Irish citizen please send us a copy of your Irish passport or Naturalisation papers.

 


8. If I become ill while visiting another country can I make a claim for Illness Benefit?. If I become ill while visiting another country can I make a claim for Illness Benefit?

  1. Illness Benefit is not paid for any period of illness in a country not covered by EU Regulations.
  2. If you become ill while in a country covered by EU Regulations* and you wish to claim Illness Benefit from this Department, the following procedures must be followed :
    • Get an initial certificate from the doctor you attended in the country concerned.  This certificate should state the nature of your illness and the date your illness began.
    • Send the certificate within 7 days of the onset of illness to: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, P.O. Box 1650, Dublin 1, Ireland.  When we receive your first medical certificate we will send you an Illness Benefit form (IB/OB1) which you should complete in full and return to this Department so that your claim can be processed and a decision issued to you.
    • You should also get a certificate for each week your illness lasts.  When the doctor decides you are fit to resume work you should get a Final Certificate stating the date you are fit to return to work.

*(See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries covered by EU Regulations.)

Note: Your PPS number must be quoted on all medical certificates and correspondence as well as your current postal address.


9. If it became necessary for me, due to family/other reasons, to go to live temporarily with a family member/other person, who lives in another country, what should I do and how would such circumstances affect my Illness Benefit claim?

If you have to go to a country covered by EU Regulations* you should check with your GP to ensure that you are fit enough to travel.  You should notify the Department in advance and give us an address where you can be contacted.  You should also arrange to attend a doctor in the country where you will be residing temporarily.  We will let you know how often you will need to send a medical certificate.  You should note that any payment due to you can only be made to an Irish Bank or financial institution.  We cannot pay Illness Benefit to a foreign bank account and we will not issue a cheque payment to you.

If you have to go to a country not covered by EU Regulations, we will not pay you for the period of your absence from the State.  Your claim will be closed and re-opened on your return, at which time you may qualify for payment subject to medical evidence and satisfying the PRSI contribution conditions. See also the response to Q 11, if your stay is for a short period of time.

*(See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries covered by EU Regulations.)


10. If I wish to go and live permanently, or for a long period of time, in another country, what should I do and how would this affect my Illness Benefit claim?

Going to a country covered by EU Regulations*:

  • You should notify the Department, in advance, in order that appropriate certification arrangements can be put in place.  You must ensure that you send medical certificates from your country of residence on a regular basis, in order that payment may continue for as long as you are entitled to payment.  You must also give us an address where you can be contacted and keep us informed of any change in your circumstances.

*(See response to Q.3 (Section 1) for list of countries covered by EU Regulations.)

Going to a country not covered by EU Regulations:

  • Illness Benefit is not paid if you decide to live in a country which is not covered by EU Regulations.

11. If I am being paid Illness Benefit or sending certificates for credit purposes only, can I go on holiday and if so, for how long?

  1.   If you are receiving payment of Illness Benefit you are allowed to go on holidays.  The period allowed for holidays and for which payment of Illness Benefit may be made is as follows:
    • If the holiday is taken in Ireland or in any country covered by EU Regulations under Social Welfare regulations Illness Benefit is payable for a maximum of 4 weeks in any calendar year.  See response to Q.3 for list of countries covered by EU Regulations.
    • If the holiday is taken anywhere else in the world, Illness benefit is payable for a maximum of 3 weeks in any calendar year.  
  2. The same time limits and conditions apply if you are not receiving payment but are sending certificates for credit purposes only.

Before leaving you must tell us:

  • When you are leaving
  • Where you are going
  • When you are due to return

On your return you should obtain your medical certificates from your doctor and forward them to this Department without delay.

Last modified:22/07/2015