Invalidity Pension - Frequently Asked Questions


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  1. What is Invalidity Pension?
  2. How do I qualify for Invalidity Pension?
  3. What are the social insurance contribution conditions?
  4. What are the medical conditions?
  5. From what date does Invalidity Pension apply to the self-employed?
  6. Are all classes of S contributions reckonable?
  7. Do I have to cease self-employment in order to qualify for Invalidity Pension?
  8. Are voluntary contributions reckonable for Invalidity Pension?
  9. Does social insurance outside Ireland count?
  10. Do I need to submit medical evidence with my application?
  11. How much can I get?
  12. How do I get my payment?
  13. How long does payment last?
  14. Will my claim be reviewed?
  15. What other benefits are available with Invalidity Pension?
  16. When and how do I apply?
  17. Can I work while getting Invalidity Pension?
  18. Is Invalidity Pension taxable?
  19. Can I get the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or go on the Back to Education Programme?
  20. Do payments continue after death?
  21. Where can I get more information?

1. What is Invalidity Pension?

Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI).

2. How do I qualify for Invalidity Pension?

To qualify, you must satisfy both social insurance (PRSI) and medical conditions.

3. What are the social insurance contribution conditions?

For all claims received prior to 01/12/2017, the claimant must have:

  • 260 paid PRSI contributions (Class A, E or H) since entering social insurance

AND

  • 48 contributions paid or credited (Class A, E or H) in the last complete contribution year before the date of claim

For all claims received on or after 01/12/2017, the claimant must have:

  • 260 paid PRSI contributions (Class A, E, H or S) since entering social insurance

AND

  • 48 contributions paid or credited (Class A, E, H or S) in the last OR second last complete contribution year before the date of claim
For all claims received prior to 01/12/2017

For all claims received on or after 01/12/2017

  • 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance
  • 48 contributions paid or credited in the last complete contribution year before the date of claim
    • Class A, E and H count for Invalidity Pension

Example:
If the claim was received prior to 01/12/2017, the last complete contribution year is the year preceding the date of claim

  • 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance
  • 48 contributions paid or credited contributions in the last OR second last complete contribution year before the date of claim
    • Class A, E, H and S count for Invalidity Pension

Example:
If the claim was received in 2018 the last complete contribution year is 2017 and the second last contribution year is 2016

NOTE: 
PRSI contributions paid at class S are only reckonable for claims received on or after 01/12/2017

Where a claimant has no reckonable contributions paid or credited for two consecutive years, that person is not entitled to the payment of Invalidity Pension until 26 qualifying contributions have been paid subsequently.


Social Insurance Contributions paid before the PRSI system commenced in 1979, and also contributions paid before 1953, can be used to make up the 260 contribution minimum above.


Reckonable Credited contributions awarded can be used to satisfy the 48 contributions required in the relevant contribution years.
Class J contributions paid prior to 1996 in respect of a Social/Community Employment Scheme also count for the relevant contribution years.

  • If a claimant has been getting Illness Benefit continuously since 4 April 1986, that claimant must have a total of 156 weeks PRSI contributions paid.
  • If a claimant has been getting Illness Benefit continuously since 2 January 1987, that claimant must have a total of 208 weeks PRSI contributions paid.

4. What are the medical conditions?

A claimant must be regarded as permanently incapable of work, which is defined as:

  • incapacity for work of such a nature that the likelihood is that the claimant will be incapable of work for life

OR

  • an incapacity which has existed for 12 months prior to the date of claim, and where the Deciding Officer or an Appeals Officer is satisfied that the claimant is likely to be unable to work for at least a further 12 months

5. From what date does Invalidity Pension apply to the self-employed?

Self-employed contributions (Class S) are reckonable for Invalidity Pension for claims received on or after 01/12/2017.

6. Are all classes of S contributions reckonable?

Yes. All subclasses of S class contributions are reckonable for Invalidity Pension.

7. Do I have to cease self-employment in order to qualify for Invalidity Pension?

Yes.  It will be necessary to submit a letter from Revenue or your accountant to confirm that you have ceased self-employment.

8. Are voluntary contributions reckonable for Invalidity Pension?

Voluntary contributions cannot be used to satisfy the social insurance (PRSI) conditions for Invalidity Pension.

9. Does social insurance outside Ireland count?

If you do not qualify for an Invalidity Pension on Irish contributions alone, contributions paid in certain countries can be used to help you qualify for a full or reduced rate Invalidity Pension from Ireland. You may also qualify for a pension from that other country. You should give details on your application form of any employment or periods of residence by either you or your spouse or civil partner in the countries listed below. We will send the relevant papers, on your behalf, to the relevant social security authority in the country or countries concerned.

The countries covered by either EC Regulations or a Bilateral Agreement are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Channel Islands
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Isle of Man
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus South)
  • Republic of Korea
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • the Netherlands
  • the United Kingdom
  • the United States of America
  • Quebec

Invalidity pensions are covered by Article 44 – 49 of EU Regulation 883/04 on the coordination of social security systems. For the purposes of the regulations, Invalidity Pension or benefits paid by the Member States are classed as Type A or B , depending on the manner in which pensions are calculated under each country’s national legislation. Ireland is classed as a Type A country.


Where a claimant has worked in both Ireland and another 'Type A' country, the State where the claimant's incapacity for work followed by invalidity occurred must pay the full Invalidity Pension, once the claimant satisfies the qualifying criteria.


Chapter 4, Article 48 (4) of EU Regulation 883/04 provides for the re-calculation of a person’s entitlement to Invalidity Pension if they attain pension age in the other member state before reaching State Pension age in Ireland.


Where a claimant has worked in both Ireland and another ‘Type B’ country, or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Welfare Agreement, the rate of pension is determined on a Pro-Rata basis. This means that each country pays a partial pension, based on a formula which uses the contribution record from both countries.


The minimum requirement is that a claimant must have at least 52 contributions /credits in Ireland with at least one of these a paid contribution.

10. Do I need to submit medical evidence with my application?

No.  Following receipt of your application, if medical evidence is required you will receive two forms, one to be completed by your GP and the other for completion by yourself.  You may also submit specialist reports and/or any other medical information you have in support of your claim.  You should complete and return these forms promptly so that your entitlement on medical grounds can be determined.

11. How much can I get?

Invalidity Pension is made up of a standard personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for a qualified adult and qualified children. Your personal rate is not affected by any other income, savings or occupational pension you may have.
For more information, log on to www.welfare.ie.

Who is a qualified adult?

If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, you may get an allowance for a qualified adult. If you have children living with you and you are single, widowed, a surviving civil partner or separated, you may get an allowance for a person, aged 16 or over, who is caring for your child(ren), provided the person is living with you and you are supporting them.

You will not get an increase for a qualified adult if they:

  • Have a gross income of more than a certain amount (see note below),

Or

  • Are getting a social welfare payment in their own right (except Disablement Benefit, Supplementary Welfare Allowance or Child Benefit),

Or

  • Are disqualified from getting Jobseeker’s Allowance or Benefit because of involvement in a trade dispute,

Or

  • Are taking part in a full-time FÁS/SOLAS non-craft training course.


If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has savings, investments or property which is not let, but is capable of being put to profitable use (other than their own home), we assess the capital as follows:

First €20,000

Nil

€20,000 - €30,000

€1 per €1,000

€30,000 - €40,000

€2 per €1,000

Over €40,000

€4 per €1,000

Where a property is jointly held (for example by a couple), half the value of the asset is taken as belonging to each person.

Note:

  • If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s income or earnings is €100.00 gross per week or less, you will receive a full increase for a qualified adult. If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has gross income or earnings of between €100.00 and €310.00 per week, you will get a reduced allowance for them.
  • Income includes earnings from employment or self-employment, occupational pensions, rent from property, savings and investments.

Who is a qualified child?

A qualified child is a child up to age 18 who normally lives with you and is being maintained by you. Sometimes, a child who is not living with you can also be your child dependant if you are supporting them. You may get a Qualified Child Increase for them.

A child who is over 18 and being maintained by you is also considered your dependant for:

The 3 month period after they leave second level education,

Or

The 3 month period after they complete the Leaving Certificate,

Or

Up to the end of the academic year in which they reach 18 provided they are attending a full-time course of study by day at a school, college or university. From July 2012, you can receive a Qualified Child Increase for a child up to age 22 if the child is in full-time education.  Where a child turns 22 while in full-time education, you may get the Qualified Child Increase for the rest of the academic year.

You will not get the Qualified Child Increase if your child gets a social welfare payment in their own right (except Disablement Benefit)

Or

If you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting Guardian’s Payment Contributory or Guardian’s Payment Non-Contributory.

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.

You will get half the Qualified Child Increase if you do not qualify for an increase for your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant,

Or

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting a social welfare payment in their own right. In this case, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant will get half the Qualified Child Increase with their payment and you will get half the Qualified Child Increase with your Invalidity Pension.

You will not get a Qualified Child Increase if:

  • Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has income or earnings of more than €400 a week. This applies to claims received on or after 5 July 2012 only.

12. How do I get my payment?

Invalidity Pension can be paid weekly:

  • At your local post office by Public Service Card

Or

  • By direct payment into your current, deposit or savings account in a financial institution

Living abroad

Invalidity Pension can be paid abroad by direct payment to a financial institution. If you intend going abroad to live please contact the Invalidity Pension Payments Section at the address below:

Invalidity Pension Payments Section
Social Welfare Services
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: (043) 334 0000
LoCall: 1890 92 77 70

If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call: + 353 43 3340000.
You will get your payment in local currency into your bank account every 4 weeks (3 weeks in arrears and 1 week in advance).

13. How long does payment last?

You can get Invalidity Pension as long as you continue to satisfy the qualifying conditions. On your 66th birthday you will automatically transfer to State Pension (Contributory). Payment will stop, however, if you get any other payment from this Department (except Disablement Benefit and half rate Carer’s Allowance).

14. Will my claim be reviewed?

Your claim is subject to review at any time. You should notify the Department of any changes in your circumstances immediately.

15. What other benefits are available with Invalidity Pension?

If you are getting an Invalidity Pension you may also be eligible for:

  • Free Travel
  • Fuel Allowance
  • Living Alone Increase
  • Household Benefit Package
  • Island Allowance

Free Travel

If you get an Invalidity Pension, you will get a Free Travel Pass automatically if you have registered for your Public Services Card. If you have not registered for a Public Services Card, you will be requested to register before your Free Travel Card issues to you. You may qualify for a Companion Free Travel Pass if a doctor confirms that you cannot travel alone. This allows any one person, aged 16 or over, to join you on public transport, free of charge.

Fuel Allowance

You may get this allowance for 26 weeks from the end of September to April. It is subject to certain conditions, including that you live alone or with certain qualified people and that your household satisfies a means test.  The period is increased from 26 weeks to 27 weeks effective from March 2018.

Living Alone Increase

This increase is payable if you are living mainly or entirely alone.

Household Benefits Package

You may, subject to certain conditions, also qualify for:

  • Electricity, Natural Gas or Bottled Gas Refill Allowance
  • Free Television Licence.

With effect from June 2018 you may qualify for Telephone Allowance if you are in receipt of both Living Alone Allowance and Fuel Allowance.

Island Allowance

This increase is payable if you normally live on an island off the coast of Ireland. If you do not qualify for an Invalidity Pension from this Department and you are getting an equivalent payment from another EU country you may qualify for the Island Allowance.

16. When and how do I apply?

If you are permanently incapable of work and you satisfy the -PRSI and medical conditions, you may apply for an Invalidity Pension by contacting:

Invalidity Pension Claims Section
Social Welfare Services
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: (043) 334 0000
LoCall: 1890 92 77 70

If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call: + 353 43 3340000.

Certificates needed with your claim

Please include the following certificates with your claim. There is no need to send in certificates if the birth or marriage, civil partnership or civil union occurred within the Republic of Ireland:

  • Your birth certificate (if born outside the Republic of Ireland)
  • Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant’s birth certificate (if claiming an increase for them and they were born outside the Republic of Ireland)
  • Your marriage certificate, civil partnership or civil union registration certificate (only if claiming an increase for your spouse or civil partner, and you were married or entered into a civil partnership or civil union outside the Republic of Ireland)
  • Your qualified children’s birth certificates (if claiming a Qualified Child Increase and you are not getting Child Benefit for them and they were born outside the Republic of Ireland).

We do not accept photocopies of certificates.

Personal Public Service Number (PPS Number)

You must give your PPS Number and the PPS Number of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. You must also give us the PPS Number(s) for any child(ren) for whom you intend to claim a payment. If you do not know these numbers, please contact your local Social Welfare Office. They will let you know your PPS number. If you do not have one, they will let you know what you have to do to get one.


For more information, log on to www.welfare.ie.


You must also enclose the following:

  • Your P60 (if you worked in the last full tax year)
  • A letter from your last employer confirming your last date of employment OR a P45 if you have ceased employment
  • If you have been in self-employment, a letter from Revenue confirming the date that self-employment ceased
  • Statement from all financial institutions showing the last 6 months transactions and the name and address of the account holder(s).

(if you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has money or investments in a financial institution).

  • Advice Slips from any pensions you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant are receiving
  • Letter from school or college

(if you are claiming for child(ren) aged between 18 and 22 who are in full time education).

17. Can I work while getting Invalidity Pension?

Under the conditions for continued receipt of Invalidity Pension you cannot engage in employment. However, you may, with prior written permission from us, be exempt from this rule to:

  • Do a course of training which may lead to other employment,

OR

  • Start light work or training that you would not normally be paid for

Note:
Since 13 February 2012 you may be eligible to work and receive Partial Capacity Benefit instead of Invalidity Pension

18. Is Invalidity Pension taxable?

Yes.  Invalidity Pension is counted as income for tax purposes. Contact Revenue for more information.

19. Can I get the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance or go on the Back to Education Programme?

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

You may get the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance if you have been getting Invalidity Pension for at least 12 months. This scheme allows you to return to self-employment and keep a portion of your social welfare payment for 2 years. You may also keep your medical card and secondary benefits, subject to certain conditions.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance Section
Employment Support Services
Shannon Lodge
Carrick-on-Shannon
Co. Leitrim
Telephone: 071 96 72698

Back to Education Programme

The Back to Education Programme is a scheme for people getting Invalidity Pension or other social welfare payments for a certain period of time. This programme enables you to take an approved second or third level course at a recognised school or college and still receive a payment.
For the second level option you must be in receipt of Invalidity Pension for at least 3 months. For the third level option you must be in receipt of Invalidity Pension for at least 9 months.

For more information, log on to www.welfare.ie.

20. Do payments continue after death?

Death of a pensioner

If you die while getting Invalidity Pension, payment will continue for 6 weeks to your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant if the payment included an allowance for them, or if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant was getting a social welfare payment of their own.

Death of a qualified adult

If a qualified adult dies, you will continue to get the Increase for a Qualified Adult for 6 weeks if your Invalidity Pension includes an increase for them.

Death of a qualified child

You will continue to get the Qualified Child Increase for 6 weeks after the death of a qualified child.

Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant

If you have at least one qualified child living with you, you can get a Widowed or Surviving Civil Partner Grant when you become a widow, widower or surviving civil partner. You can get more information from your local Social Welfare Office or from:

Widow(er)’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Section
Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo
Telephone: (071) 91 57100
LoCall: 1890 500 000

If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call: + 353 71 9157100

21. Where can I get more information?

For more information on Invalidity Pension, contact your local Social Welfare Office or Invalidity Pension Section:

Invalidity Pension Section
Social Welfare Services
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: (043) 334 0000
LoCall: 1890 92 77 70

If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call: + 353 43 3340000.

For information booklets, application forms and more information on social welfare services:

  • Log on to www.welfare.ie.
  • Text to 51909
  • Telephone: (071) 919 3302
  • LoCall: 1890 66 22 44
  • If you are calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call: + 353 71 91 93302.
  • Drop in to your local Citizens Information Centre, your local Intreo Centre or your local Social Welfare Office.
Last modified:01/12/2017