Almost 1.2 Million Claims for PRSI Treatment Benefit Supports

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Almost 1.2 Million Claims for PRSI Treatment Benefit Supports

192,000 self-employed people avail of the scheme


29 November 2018

Almost 1.2 million claims have been made for Treatment Benefits (dental, optical and aural) in the first 11 months of this year according to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection figures released today.

Of the claims made, just over 965,000 claims were made by employees and 192,000 were received from self-employed people (the latter representing 16 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 2018 to date is as follows:

Breakdown by type









Medical Appliance






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.

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty, T.D., today commented:

“I am pleased to see so many are taking advantage of the benefits they have earned through their PRSI contributions and I am particularly happy to see that the extension of Treatment Benefits to the self-employed has proven to be so popular.  With a month left remaining in 2018, I would remind all PRSI contributors that there is still time to avail of these benefits before the year ends.”

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 scheme for the full year of 2018 is expected to be over €92 million.


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:

Last modified:29/11/2018