Make Work Pay For You

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Working Can Pay for People with Disabilities

It can pay to work when getting a Disability Payment. Changes introduced in 2017 mean it is now easier for people with disabilities to feel secure in their decision to explore work options and maintain key benefits when working.

It’s important to note that the choice about working and training is down to you. We are here to help you explore the available options.

If this is something that you feel might interest you, please contact your local Intreo office to set up an appointment with one of our case officers.

Seeing a case officer won’t change the amount of your current social welfare payment and your payment will not be reviewed because you have been to see one.

What about my Medical Card & Free Travel Pass?
If you decide to take up work, you get to keep your free travel pass for as long as you qualify for Disability Allowance.

If you take up work, but no longer qualify for Disability Allowance, you can keep your Free Travel Pass for 5 years.

If you take up any form of work, you can keep your Medical Card for 3 years.

What about my Social Welfare Payment?
If your main income support is Disability Allowance and you can start work, you can earn up to €120 a week and keep your full payment.

If you earn between €120 and €350 from your job, we will only take half of this into account when we assess your Disability Allowance payment.

What happens if working doesn’t work out?
If you have to leave your new job within the first 12 months, all you need to do is contact us at the telephone number below and we will re-instate your full social welfare payment by Wednesday of the following week.

Once we have re-instated your payment, we may ask you to send on your P45 or a letter from you former employer, confirming your employment end date. We may also ask if there have been any other changes in your circumstances, to ensure that you are getting your correct rate of payment.

Our Disability Allowance section can be contacted on (043) 334 0000 or LoCall 1890 92 77 70

The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers.

How Work Can Pay

Every case is different, but the example below shows how work can pay.

Joan has been offered a job for 15 hours a week. The job pays €10 an hour. So, her full pay – before any deductions are made would be €150. Joan is single and lives with her parents. She receives a Disability Allowance of €193 a week.

Will Joan’s entitlement to Disability Allowance change if she takes this job?
Yes. Joan’s Disability Allowance will go down a little but her overall weekly income will be significantly higher. That means she can do more with her money.

This is how it would work out for Joan:
She will have two sources of income in a week: pay from her new job, and her Disability Allowance.

Pay from Joan’s job
Joan earns €150 per week. She does not pay tax, PRSI or the USC because her earnings are below the amounts that apply for these deductions.

Joan’s Disability Allowance

€120 of the €150 that Joan earns from her job will not affect her disability allowance. The Department takes account of the difference between this and the €150 (€30).

Only half of earnings between €120 - €350 are taken into account. In Joan’s case, we take account of €15 (half the difference between €150 and €120). This will slightly lower Joan’s Disability Allowance.

Before taking the job, Joan’s Disability Allowance was €193 a week. As Joan now works and is paid more for her work, her Disability Allowance is now €180.50 a week, but her overall income for the week is much higher.


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Last modified:05/03/2018