The Department of Social Protection operates the Occupational Injuries
Benefit Scheme which is a group of benefits for people injured or incapacitated
by an accident at work or while travelling directly to or from work. The scheme
also covers those who have contracted a disease as a result of the type of work
they do. There are a number of benefits available and there are different
conditions attached to each benefit.
The benefits are:
There are also death
benefits under this scheme:
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's Pension (paid at a higher
rate than the ordinary Contributory Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil
- Guardian's Payment
- Funeral Grant
Injury Benefit is a weekly payment if you are
unfit for work due to the accident or disease. Payment is normally made from
the 4th day of incapacity for work (this will change to the 7th day of
incapacity from 6 January 2014). Injury Benefit can be paid for up to 26 weeks
from the date of your accident or development of the disease (not the date you
apply). If the accident or disease caused you to lose physical or mental
ability you should apply for Disablement Benefit before your Injury Benefit
ceases. If you are still unfit for work after 26 weeks you may apply for Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance.
Disablement Benefit is paid if you have a loss
of physical or mental faculty after the accident or disease. You do not have to
be unfit for work. If you are fit for work immediately after the accident you
should apply within three months of the injury or onset of the disease. You
must have a medical assessment to determine the degree of loss of faculty and
the rate of benefit is based on this. (Civil servants insured at Class B are
not eligible for Disablement Benefit for the first 26 weeks after the date of
the accident. Half-rate benefit only is payable after this period.) Disablement
Benefit can be paid as a lump sum (called Disablement Gratuity) or as a weekly
payment (called Disablement Pension).
Incapacity Supplement is a weekly supplement
which may be paid if you are not eligible for Illness Benefit or another social
welfare payment. To get the supplement you must be getting Disablement Pension
and be permanently incapable of work.
Constant Attendance Allowance is a weekly
allowance which you may be paid if you are getting Disablement Benefit and are
so seriously disabled as to need someone to help you daily at home to attend to
your personal needs.
If you incur medical costs as a result of your occupational injury or
disease you can claim for the cost of certain expenses which are not already
covered by the Health Service
Executive (HSE) or through the Treatment Benefit Scheme under the
Medical Care Scheme.
The cost of private or semi-private accommodation and treatment can
not be recouped under the Occupational Injuries Benefit
In general people in employment insurable at PRSI Class A, D, J or M are
covered in full for Occupational Injuries Benefits.
Civil servants recruited prior to April 1995 and insured at Class B may only
qualify for limited Occupational Injuries Benefits.
FÁS trainees, people on FÁS Schemes and people over 66 who are working are
covered for Occupational Injuries Benefits.
Unlike other social insurance benefits it is not necessary to have a set
number of PRSI contributions to qualify. It is simply necessary to be in
employment which is insurable for Occupational Injuries.
Civil law claims for damages
If you suffer from an occupational injury or disease you may bring a civil
action for damages against your employer. The fact that you have received any
occupational injuries payments does not in itself mean that you will be awarded
compensation. When the civil court is assessing damages it must take into
account any Injury Benefit, Disablement Benefit and Funeral Grant paid. Other
social welfare payments are disregarded.
Where to apply
Occupational Injuries Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada
Locall:1890 928 400 (from Republic of Ireland only) or +353 1 704 3020 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)