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S.I. No. 43 of 2012

SOCIAL WELFARE (CONSOLIDATED CLAIMS, PAYMENTS AND CONTROL) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 2) (PARTIAL CAPACITY BENEFIT) REGULATIONS 2012

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

Section 12 of the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2010 provides for the introduction of a new Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB) scheme to provide an opportunity for people who have been assessed as having a restricted employment capacity to avail of employment opportunities, while continuing to receive an income support payment. Participation in the PCB scheme is voluntary and is open to people who are receiving Invalidity Pension or who have been receiving Illness Benefit for at least six months.

These Regulations, together with the Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2010 (Sections 12 and 13) (Commencement) Order 2012, will facilitate the introduction of the PCB scheme with effect from 13th February 2012. In particular, these Regulations specify the conditions for which a person will be assessed as having a profound, severe, moderate or mild restriction on his or her capacity for work.

A person will be assessed as having�

  • a profound restriction on his or her capacity for work if that person is assessed as having a capacity for work which is not more than a quarter of the norm for a person of the same age who has no restriction on his or her capacity for work. In this case, PCB will be paid at the full rate of the Invalidity Pension or Illness Benefit that had been paid to that person,
  • a severe restriction on his or her capacity for work if that person is assessed as having a capacity for work which is greater than one quarter and less than one half of the norm for a person of the same age who has no restriction on his or her capacity for work. In this case, PCB will be paid at 75% of the rate of Invalidity Pension or Illness Benefit that had been paid to that person,
  • a moderate restriction on his or her capacity for work if that person is assessed as having a capacity for work which is greater than one half and less than four fifths of the norm for a person of the same age who has no restriction on his or her capacity for work. In this case, PCB will be paid at 50% of the rate of Invalidity Pension or Illness Benefit that had been paid to that person,
  • a mild restriction on his or her capacity for work if that person is assessed as having a capacity for work which is not materially different to the capacity for work of a person of the same age who has no restriction on his or her capacity for work. PCB will not be paid to a person who has a mild restriction in his or her capacity for work.

Partial Capacity Benefit is normally paid for a maximum period of 3 years in the case of a person assessed as having a profound restriction on his or her capacity for work. These Regulations provide for reduced durations of PCB where a person is assessed as having a severe or moderate restriction on their capacity for work, i.e. 2 years for a person assessed with a severe restriction and 1 year in the case of a person assessed with a moderate restriction. However, it is possible for a person to requalify for a further period of entitlement to Partial Capacity Benefit if they continue to satisfy the underlying conditions for entitlement to PCB. These Regulations also specify the rate of PCB payable in such circumstances.

A person who qualifies for PCB having previously been on Illness Benefit and who exhausts entitlement to Illness Benefit during the period of entitlement to PCB can continue to be entitled to PCB by virtue of being deemed to satisfy the conditions for Invalidity Pension. These Regulations provide for the rate of PCB to be paid in such circumstances. In addition, these Regulations set out the circumstances in which a recipient of Partial Capacity Benefit will be disqualified for benefit, e.g. if they fail to attend an interview with an officer of the Minister or fail to answer reasonable enquiries relating to their claim for PCB.

The existing provisions enabling Illness Benefit and Invalidity Pension to continue to be paid where a person, having obtained prior approval from the Department of Social Protection, takes up employment for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes are being discontinued for new cases in the light of the introduction of the Partial Capacity Benefit scheme.

Last modified:14/02/2012
 

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