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 Partner's Pension)
- 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 7th day of incapacity for work (this changed from the 4th 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 Scheme.
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.
SOLAS trainees, people on employment 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
Payments of Injury Benefit and Disablement Benefit are taken into account in civil actions for damages. 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. However, Illness Benefit and Injury Benefit can be taken into account in road traffic accident cases.
Where to apply
Occupational Injuries Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada
Tel: (01) 704 3300
Locall: 1890 928 400