Over three quarters of a million claims for PRSI Treatment Benefit Supports during first 7 months of 2019


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Over three quarters of a million claims for PRSI
Treatment Benefit Supports during first 7 months of 2019
 
 141,000 self-employed people availed of the scheme to date in 2019
 
Thursday, 29 August 2019:
Over three quarters of a million claims have been made for Treatment Benefits (dental, optical and aural) in the first 7 months of this year according to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection figures released today.
Of the over 798,000 claims made, over 141,000 were received in respect of self-employed people (the latter representing 17.6 per cent of the overall claims received). The extension of Treatment Benefits to the self-employed and their dependent spouses/partners was introduced in March 2017, with further improvements to the scheme being extended for employees and the self-employed from the end of October, 2017. 
The breakdown of applications awarded for Treatment Benefits since 1st January 2019 to date is as follows:
Treatment type
 
 
 
Claims made in 2018
 
Expenditure in  2018
 
 
Claims made in 2019 (Jan to July)
 
Expenditure in
 2019 to date
Dental
804,375
€46,915,668
535,856
€31,284,126
Optical
451,249
€32,725,636.53
254,314
€17,841,860
Medical Appliance
14,869
€12,742,106.95
8,061
€7,072,000
Total
1,270,313
€92,383,611.48
798,231
€56,197,986
 
 
Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today commented:
“Currently, there are over 2.5 million PRSI contributors, comprising employees and self-employed who may have an entitlement to claim Treatment Benefit for both themselves and their dependent spouse or partner. I am so glad to see so many are taking the opportunity to avail of the schemes and I would urge all who have an entitlement to make sure they get the full benefit from their PRSI contributions.”
The Optical scheme now covers the provision of glasses, either free or subsidised if an upgraded design is chosen, or provides a contribution towards contact lenses. Repairs to glasses are also covered under the scheme. 
The Dental scheme now includes a contribution to cleanings, either an annual scale and polish or more extensive periodontal treatment if clinically required. These treatments are available in addition to the free annual dental examination. The cleanings require a co-payment from the patient if the cost of the treatment charged by the dentist is in excess of the fee payable by the Department. For the simpler scale and polish treatment this additional co-payment is capped at a maximum of €15.
Benefits available under the medical appliance scheme remain unchanged; covering a payment of 50% towards the cost of a hearing aid, up to a maximum payment of €500 per aid.
The cost of the Treatment Benefit scheme in 2018 was €92.3m. There were 1,270,313 claims made in 2018, compared with 648,675 claims in 2017.  Some €56.2m has been paid out on the scheme this year to date, with a total of €95m provided by Government in the 2019 Budget.
ENDS
Notes to Editors:
Full details on the Treatment Benefits scheme and how to apply are available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website at the following link: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Treatment-Benefit1.aspx.
Last modified:29/08/2019