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Section 10 - Extra Benefits

This section explains the range of extra benefits you may get with
your social welfare payment. It covers:

  • Treatment Benefit,
  • Bereavement Grant,
  • Continuing payment after a death in the family,
  • the National Fuel Scheme,
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance,
  • Free Travel,
  • the Household Benefits Package,
  • Increase for Living Alone,
  • Living on a specified Island,
  • Rent Allowance for tenants affected
    by the De-control of rents.

Contents

10.1 Treatment Benefit

10.2 Bereavement Grant

10.3 Continuing Payment after a Death in the Family

10.4 National Fuel Scheme

10.5 Smokeless Fuel Allowance

10.6 Free Travel

10.7 Household Benefits Package

10.8 Increase for Living Alone

10.9 Living on a specified Island

10.10 Rent Allowance for tenants affected by the de-control of Rents

Return to Main Table of Contents


10.1 Treatment Benefit

Treatment Benefit is a scheme that may allow you to qualify for:

  • Dental Benefit,
  • Optical Benefit,
  • contact lenses, or
  • hearing aids.

You may receive Treatment Benefit for treatment carried out in other EU member states. Contact Treatment Benefit Section before you travel for an application form and details of the amounts the Department will pay.

Dental Benefit

Dental Benefit pays some of the cost of different dental treatments, including:

  • dental examination and diagnosis,
  • scaling and polishing (including mild gum treatment),
  • severe gum treatment,
  • fillings,
  • extractions,
  • dentures,
  • root canal therapy.

You can get details of the amounts you need to pay from your dentist or from the Department.

Optical Benefit

Optical Benefit pays some of the cost of optical treatments including:

  • eye examination*,
  • glasses,
  • replacement lenses for existing frames, and
  • contact lenses (see below).

* The Department does not pay towards the cost of an eye examination for visual display units (VDUs), such as computers or for driving licences.

Contact lenses

If you choose contact lenses instead of glasses, the Department will pay a fixed amount and you must pay the balance. If, however, you need contact lenses on medical grounds, the Department will pay up to half the cost, subject to a fixed maximum contribution, provided you have a doctor's recommendation.

Hearing aids

The Department will pay up to half the cost of a hearing aid or repairs to a hearing aid subject to a fixed maximum contribution.

How do I qualify?

To qualify for Treatment Benefit you must satisfy the PRSI conditions. Only PRSI at Classes A, E, H and P count.

If you are:

You must have at least:

Aged under 21

39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work

Aged 21 to 24

39 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work,
and either

  • 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions* in the relevant tax year on which your claim is based,
    or,
  • 26 paid PRSI contributions in both the relevant tax year and the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. 1

Aged 25 to 65

260 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work,
and either

  • 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions* in the relevant tax year on which your claim is based,
    or,
  • 26 paid PRSI contributions in both the relevant tax year and the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. 1

Aged 66 or over
( see below)

260 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work,
and either

  • 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions* in the relevant tax year on which your claim is based,
    or,
  • 26 paid PRSI contributions in both the relevant tax year and the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. 1

* At least 13 of these weeks must be paid contributions.
However, if you do not have 13 paid contributions in the
relevant tax year, you may use the following years instead:

  • either of the two previous tax years, or
  • any tax year after the relevant tax year.

For a claim made in:

The relevant Tax Year is:

2008

2006

2009

2007

The 13 weeks paid contributions does not apply if you:

  � reached age 66 before 6 July 1992,

  � are aged 55 and over and receiving 'unemployment credits',

  � are getting any of the following social welfare payments:

  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Carer's Allowance,
  • Carer's Benefit,
  • State Pension (Transition),
  • Illness Benefit (for 12 months or more),
  • a combination of Jobseeker's Benefit and Allowance (for 12 months or more)
  • long-term Jobseeker's Allowance,
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance,

  � are on a Community Employment Scheme, Back to Work Scheme, Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme or
Community Employment Development Programme.

Note:
If you satisfy these conditions when you reach age 60,
you will remain qualified for life.

If you are getting a State Pension, the PRSI contribution requirements vary according to age as follows:

If you reached age 66:

You must have at least:

before 1 October 1987

156 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work and 26 paid or credited PRSI contributions in either of the 2 relevant tax years on which your claim is based.

between 1 October 1987 and 6 July 1992

208 paid PRSI> contributions since first starting work and 39 paid or credited* PRSI contributions in either of the 2 relevant tax years on which your claim is based.

between 6 July 1992 and 29 May 2006

  • 260 paid PRSI contributions since first starting work, and 39 paid or credited PRSI contributions in either of the two relevant tax years on which your claim is based.
    or,
  • 26 paid PRSI contributions in both the relevant tax year and the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.

Aged 66 or over
( see above)

 

Note:
If you satisfy these conditions when you reach pension age,
you will remain qualified for life
.

 

Treatment Benefit and EC Regulations

If you do not qualify for Treatment Benefit on your Irish social insurance record, but you worked and made social insurance contributions in another country covered by EC Regulations, you may use your social insurance record in that country to help you qualify, as long as you have paid at least one PRSI contribution
at Class A, E, H or P since you returned to Ireland.
See Section 3 for details of these countries.

Am I entitled to Treatment Benefit on my spouse's or partner's social insurance record?

As a qualified adult, you can get Treatment Benefit on your spouse's or partner's PRSI record provided they satisfy the qualifying conditions and you:

  • are dependent on your spouse or partner, or
  • have a gross income of �76.18 or less a week, or
  • earn more than �76.18 a week and were dependent on your spouse or partner before entering or resuming insurable employment at Class A, E, H or P, or
  • are not getting a social welfare payment
  • (except Disablement Pension, Supplementary Welfare Allowance, Carer's Benefit or Child Benefit), or
  • are getting Carer's Allowance or State Pension (Non-Contributory) in your own right and were dependent on your spouse or partner immediately prior to getting the Allowance or Pension.
Am I entitled to Treatment Benefit as a widow or widower?

If you were entitled to Treatment Benefit on your spouse's or partner's insurance record at the time of their death, you will continue to be entitled for as long as you remain widowed.

If you are working and paying PRSI, you may qualify for
Treatment Benefit on your own record provided you satisfy
the PRSI qualifying conditions.

When and how do I apply?

Type of Treatment:

Application Forms:

Available from:

Dental Benefit

  • applicant
  • qualified adult



D 1
D 2

Dental surgery

Optical Benefit

  • applicant
  • qualified adult



O 1
O 2

Optician, Treatment Benefit Section, or Local Social Welfare Office

Hearing Aids & Contact Lenses*

  • applicant
  • qualified adult



MA 1
MA 2

Suppliers or Treatment Benefit Section

* On medical grounds.

If you wish to avail of treatment in another EU member
state, please contact Treatment Benefit Section before
you travel, for an application form and details of the
amounts the Department will pay.

For further details, see information booklet SW 24,
or contact your local Social Welfare Office:

Treatment Benefit Section
Department of Social and Family Affairs
St. Oliver Plunkett Road
Letterkenny
Co. Donegal

LoCall:  1890 400 400, ext. 44480
Dublin:  (01) 704 3000
 

10.2 Bereavement Grant

Bereavement Grant is based on PRSI contributions and i
s paid on the death of:

  • an insured person,
  • the wife or husband or partner of an insured person,
  • the widow or widower of an insured person,
  • a child under age 18, or under age 22 if in full-time education (based on their parent's or guardian's conditions),
  • a person receiving a contributory pension, for example, State Pension (Contributory),
  • the spouse or partner of a person receiving a contributory pension,
  • the qualified adult of a contributory pensioner, including those who would be a qualified adult but are getting another social welfare payment, for example Carer's Allowance,
  • a qualified child, and
  • an orphan receiving Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or on the death of their guardian.
  •  a person who was getting Disability Allowance and who was aged between 16 and 22.

A Bereavement Grant is payable:

  1. on the death of a person who has been receiving a contributory pension or on the death of their spouse or partner or qualified dependants,

    or
  2. on the death of a person who has been getting Guardian's Payment (Contributory) or on the death of their guardian,

    or
  3. if the person on whose social insurance record the claim is being made has at least 156 weeks PRSI paid since entry into insurable employment,

    or
  4. if the person on whose social insurance record the claim is being made has at least 26 weeks PRSI paid since entry into insurable employment,

and

  1. 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year (see below for details on the relevant tax year),

    or
  2. a yearly average of 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited over the 3 or 5 tax years before the relevant tax year,

    or
  3. a yearly average of 26 weeks PRSI paid or credited since 1979 (or since starting work if later) and the end of the tax year before the death occurred or pension age was reached (age 66 at present),

    or
  4. a yearly average of 26 weeks PRSI paid or credited since 1st October 1970 (or since starting work if later) and the end of the tax year before the death occurred or pension age was reached (age 66 at present).

*The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year
before the person died or reached pension age.

If a person died or reached pension age in:

The relevant Tax Year is:

2008

2006

2009

2007

PRSI paid at Classes A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, N and S count for the Bereavement Grant. Voluntary contributions count.

If the person on whose PRSI record you are applying was previously insurably employed in another country covered by EC Regulations and has paid at least one full-rate PRSI contribution since returning to Ireland, you may combine the insurance record in that country with the persons Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for a Bereavement Grant.

You can also use a person's periods of insurance or residence in countries with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement to qualify for Bereavement Grant.

Countries with which Ireland has an Agreement:

� Australia

� Canada

� New Zealand

� Switzerland

� Austria

� Qu�bec

� the United States of America.

� the United Kingdom

How much can I get?

Bereavement Grant is a once-off payment of currently �850 for deaths which occur on or after 6 December 2006.

See SW 19, Rates of Payment booklet for current rate.

Who gets the payment?

Bereavement Grant is paid to the person responsible for paying
 the funeral bill.

When and how do I apply?

You should apply for Bereavement Grant within 12 months of t
he date of death.

You can get a application form from your local Social Welfare
Office or from:

Bereavement Grant Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford

Longford (043) 334 00 00
Dublin (01) 704 3000

For further details, see information booklet SW 47.

10.3 Continuing Payment after a Death in the Family

 

If a person dies while receiving a social welfare payment, in certain circumstances, the payment will continue to be paid to the qualified adult for 6 weeks.

Entitlement to a continuation of a social welfare payment after death is as follows:

If the deceased was:

And you are:

You will get:

getting an increase for a qualified adult with any of payments listed

a qualified adult

6 weeks of the deceased person's payment including the increase for a qualified adult

getting any of the payments listed

a spouse getting one of the payments listed

6 weeks of the deceased person's payment plus your own payment.

a dependent child

getting an increase for a qualified child with one of the payments listed

6 weeks of your own payment including the increase for a qualified child

a qualified adult

getting one of the payments listed

6 weeks of your own payment including the increase for a qualified adult

a person receiving full-time care and attention

getting Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit in respect of that person

6 weeks Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit, as appropriate

Relevant Payments
  • Blind Pension,
  • Carer's Allowance (including half-rate Carer's Allowance)
  • Carer's Benefit
  • Death Benefit under the Injury Benefit Scheme
  • Disability Allowance,
  • Illness Benefit,
  • Farm Assist
  • Injury Benefit,
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Non-Contributory),
  • One-Parent Family Payment,
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance,
  • State Pension (Transition),
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance,
  • Jobseeker's Allowance,
  • Jobseeker's Benefit,
  • Incapacity Supplement,
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension

Note:
You cannot get a Widow's or Widower's Pension or One-Parent Family Payment (Widowed) until the end of the 6 week period, where there is another Social Welfare Benefit/Assistance in payment.

How do I apply?

Send notice about the date of death as soon as possible to the section of the Department dealing with the social welfare payment.

If the payment was made by a book of payable orders, you should return the book with the notice of death. Arrangements will be made to continue the payment for 6 weeks.

10.4 National Fuel Scheme

The National Fuel Scheme is intended to help households that depend on long-term social welfare or Health Service Executive payments and are unable to provide for their own heating needs.

A household may receive only one Fuel Allowance.

How do I qualify?

You may qualify for a Fuel Allowance if you are:

  � getting one of the following payments:

  • State Pension (Contributory) or (Non-Contributory),
  • State Pension (Transition),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension,
  • Incapacity Supplement,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • One-Parent Family Payment,
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance,
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory),
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory),
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance,
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance,
  • Long-term Jobseeker's Allowance,
  • Disability Allowance,
  • Farm Assist,
  • Disabled Person's Rehabilitative Allowance,
  • Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance,
  • Basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance,
  • a special Department of Defence Allowance, or
  • a social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement,

  � taking part in an employment, educational or a Rural Social Scheme and allowed to keep secondary benefits,

   and

   � living alone or only with:

  • a spouse or partner and or children for whom an increase is being paid (see Section 1.2 for details),
  • a person who gives you full-time care and attention if you are ill or incapacitated,
  • a person getting short-term Jobseeker's Allowance, or
  • other people getting one of the payments listed below who would also qualify for Fuel Allowance in their own right,

   and

  � unable to pay for your heating needs. To fulfil this condition, your household must satisfy a means test.

You may qualify for Fuel Allowance based on your payment from another country if you are:

  • living in Ireland, and
  • aged 66 or over, or
  • under age 66 and getting Invalidity Pension or Benefit (for over 12 months), or a Widow's or Widower's Pension or an equivalent payment from another country.
Subsidised heating

Tenants living in Local Authority complexes with communal heating
arrangements may qualify for fuel allowance if they satisfy the other
conditions of the scheme.

The rate of the Fuel Allowance is shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How much can I get?

The rate of the Fuel Allowance is shown in the Rates of Payment Booklet SW 19.

How do I get my payment?

You will usually get Fuel Allowance as part of your weekly payment, in the manner by which you are being paid.

How long does payment last?

Fuel Allowance is paid for 30 weeks from late September to April.

Which household member should apply?

Only one person in any household can get Fuel Allowance , no matter how many people in the household qualify for it. If you are living with a social welfare pensioner who qualifies for Fuel Allowance in their own right, the pensioner should apply.

When and how do I apply?

You should apply to the office that pays your social welfare payment (see Appendix 1 for relevant address). If you are getting long-term Jobseeker's Allowance, you should apply at your local Social Welfare Office.

If you are getting a payment from the Health Service Executive, you should apply to the Community Welfare Officer at your local office of the Health Service Executive.

If you are getting a social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement, you should complete application form NFS 1 and apply to the section of Department of Social and Family Affairs dealing with the equivalent Irish payment.

If you think you are eligible, you should apply without delay as the allowance cannot be backdated.

For more details, see information booklet SW 17 or contact the appropriate section or office dealing with your payment.

10.5 Smokeless Fuel Allowance

This allowance helps low income households meet the extra costs of using smokeless or low smoke fuels in certain areas* where the sale of bituminous fuel is banned.

* These areas include Arklow, Bray, Celbridge, Cork, Drogheda, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway city, Kilkenny city, Leixlip, Limerick city, Naas, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford city and Wexford.

Only one Smokeless Fuel Allowance is payable to any household.

How do I qualify?

If you live within certain built-up areas you may qualify for a Smokeless Fuel Allowance if you are getting:

  � Fuel Allowance under the National Fuel Scheme,

   or

  � Family Income Supplement,

   or

  � one of the following payments for at least 13 weeks:

  • Illness Benefit,
  • Jobseeker's Benefit, or
  • Jobseeker's Allowance.

You must also satisfy the conditions for the Fuel Allowance (see Section 10.4 for details).

How much can I get?

The rate of the Smokeless Fuel Allowance is shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How do I get my payment?

If you are already getting a Fuel Allowance, the Smokeless Fuel Allowance will be included automatically.

If you are getting Illness Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit or short-term Jobseeker's Allowance, you will receive a application form automatically and if you qualify, the allowance will be included in your weekly payment.

If you are getting Family Income Supplement, and are entitled to the Smokeless Fuel Allowance, ann application form (SFA2) must be completes. Forms are available from Family Income Supplement Sectionand Social Welfare Local Offices. If your application is granted, theallowance will be included in your weekly payment.

How long does payment last?

The Smokeless Fuel Allowance is paid for 30 weeks from September to April.

When and how do I apply?

There is no need to apply for this allowance if you are already getting the Fuel Allowance. If you are not getting it, you will automatically get an application form at the start of the fuel season or when you become eligible.

If you are getting Family Income Supplement, Illness Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit or short-term Jobseeker's Allowance, you
should contact the appropriate Section or Office dealing with
your payment. For more details see information leaflet SW 17a.

10.6 Free Travel

Free Travel is available to people aged 66 or over and to certain incapacitated people under age 66. It allows you to use public transport, and a large number of private bus and ferry services,
free of charge. Your spouse or partner may also travel free
with you.

How do I qualify?

You will qualify for free travel if you are:

  � living permanently in the State, and

  � aged 66 or over,

   or

  � under age 66 and blind or severely visually impaired or getting one of the following payments:

  • Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance,
  • Carer's Allowance (you get a single status pass only, if you are under age 66),
  • a social security invalidity payment for at least 12 months from a country covered by EC Regulations or one with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement (see Section 3 for details of these countries),
  • Incapacity Supplement or Workmen's Compensation with Disablement Pension for at least 12 months.

  � You may also qualify for free travel if you live in Health Service Executive approved residential care and were previously getting Disability Allowance or would satisfy the medical conditions and means test for Disability Allowance,

   or

  � you are a specified carer for a person getting Constant Attendance Allowance or Prescribed Relatives Allowance from this Department (you get a single status pass only if you are under age 66).

Concession � widows and widowers

If you are a widow or widower, aged 60 to 65 and your late spouse held a Free Travel Pass you may qualify for a single Free Travel Pass in your own right.

To qualify, you must have been permanently living with your late spouse, be getting one of the following payments and satisfy the other conditions of the Scheme:

  • State Pension (Transition),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension,
  • One-Parent Family Payment,
  • Widow's or Widower's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefits Scheme,
  • similar social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations or with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement,

    or
  • an ordinary Garda Widow's Pension from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Where and when can I use my Free Travel Pass?

Free travel is available on all scheduled road and rail services of Dublin Bus (except NITELINK and special Dublin Airport services), Bus �ireann, Iarnr�d �ireann (including mainline, outer suburban and DART Services) LUAS and certain private bus and ferry services.

Free cross-border travel: Holders of a Free Travel Pass from the Department of Social and Family Affairs or Northern Ireland may make cross-border journeys free of charge between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


All Ireland Free Travel:
The All Ireland Free Travel Scheme allows a free Travel Passholder aged 66 years and over to travel for free on transport services operating internally within Northern Ireland. Passholders wishing to avail of internal travel within Northern Ireland must first obtain a Senior SmartPass card.

For further details on how to apply for a Senior SmartPass card, see
information booklet SW 40 or contact your Social Welfare Local Office.

Aer Arann:
If you permanently live on any of the Aran Islands, your Free Travel Pass covers you for up to 6 return or 12 single air trips each year to Aerfort Chonamara or Indreabh�n (Inverin), Co. Galway and to a free bus service operated between Indreabh�n (Inverin) and Galway City Centre. If you live on the mainland, you may travel on Aer Arann's airline and bus service between Galway city and the Aran Islands at a reduced cost. This also applies to free cross border travel from Northern Ireland and the Aran Islands.

Helicopter Service to and from Tory Island: If you live permanently on Tory Island, Co. Donegal, your Free Travel Pass covers you for 4 return or 8 single journeys each year on the seasonal helicopter service between the island and Falcarragh on the mainland.

Who can travel with me?

If you qualify for a Free Travel Pass and you are married or cohabiting, that is, living with a man or woman as husband and wife, your spouse or partner does not have to pay, when travelling with you.

If you qualify for a Free Travel Companion Pass, you may have one person aged 16 or over accompany you when travelling.

Free Travel Companion Pass

A Free Travel Companion Pass allows any one person, aged 16 or over, to accompany you for free, when travelling.

To qualify for a Free Travel Companion Pass you must satisfy one of the following conditions:

Free Travel Passholders aged 66 or over:

  • you are aged 66 and 69 inclusive and are medically assessed as unfit to travel alone.
  • you are aged 70 or over and are medically unfit to travel alone.
  • you are receiving full-time care and attention from someone who is getting Carer's Allowance from this Department.
  • you are certified by either the Irish Wheelchair Association or by your GP as being a permanent wheelchair user.
  • you are blind or severely visually impaired and:

    � you satisfy the blindness conditions for the Blind Pension,

    or

    � you are registered as a blind person with either the National Council for the Blind of Ireland or the National League of the Blind of Ireland.

Free Travel Passholders aged under 66:

  • you are getting Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension or Disablement Pension and Incapacity Supplement and are medically assessed as being unfit to travel alone,
  • you live in Health Service Executive approved residential care, and are medically assessed unfit to travel alone and you:

    � were previously getting Disability Allowance,

    or

    � are assessed as being medically suitable for Disability Allowance.
  • you are blind or severely visually impaired and you:

    � are getting a Blind Pension,

    or

    � satisfy the blindness condition for the Blind Pension,

    or

    � are registered as a blind person with either the National Council for the Blind of Ireland or the National League of the Blind of Ireland,
  • you are getting one of the following qualifying payments listed below and you are certified by either the Irish Wheelchair Association or by your GP as being a permanent wheelchair user,

    or
  • you are receiving full-time care and attention from someone who is getting Carer's Allowance from this Department. To qualify for a companion pass based on this condition, you must be entitled to a Free Travel Pass in your own right.

Qualifying Payments - These payments apply if you are under age 66

  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Incapacity Supplement or Workmen's Compensation with Disablement Pension for at least 12 months (under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme),
  • Disability Allowance,
  • an Invalidity Payment or similar payment for at least 12 months from a country covered by EC Regulations or from a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement,

Free Travel Companion Pass for a visually-impaired child:

A visually impaired child will qualify for a Free Travel Companion Pass if they are under age 18 and either they:

  • satisfy the blindness condition for a Blind Pension,

    or
  • are registered with the National Council for the Blind or the National League of the Blind of Ireland.
When and how do I apply for a standard Free Travel Pass?

You will get a Free Travel Pass automatically at age 66 if you are getting a pension from this Department.

If you are under age 66, you will get a Free Travel Pass automatically when you get Invalidity Pension, Blind Pension, Disability Allowance or Carer's Allowance.

In all other cases you must apply for a Free Travel Pass.

You can get an application form FT 1 :

or

  • from your local Social Welfare Office (see State Directory section of your phone book or the Golden Pages for contact numbers),
    or
  • by contacting the address below.

Free Travel Section
Social Welfare Services
College Road
Sligo

LoCall: 1890 50 00 00
          - from the Republic of Ireland
  or
          00 353 71 919 3315
          - from Northern Ireland or overseas

For more details, see information booklet SW 40 or contact Free Travel Section at the address above.

10.7 Household Benefits Package

 

The Household Benefits Package is made up of 3 allowances.

(i) Electricity or Gas Allowance,
(ii) Telephone Allowance for either a landline or a mobile phone, and
(iii) Free Television Licence.

These allowances provide contributions towards your electricity or
natural gas or bottled gas refill bill and towards your telephone costs. The cost of your Television Licence is covered each year. The allowances are applied directly to your bills, where applicable. For further details on the individual allowances please see information booklet Household Benefits Package SW 107.

How do I qualify?

You may qualify if you are:

  • aged 70 or over

    or
  • getting Carer's Allowance

    or
  • aged under 70, are getting a qualifying payment ( see section below) and you live alone or only with certain excepted persons ( see section below),

    or
  • aged between 66 and 69, satisfy a means test and live alone or only with certain excepted persons ( see section below).

As well as the above conditions, you must also satisfy three of the following conditions:

  • you must be permanently living (that is, year-round) at the address at which you wish the allowance(s) to be applied. In general, the allowances do not apply if you live in a nursing or retirement home if the accommodation is not fully self-contained.
    However, if you are aged 70 or over and live in a nursing or retirement home and have your own telephone account, you may get Telephone Allowance,
  • you must be the only person in your household to get the allowance,
  • you must be the registered consumer of electricity or gas if you are applying for an Electricity Allowance or Natural Gas Allowance and the registered telephone account holder if you are applying for Telephone Allowance.
List of qualifying payments for persons aged between 66 and 70
  • State Pension (Contributory) or (Non-Contributory),
  • Pro-rata
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory or Non-Contributory Pension,
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance,
  • One Parent Family Payment,
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance,
  • an ordinary Garda Widow's Pension from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform,
  • an equivalent social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations, or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement.
List of qualifying payments for persons aged under 66
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Incapacity Supplement or Workmen's Compensation with Disablement Pension for at least 12 months,
  • Disability Allowance,
  • an equivalent social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations, or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement.
List of excepted people

In certain cases, you may live with the following people and still qualify:

  • a Qualified Adult. Your spouse or partner is a qualified adult if you are getting an increase for them with your payment or you would receive an increase for a qualified adult for them with your payment but for the fact that they are getting a social welfare payment in their own right.
  • qualified child(ren) under age 18 (or under age 22 if in full-time education) You must supply a certificate from the school or college for any child aged 18 or over,
  • a person who is so incapacitated as to require constant care and attention for at least 12 months (you may need to supply medical certification),
  • a person who would qualify for the allowances in their own right (for example, a person getting a State Pension),
  • a person who is providing you, or someone in your household, with constant care and attention, if you or that person is so incapacitated that you need constant care and attention for at least 12 months (you may need to supply medical certification). If the person is in employment for more than 10 hours per week or they are getting Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance they cannot be accepted as providing constant full-time care and attention.
Concession for widows and widowers aged 60 to 65

If you are a widow or widower, aged 60 to 65 inclusive and your late spouse was getting a Telephone Allowance, Electricity, Natural Gas or Bottled Gas Refill Allowance or Free Television Licence from this Department and before their death you were permanently living together, you may now apply for the allowances in the Household Benefits Package.

You must get one of the following payments and satisfy the qualifying conditions above:

  • State Pension (Transition) (payable at age 65),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension
  • One-Parent Family Payment (Widow's or Widower's)
  • Widow's or Widower's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefits Scheme,

    or
  • an equivalent social security payment from a country covered by EC Regulations, or a country with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement,

    or
  • an ordinary Garda Widow's Pension from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
Concession for people transferring from Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance or Blind Pension

If you are getting Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance or Blind Pension and you are getting any of the allowances under the Household Benefits Package you may be entitled to retain the Household Benefits Package if you transfer to certain other payments from this Department. You may not keep the Household Benefits Package if you transfer to Jobseeker's Benefit or Allowance, Illness Benefit, Pre-Retirement Allowance, One- Parent Family Payment or Carer's Benefit.

How do I apply?

Complete the application form HB1, which is included with the information booklet SW 107. You can also get form HB1

Free Schemes Section
Social Welfare Services
FREEPOST
College Road
Sligo

Telephone:

LoCall: 1890 50 00 00
          - from the Republic of Ireland
or
          00 353 71 919 3315
          - from Northern Ireland or overseas

If you are applying for the Household Benefits Package on the basis of the means test, we will send you a separate means test questionnaire to complete.

10.8 Living Alone Allowance

The Increase for Living Alone is paid to people who mainly live alone and get certain payments from the Department of Social and Family Affairs. If you qualify, you get the increase with your social welfare payments each week.

How do I qualify?

You will qualify for the increase if you:

 � get one of the following social welfare payments:

   (a) if you are under age 66

  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Disability Allowance,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Incapacity Supplement,

   or

   (b) if you are aged 66 or over

  • State Pension (Contributory),
  • State Pension (Non-Contributory),
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • Widow's or Widower's Pension under the Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme,
  • Incapacity Supplement.

You must notify the Department IMMEDIATELY if you are no longer living alone.

When and how do I apply?

If you are under 66 and getting one of the payments listed at (a), you should apply for an Increase for Living Alone as soon as you start living alone.

Alternatively, if you are getting one of the payments listed at (b), you should apply 3 months before you reach age 66 or if you are aged 66 or over, you should apply as soon as you start living alone.

You should complete claim form LA1 and send it to the section who pays your pension or allowance.

See information booklet Increase for Living Alone  SW 36 for more details.

10.9 Living on a specified Island

You may qualify for an increase in the payments listed below if you:

  � usually live on certain islands off the coast of Ireland,

  � are aged 66 or over, and

  � are getting one of the following social welfare payments:

  • � State Pension (Contributory) or (Non-Contributory),
  • � State Pension (Transition),
  • � Pro-rata Invalidity Pension,
  • � Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,
  • � Carer's Allowance,
  • � Widow's or Widower's Benefit under the Occupational Injuries Scheme.

You may qualify if you are under 66, if you are getting Invalidity Pension, Disability Allowance, Incapacity Supplement or Blind Pension.

For more information, including details of the islands, check with the section dealing with your payment.

If you are getting an equivalent payment in another EU country and you satisfy the above conditions you may also qualify. Apply to the section making the equivalent payment.

10.10 Rent Allowance for Tenants affected by the De-control of Rents

Rent Allowance is paid to tenants of certain dwellings affected by the de-control of rents on 26 July 1982. Following the de-control of rents, a tenant who suffers hardship due to a rent increase may qualify for a Rent Allowance.

How do I qualify?

You will qualify if you satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • on 26 July 1982, you must have been the tenant of a dwelling that was subject to rent control until that date. Your spouse or a member of your family may be eligible for an allowance when you die,
  • you are entitled to remain a tenant of that dwelling,
  • your rent and the terms of the tenancy must have been fixed by a district court or the Rent Tribunal and be written down. The landlord (or their agent) must sign them and give you a copy,
  • the landlord must register the tenancy and details of any new rent with the local housing authority,
  • you satisfy a means test.
Means test

A means test is a way of checking if you have enough means to support yourself and what amount of social welfare payment, if any, you may qualify for.

Your means are any income or property (except your home) or an asset that could bring in money or provide you with an income.

Your means may be worked out by Rent Allowance Section or a Social Welfare Inspector may call to interview you at your home. They will need to ask you for details about items that count as means and may ask you to produce documents such as accounts or statements from a financial institution.

How much can I get?

The most you can get is the difference between your original rent (or a specified amount) and your new rent.

You will get full rent allowance if your means are below a certain amount.

If your means are above this amount however, the allowance will be reduced. Your allowance may also be reduced on account of other members of your household.

How long does payment last?

The allowance is paid as long as you remain the tenant of the dwelling and satisfy the qualifying conditions.

When and how do I apply?

You should apply for the allowance as soon as possible after your landlord has registered your new rent and the tenancy with the local housing authority.

Do not delay more than 3 months from the date the new rent comes into effect. If you apply later than this, you may lose some payment as we will only backdate it for 3 months. See information leaflet SW 58 for further details.

You can get an application form from your local Social Welfare Office or from:

Rent Allowance Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford

Telephone:
Longford (043) 334 00 00
Dublin (01) 704 3000 

Note:
If you do not qualify for this allowance but you need assistance with your rent, you may qualify under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme. See
Section 11 for more details.

 

PRSI ( PAY RELATED SOCIAL INSURANCE)

Protecting your future Social Welfare entitlements

WHAT IS PRSI?

PRSI is a contribution payable in respect of everyone aged 16 or over who is in insurable employment or who is self-employed.

WHAT AM I COVERED FOR?

Your entitlements are determined by the Class of PRSI you are paying. Most people pay Class A which entitles them to the full range of PRSI payments. People recruited to the Civil Service and Public Sector after 6 April 1995 also pay Class A.

The chart below sets out the PRSI based payments and the classes of PRSI which cover them.

MORE INFORMATION

If you would like more information please contact:

Information Services,
Department of Social & Family Affairs,
Social Welfare Services
College Road, Sligo.

Tel: 071 91 93313
LoCall: 1890 66 22 44
Fax: 071 91 93284

Information is also available on the Department's website:
http://www.welfare.ie/

Payments:

PRSI Classes:

Jobseeker's Benefit

A, H, P

Illness Benefit

A, E, H, P

Maternity Benefit

A, E, H, S

Adoptive Benefit

A, E, H, S

Health & Safety Benefit

A, E, H

Invalidity Pension

A, E, H

Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension

A, B, C, D, E, H, S

Guardian's Payment Contributory

A, B, C, D, E, H, S

State Pension (Contributory)

A, E, H, S

State Pension (Transition)

A, E, H

Bereavement Grant

A, B, C, D, E, H, S

Treatment Benefit

A, E, H, P

Occupational Injuries Benefit

A, B, D, J, M

Carer's Benefit

A, B, C, D, E, H

 

Last modified:09/11/2009
 

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