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Section 3 - Benefits Abroad

This section explains Social Insurance for people working abroad.
It covers:

  • Social Insurance and EC Regulations for workers
  • Bilateral Social Security Agreements.

Contents

3.1 Social Insurance and EC Regulations

3.2 Bilateral Social Security Agreements with other countries

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3.1 Social Insurance and EC Regulations

The EC Regulations apply to people who travel and work within the European Economic Area (EEA). The Regulations allow workers to combine periods of social insurance in any of the EEA countries to help them qualify for a benefit or pension.

Countries covered by EC Regulations
  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Spain
  • the Netherlands
  • the United Kingdom (See Section 3.2 Bilateral Agreement for Channel Islands and the Isle of Man).
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Lithuania
  • Norway
  • Republic of Cyprus (Cyprus South)
  • Slovakia
  • Sweden
  • Bulgaria
  • Estonia
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Luxembourg
  • Poland
  • Slovenia
  • Switzerland*

*Certain limits apply to Jobseeker's Benefit in relation to Switzerland.

EC Regulations make sure that if you go to work in any of the above countries:

  • you receive the same treatment in social security matters as nationals of those countries,
  • you can use periods of social insurance to help you qualify for social security benefits here,

    and
  • you and your family can receive the benefits to which you are entitled.

The EC Regulations in general only cover:

  • workers and people getting social security benefits who are nationals* of any of these countries and people with the status of stateless people or refugees living permanently in any of these countries,

    and
  • the dependants and survivors of these people (regardless of their nationality).

* Third country nationals must have been employedd in two or more member States ( with the exception of Denmark). In situations where a third country national only has links with a third country and a single member State, EC Regulations will not apply.

Benefits covered

The Regulations cover:

  • Illness and Maternity Benefits (including health care),
  • Benefits for an accident at work or occupational disease,
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • State Pension (Contributory) and State Pension (Transition),
  • Widow's or Widower's and Guardian's Payment (Contributory),
  • Jobseeker's Benefit,
  • Child Benefit,
  • Bereavement Grant, and
  • Treatment Benefit.

In general, Child Benefit is paid in the EU country where you are employed regardless of where your family lives.

Note:
Apply for a European Health Insurance Card if you are intending to travel on a temporary stay to another EU member state, EEA member state or Switzerland. The Card, which replaced the old form E111, means that you can get necessary health care in the public system of any of the countries if you become ill or injured while on temporary stay there.

If you already have either a medical card or a Drugs Payment Scheme card you can apply for the European Health Insurance Card on-line at www.ehic.ie . If not, you can apply directly at your local Health Service Executive office. More information is available on www.ehic.ie or from your local Health Service Executive office.

Working in another country covered by EC Regulations

In general, if you take up work in another country covered by EC Regulations, you will no longer be covered by the Irish PRSI system. The social security laws of that country will apply to you instead.

If you are covered by social insurance and later apply for a sickness or an unemployment payment in the other country, you may be asked for details of your Irish PRSI record. This allows the social security authority in the other country to consider any periods of insurance you had in Ireland when deciding your entitlement.

For sickness benefit, your Irish PRSI record is on form E104. For
unemployment payments (similar to Jobseeker�s Benefit), it is on form E301.

You will need to provide the following information and documents to the authorities in the country where you are making your claim:

  • full name,
  • PPS No.,
  • Irish address,
  • forwarding address,
  • your P45 form(s) for work in the current tax year, and
  • your P60 for the last tax year.

The authority needing the forms can request them by writing to the
following address:

EU Records Section
Department of Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Ardarvan
Buncrana
Co. Donegal
IRELAND

LoCall: 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)

Telephone: +353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

Returning from another country covered by EC Regulations

When you are returning from one of these countries, you should apply to the appropriate agency in that country for your E301 and E104 forms. These will show a record of your contributions while abroad and will help speed up the payment of benefits under EC Regulations.

Transfer of jobseeker's payments abroad

If you have been getting Jobseeker's Benefit in Ireland for at least 4 weeks and wish to go to a country covered by EC Regulations to look for work, you can receive this payment abroad for up to 78 days. To obtain this you must inform the office where you 'sign-on' at least 4 weeks before you leave so that the necessary arrangements may be made in time.

In the other country you must 'sign-on' within 7 days of the date you last signed on in your local Social Welfare Office. For more information on transferring your Jobseeker's Benefit, contact EU Records Section at the address above.

Posted Workers

Workers sent by their employer to work overseas on a temporary basis are referred to as posted workers. The general rules applying to such workers are as follows:

Workers Posted to a country covered by EU Regulations or Bilateral Social Security Agreement

If you are sent by your employer in Ireland to work temporarily (normally up to 12 months) in a country covered by EU Regulations or Bilateral Social Security Agreement, you may remain subject to Irish PRSI while you are temporarily working overseas. In such cases, you must obtain an E101, or equivalent retention certificate. These certificates can be obtained from:

Special Collection Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Cork Road
Waterford
Telephone: Waterford (051) 356 000
                 Dublin (01) 704


Workers posted to a country not covered by EU Regulations or a Bilateral Social Security Agreement

If you are sent by your employer to work temporarily in a country not covered by EU Regulations, or in one that does not have a Bilateral Social Security Agreement with Ireland (see above for details), you remain subject to Irish PRSI for a period not normally exceeding 12 months. A certificate of retention must be obtained prior to taking up employment overseas.

Workers from abroad posted temporarily in Ireland

A worker who usually lives in a country not covered by EU Regulations, or one that does not have a Bilateral Social Security Agreement with Ireland, who is sent to work temporarily in Ireland by an employer not ordinarily registered in Ireland, may be deemed exempt from Irish PRSI for up to 12 months. PRSI exemption certificates must be obtained in all such cases. Futher details and relevant forms on posted workers can be obtained from:

Special Collection Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Cork Road
Waterford

Telephone: Waterford (051) 356 000
                 Dublin (01) 704

Email: e101spc@welfare.ie

3.2 Bilateral Social Security Agreements with other countries

Ireland has special social security agreements with the following:

� Canada (see information leaflet SW 84)
� Australia (see information leaflet SW 87)
� the United States of America (see information leaflet SW 91)
� New Zealand (see information leaflet SW 95)
� Qu�bec (see information leaflet SW 96)
� the United Kingdom, including the Channel Islands and the Isle of
Man which are included since October 2007.

These agreements protect the pension entitlements of Irish people
who go to work in these countries and they protect workers from those countries who work in Ireland.

They allow workers to combine periods of Irish social insurance and,
where provided for, periods of residence or contributions in the second country when applying for a pension.

They also include arrangements for posted workers on short work
assignments by deciding which country�s social security legislation will apply.

Payments covered

The Agreements cover the following Irish payments:

  • State Pension (Contributory),

  • State Pension (Transition),

  • Invalidity Pension,

  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension,

  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory), and

  • Bereavement Grant.

A person may qualify for a payment from both Ireland and one or all of these countries at the same time.

For details of the payments from countries covered by Bilateral Social Security Agreements, see individual information leaflets listed above.

Extra benefits

If you receive an Irish or social security pension from any of these countries and you live in Ireland, you may qualify for the following extra benefits under the Irish social security system, if you meet certain conditions.

The extra benefits are:

  • Fuel Allowance
  • Free Travel
  • Household Benefits Package (electricity, natural gas, bottled gas refill allowance, free television licence and telephone allowance).

These extra benefits are outlined in Section 10.

You can get more information about these agreements from:

EU Records Section
Department of Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Ardarvan
Buncrana
Co. Donegal
IRELAND

LoCall: 1890 690 690 (from the Republic of Ireland only)

Telephone: +353 1 4715898 (from Northern Ireland or overseas)

Last modified:16/05/2011
 

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