N�l an leathanach seo ar f�il as Gaeilge f�s


Print page

Section 7 - Illness, Disability and Caring

This Section explains the payments available for people
who are ill or incapacitated and their carer's.
It covers:

  • Illness Benefit,
  • Invalidity Pension,
  • Disability Allowance,
  • Blind Pension,
  • Carer�s Benefit,
  • Carer�s Allowance,
  • Respite Care Grant
  • Injury Benefit,
  • Disablement Benefit,
  • Medical Care, and
  • Death Benefit.a

Contents

7.1 Illness Benefit

7.2 Invalidity Pension

7.3 Disability Allowance

7.4 Blind Pension

7.5 Carer's Benefit

7.6 Carer's Allowance

7.7 Respite Care Grant

7.8 Injury Benefit

7.9 Disablement Benefit

7.10 Medical Care

7.11 Death Benefit

Return to Main Table of Contents


7.1 Illness Benefit

Illness Benefit is a payment for insured people who cannot work due to illness.

How do I qualify?

You may qualify if you:

  • are under age 66
  • are unable to work due to illness and
  • satisfy the PRSI contribution.
PRSI Contribution Conditions

You must have:

  • at least 52 paid PRSI contributions since you first started work
    and
  • 39 weeks paid or credited PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year (at least 13 of these must be paid contributions),
    or
  • 26 paid PRSI contributions in the relevant tax year and 26 paid PRSI contributions in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.

The relevant tax year is the second last complete tax year before the year in which you claim Illness Benefit.

If you do not have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year, you may use the following years instead:

  • the two tax years before the relevant tax year
  • the last complete tax year
    or
  • the current tax year.

If you are applying in:

The Relevant Tax Year is:

2008

2009

2006

2007

Note:

  • If you are getting long-term Jobseeker�s Allowance, Pre-Retirement Allowance, Invalidity Pension, Carer�s Allowance or Carer�s Benefit immediately before applying for Illness Benefit, you do not need to have 13 paid contributions provided you previously satisfied the conditions for Illness Benefit.
  • Only PRSI paid in Classes A, E, H and P can count towards Illness Benefit.
  • If you have worked in a country covered by EC Regulations, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, your social insurance record in that country can help you qualify See Section 3 for details).
  • If you have started work for the first time or have been in full-time education you may qualify for credits (See Section 2.8 for details).
  • From May 2007, if you were getting Illness Benefit for at least 2 years, but you return to work and discover within 26 weeks that you are not fit for work, you may return to Illness Benefit without having to satisfy any further conditions.
  • From April 2005, if you were getting Occupational Injury Benefit immediately before applying for Illness Benefit, you can use the current or previous relevant tax year to qualify for Illness Benefit .
Do I get Illness Benefit immediately?

You will not normally get Illness Benefit for the first 3 days, known as waiting days, of your claim. However, in some cases, these waiting days do not apply. No payments are made for Sundays. Contact Telephone Enquiry Section on (01) 679 7777 for more details.

How much can I get?

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself and may include increases for your qualified adult and any qualified child(ren).

Personal rate:You will get less Illness Benefit if your average weekly earnings are below a certain amount (currently �150 per week) in the relevant tax year.

You may get half the personal rate of Illness Benefit for a limited period, if you are getting:

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension
  • Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension, or
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance.

If you are getting a reduced rate of one of the above payments, you may get more than half the personal rate of Illness Benefit.

If you are getting a Blind Pension, you may get Illness Benefit if you are ill and incapable of work and you satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions.

If you are getting Carer�s Allowance, you can also get Illness Benefit if you are ill and incapable of work and satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions, but your Carer�s Allowance will be reduced for the duration of your Illness Benefit claim. This applies to claims made from 27th September 2007.

Note:Volunteer development workers who return to Ireland can get the full rate of payment, if they satisfy the qualifying conditions for payment.

If you are transferring from full rate long term Jobseekers Allowance and have a total of 260 PRSI contributions paid, you may get the full rate of Illness Benefit provided you satisfy the qualifying conditions.


Increase for qualified adult:
adult: If your spouse or partner has a gross average weekly income or earnings of a certain amount (currently �100) or less you will receive the full increase for them.

If their gross weekly income or earnings are between a certain amount (currently �100.01 and �300) you will get a reduced rate for them. You will not get an increase if their income or earnings are above a certain amount (currently �300).

Increase for any qualified children: You will get the full increase if your spouse�s or partner�s average weekly earnings are below a certain amount (currently �300). You will get half rate increase if your spouse�s or partner�s average weekly income or earnings are between a certain amount (currently �300.01 and �400). No qualified child increase is due if your spouse�s or partner�s average weekly income or earnings are more than a certain amount (currently �400).

The rates of Illness Benefit are set out in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19

Do I pay tax on Illness Benefit?

Illness Benefit (excluding any increase for qualified children) is considered as income for income tax purposes. The first 6 weeks of Illness Benefit in each tax year are not taxable.

Illness Benefit is paid directly to you without any deduction of income tax. The taxation of your payment is dealt with as follows:

If you are employed, your employer will take your Illness Benefit into account for PAYE purposes.

If you are unemployed or become unemployed, Revenue will take account of the amount of your Illness Benefit, where relevant, when they adjust your tax credits or review the tax affairs of your spouse.

Contact your local tax office for more information.

How do I get my payment?

You can get Illness Benefit paid into your account in a financial institution by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT). This account must be a current or deposit account (not a mortgage account). We can pay by cheque, which we can post to you or your employer.

You can also get your Illness Benefit paid into your employer�s account in a financial institution by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT).

How long does payment last?

If you have a total of 260 weeks (5 years) paid PRSI contributions, since starting work, you may get Illness Benefit for as long as you are unfit for work and are under age 66.

If you have between 52 and 259 paid PRSI contributions, you may qualify for Illness Benefit for up to 52 weeks. At the end of this period, 13 paid contributions are needed before you can re-qualify for payment of Illness Benefit (or a smaller number if it brings your total to 260).

If you have Class P contributions, you may get Illness Benefit for up to 52 weeks.

Extra benefits

If you are getting Illness Benefit, you may also qualify for:

  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance, if you live in certain areas where the sale of bituminous fuel is banned and you have been getting Illness Benefit for 13 weeks,
  • Assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
  • A medical card from the Health Service Executive.

These are explained in Sections 10 and 11.

When and how do I apply?

To apply for Illness Benefit you should:

  1. go to a doctor and get a first social welfare medical certificate, which includes an application form, (known as an MC 1). This form is only available from a Medical Practitioner e.g. a Doctor.,
  2. Complete this medical certificate and application form, giving details of adult and/or child(ren) you wish to claim an increase for. Include your spouse's or partner's PPS No. (same as RSI number),
  3. Make sure you sign the declaration on the application form,
    and
  4. Hand your certificate into your local Social Welfare Office or post it to the following Address:

Department of Social Protection
P.O. Box 1650
Dublin 1.

You should apply for Illness Benefit within 7 days of becoming ill. A delay of more than 7 days may cause you to lose payment. If there is a good reason for a delay in applying, your payment may be backdated. See information leaflet SW 101 for further details.

You must send in a medical certificate each week for as long as you are ill, unless you are told otherwise.

You must get a final medical certificate from your doctor before you go back to work.

If you last worked and paid social security contributions in a country covered by EC Regulations, that country is responsible for your payment. You should send your application to:

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)

If, however, you continued to pay Irish PRSI while abroad, this Department is responsible for your payment.

For more details on Illness Benefit see Information Booklet SW 119or contact:

Illness Benefit
Department of Social Protection
�ras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 679 7777


Note:
Your doctor should not charge you for a medical certificate if a medical examination has not taken place.

Note:
You must follow certain 'conditions' while claiming Illness Benefit (see information booklet
SW 119 for list of conditions).


7.2 Invalidity Pension

Invalidity Pension is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the contribution conditions.

How Do I Qualify

To qualify, you must satisfy both medical and social insurance conditions.

Medical Conditions

You must:

  • have been incapable of work for at least 12 months and be likely to be incapable of work for at least another 12 months,
    or
  • be permanently incapable of work (in certain cases of very serious incapacity, a person can transfer directly from another social welfare payment or from employment to Invalidity Pension),
    or
  • be over age 60 and have a serious illness or incapacity.
PRSI Contribution Conditions?

You must have:

  • A total of 260 paid PRSI contributions
    and
  • 48 paid or credited PRSI contributions in the last complete tax year before your claim.

Only PRSI paid at Classes A, E and H count towards Invalidity Pension.

You can also use social insurance contributions paid in countries covered by EC Regulations or social insurance or residence in countries with which Ireland has a Bilateral Social Security Agreement to help you qualify(See Section 3 for details).

How much can I get?

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself with extra amounts for a qualified adult and child dependants. Your personal rate is not affected by any other income, savings or occupational pension you may have. The current rate of payment is shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How do I get my payment?

You may get Invalidity Pension each week by Direct Payment into an account in a financial institution (not a mortgage account) or with a Social Services Card at a post office of your choice. This would allowa you to avail of the Household Budget facility.

How long does payment last?

You will continue to get Invalidity Pension as long as you are under 66 years of age and you are incapable of work. Payment will stop if you get any other pension/allowance from the Department (except
Disablement Pension or Half-rate Carer's Allowance).

You will automatically be transferred from Invalidity Pension to State Pension (Contributory) - (This was previously known as Old Age Contributory Pension) - when you reach 66 years of age.

Note
From September 2007 you may be entititled to Half Rate Carer�s Allowance in addition to an Invalidity Pension (See information booklet SW 41).

Going abroad

Invalidity Pension can be paid abroad by direct payment to a financial institution. If you intend going abroad to live please contact:

Invalidity Pension Claims Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: (043) 334 00 00 
(01) 704 3000 Ext. 48818 / 48745

You will get your payment in local currency into your account in a financial institution every 4 weeks (3 weeks in arrears and 1 week in advance).

Additional increases

With your Invalidity Pension, you may get the following additional weekly increases:

  • Increase for living alone (see Section 10.8 for details)
  • Increase which you get automatically at age 80
  • Increase which you get automatically if you live on certain islands off the coast of Ireland. (see Section 10.9 for details).
Extra benefits

If you qualify for Invalidity Pension and are living in the State, you are automatically entitled to a Free Travel pass. You may also qualify for:

  • the Household Benefits Package
  • assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
  • fuel Allowance, from late September to mid April subject to certain conditions, (see Section 10.4 for details), and
  • a medical card (from your regional office of the Health Service Executive).

These are explained in Sections 10 and 11

When and how do I apply?

If you are permanently incapable of work and you satisfy the qualifying medical and PRSI conditions, you may apply for an Invalidity Pension.

Application forms are available from your local Social Welfare Office, Post Office, Citizens Information Centre or use the SMS (Text) Messaging Service. Application forms may also be downloaded from our website at forms or from.

Invalidity Pension Claims Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00 
Dublin (01) 704 3314 Ext.48728 or 48914

Note:
You must follow certain conditions while claiming Invalidity Pension. (See information booklet
SW 44 ).

7.3 Disability Allowance

Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance for people with a disability aged between 16 and 66. Your disability must be expected to last for at least one year. You must pass a medical exam and a means test to get the allowance.

How do I Qualify?

You will qualify for Disability Allowance if you:

  • Have an injury, disease, illness or physical or mental disability that has continued or may be expected to continue for at least one year and causes you to be, 'substantially restricted� in doing work that would
    otherwise be suitable for a person of your age, experience and qualifications,
  • Are aged between 16 and 66
  • Satisfy a means test, and
  • Are habitually resident in the State

Note:
If someone is claiming Domiciliary Care Allowance for you, you will automatically be invited to claim Disability Allowance at age 16.

Means Test

A means test is a way of checking how much means you have to support yourself and what amount of payment, if any, you qualify for.

Your means include:

  • Cash income belonging to you or your spouse or partner
  • The value of any savings, investments, shares or land
  • Any property you have (other than your home), and
  • Maintenance payments if you are deserted or separated.
What does not count as means?

Items that do not count as means include:

  • your own home
  • a social welfare payment to another member of your household
  • money received from a recognised charity (except a public or local authority)
  • the maintenance element of a higher education grant paid for you, a qualified adult or a qualified child for certain courses
  • where your spouse/partner is engaged in insurable employment, �20 per day for each day worked up to a maximum of �60 per week and 40% of the balance of the weekly earnings,
  • the first �50,000 of capital assets, such as savings,
  • income up to �120.00 from rehabilitative employment (and 50% of income between �120.00 and �350.00),
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance paid for any qualified children,
  • Mobility Allowance from the Department of Health and Children, and
  • income from employment by the Health Service Executive as a home help.
How savings and investments are assessed

When working out your means from savings and investments, we add together these items and we use a special formula to work out your means.

Capital

Weekly means assessed

First �50,000

�50,000-�60,000

�60,000-�70,000

Over �70,000

Nil

�1.00 per �1,000

�2.00 per �1,000

�4.00 per �1,000

Medical Suitability

As well as having to satisfy a means test, you may need to attend a medical exam by a Medical Assessor. This is a registered doctor who works with the Department of Social Protection and will provide a report on your medical condition. A medical exam happens only when it is not possible to report on your medical condition from the medical certificates above.

How much can I Get?

Disability Allowance is made up of a personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for a qualified adult and qualified children, if any. Where you have means assessed against you, we may reduce the weekly rate. For more details on rates and increases for dependants see the Rates of Payment booklet See SW 19

How do I get my Payment?

You may get Disability Allowance by direct payment into into an account in a financial institution or with a Social Services card at a post office. This would allow you to avail of the Household Budgeting Facility.

How long does payment last?

You may get Disability Allowance as long as you satisfy the conditions, except if you are awarded another pension or allowance.

Additional increases

With your Disability Allowance, you may get the following additional weekly increases:

  • increase for living alone for which you must apply (see Section 10.8 for details),
  • increase which you get automatically if you live on certain islands off the coast of Ireland. (see Section 10.9 for details)
Extra benefits

You are entitled to free travel automatically when you get Disability Allowance. You may also qualify for:

  • A Free Travel Companion Pass, which allows you to have a companion aged 16 or over to join you when travelling,
  • The Household Benefits Package
  • Assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
  • Fuel Allowance, from late- September to mid- April subject to certain conditions, (see Section 10.4 for details), and
  • A medical card (from your regional office of the Health Service Executive).

These are explained in Sections 10 and 11

If you need full-time care and attention, the person looking after you may get Carer's Allowance or if they have left the workforce, Carer's Benefit.

Note:
If you are claiming disability allowance or being claimed for as a qualified adult on a disability allowance claim and you are providing full time care to another person, you can apply for Carer�s Allowance and retain your current disability allowance payment. If you satisfy the conditions for Carer�s Allowance, you will be entitled to Carer�s Allowance at 50% of the personal rate of Carer�s Allowance.

 

Employment and Educational Supports

A number of employment and educational supports exist to help you take part in training or rejoin the workforce. See Section 9 for details.

If you take part in vocational training, you will get a training allowance from F�S instead of your Disability Allowance. If you are unable to continue the training course your Disability Allowance will restart automatically.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete application form DA 1 which is available from your local Social Welfare Office or online at http://www.welfare.ie/, or from:

Disability Allowance Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00 
Dublin (01) 704 3948

Return the completed form to Disability Allowance section at the above address.

For further details see information booklet SW 29 or contact Disability Allowance section at the address above.

7.4 Blind Pension

 

Blind Pension is for blind people and certain people with low vision. To prove that you have low vision or are blind, you must be registered with the National Council for the Blind of Ireland. Otherwise, you must present an eyesight report from an ophthalmic surgeon or an optometrist that will satisfy the Department that you are blind or have low vision.

How do I qualify?

You will qualify, if you:

  • are aged 18 and under the age of 66
  • are blind or have low vision
  • are habitually resident in the State (please see information booklet SW 108)
  • have a valid Personal Public Service (PPS) number, and
  • satisfy a means test.
Means Test

A means test is a way of checking how much means you have to support yourself and what amount of payment, if any, you qualify for:

What Counted as Means

Your means are any income belonging to you or your spouse or partner. This includes property (except your family home) or an asset that can provide you with an income. If you are married or cohabiting , we divide
in two the joint means of you and your spouse or partner to give your individual means.

What does not count as means?

Some of the main items which do not count as means include:

  • your own home
  • the first �20,000 of savings (for a single person) or first �40,000 (for a couple)
  • a certain amount of earnings from rehabilitative employment
  • a social welfare payment your spouse or partner is getting in their own right
  • a certain amount of earnings for yourself, your spouse or partner and any qualified children, and
  • certain higher education maintenance grants.
How savings and Investments are Assessed

The actual income from investments and money in a savings account is not taken as your means. Instead we add together the investment items (listed below) and use a formula (see below) to work out your means:

  • cash value of investments and property (except your home)
  • money in a savings account and
  • cash-in-hand or in a current account.

Capital

Weekly means assessed

First �20,000

�20,000-�30,000

�30,000-�40,000

Over �40,000

Nil

�1.00 per �1,000

�2.00 per �1,000

�4.00 per �1,000

If you are married or cohabiting with another person as husband and wife, we will apply this formula to half your joint savings and investments.

NOTE:
What happens if I save part of my pension each week?
If you qualify for Blind Pension, the rate of pension you receive will be set at a level that should enable you to have an adequate standard of living. We would expect you to spend all or most of your pension each week in meeting your normal day to- day living expenses. However, if you choose to save part of your weekly payment, these savings will be means-tested in the same way as savings from any other source (e.g. from earnings, from an occupational pension or from an inheritance). Depending on the amount of savings you accumulate from all sources, this could result in a reduction in (or withdrawal of) your Blind Pension.

How much can I Get?

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself and if you are married or cohabiting, an increase for your spouse or partner as long as they are under age 66 and not getting a social welfare payment in their own right. This increase is known as an increase for a qualified adult (IQA). The amount of the IQA changes in line with your personal rate. You may also get extra increases for any qualified children. See Section Section 1.2 for details. The rates of Blind Pension are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19

Additional Increases

You may get additional weekly increases in your pension if you are:

  • living on one of a number of off-shore islands
  • living alone

You may also get Blind Welfare Allowance. Contact the Health Service Executive for details.

How do I get my Payment?

Blind Pension can be paid weekly by:

  • direct payment into your account in a financial institution or
  • using a Social Services card at a chosen post office,

If you are unable to collect the payment yourself at a post office, you may choose another person to collect it for you.

Note:
If you are under age 66 you may get one of the following payments in addition to Blind Pension provided you satisfy the conditions for these schemes: Illness Benefit, Jobseekers Benefit, Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit, Health and Safety Benefit, Injury Benefit, Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension, Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension or One-Parent Family Payment.

How long does payment last?

You may get Blind Pension up to age 66 as long as you satisfy the qualifying conditions. You should apply for the State Pension (Non- Contributory) three months before you reach age 66.

Extra Benefits

If you are getting Blind Pension you automatically qualify for Free Travel. You may also qualify for:

  • Fuel Allowance
  • The Household Benefits Package
  • Assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, and
  • A medical card from the Health Service Executive.

These are explained in Sections 10 and 11.

When and How do I Apply?

You should apply 3 months before your 18th birthday. If you qualify, you will be paid the pension from the date you reach age 18. If you become blind after reaching age 18, you should apply as soon as the condition arises. If you qualify, you may only get your payment from the date we get your application.

You can apply for the pension by calling telephone number 1890 500 500 and we will take your application details over the phone. Alternatively you can complete form BP1 and return it to:

Blind Pension Section
Social Welfare Services Office
College Road
Sligo

For further details see information booklet SW 76 or contact Blind Pension Section at the telephone number above.

Pension for your spouse or partner from age 66

If your pension includes an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) for your spouse or partner, they may be entitled to a pension in their own right from age 66. Note that once they start claiming a pension, the IQA with your pension will end. However, you will be better off as a couple if each of you get a pension in your own right.

7.5 Carer's Benefit

Carer�s Benefit is a payment for people who have made social insurance contributions and are planning to leave or have recently left the workforce to care for somebody who needs full-time care and attention.

How do I Qualify

You will qualify if you, the carer:

  • have been employed for at least 16 hours for eight weeks in the 26 week period immediately before claiming Carer�s Benefit. (periods on maternity and Disability may be disregarded for this condition)
  • satisfy the PRSI conditions,
  • give up employment* to care full time for somebody,
  • are living in the State,
  • are not living in a hospital, convalescent home or similar location,

and

caring for somebody who:

  • is so disabled as to need full-time care and attention (a medical certificate is needed**), or
  • does not normally live in a hospital, home or other institution.

*The employment must have been for at least 16 hours a week or 32 hours a fortnight.

**You do not need to supply a medical certificate if you are caring for a child for whom the Health Service Executive is paying Domiciliary Care Allowance.

Note:
If you share the care of a person with somebody else, only one of you can claim Carer's Benefit.

You can be in receipt of Carer�s Benefit for a child who receives Domiciliary Care Allowance without being the person receiving the allowance for the child.

What does full-time care and attention mean?

The person being cared for must be so disabled as to need:

  • continuous supervision and frequent help with their normal personal needs, such as walking and getting about, eating or drinking, washing and dressing,
    or
  • continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves.

The requirement to provide full-time care and attention will be assessed on an individual basis. It is not intended, nor is it desirable, that a carer would be expected to provide care on a 24 hour basis.

You the carer may be regarded as providing full time care and attention and still:

  • attend an educational or training course or take up voluntary or community work for up to 15 hours a week
  • engage in self-employment of up to 15 hours a week in your home, or
  • engage in employment approved by the Department, outside your home for up to 15 hours a week.

There is a limit on earnings from employment or self-employment (Please contact Carer's Benefit Section for details).

Living separately from the person receiving care

If you are not living with the person for whom you are caring:

  • you must be providing full-time care and attention
  • a direct system of communication, for example a telephone or alarm system, must exist between your home and that of the person receiving care, and
  • the person receiving the care must not already be receiving full-time care and attention within their own home from another person.

Note:
You can still get Carer's Benefit if the person receiving care attends a non-residential course of rehabilitation training or a non-residential day care centre approved by the Minister for Health and Children.

PRSI contribution conditions

The first time you apply you must have:

  • 156 paid PRSI contributions since you started insurable employment,
    and
  • 39 paid contributions in the relevant tax year
    or
  • 39 paid contributions in the 12 months before Carer's Benefit starts
    or
  • 26 paid contributions in the relevant tax year and 26 paid contributions in the tax year before that.

If you apply in:

The Relevant Tax Year is:

2008

2009

2006

2007

PRSI contribution Classes A, B, C, D, H and E count.

How much can I get?

Your payment is made up of a weekly personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for any qualified children. See Rates of Payment booklet SW19 for more details. If you are providing care to more than one person, you may qualify for an extra 50% of the personal rate.

If your spouse or partner is receiving a social welfare payment that includes an increase for you as a qualified adult, they can no longer get this increase.

How do I get my payment?

You can get Carer�s Benefit each week in advance by direct payment into your account in a financial institution.

Note:
You may get a Respite Care Payment on the first Thursday in June each year. Carers who are looking after two or more people may get a Respite Grant for each person.

How long does payment last?

You can get Carer�s Benefit for 2 years (104 weeks) for each person you care for. You may claim it in a single continuous period or in separate periods adding up to a total of 2 years (104 weeks). There is no minimum period for claiming Carer�s Benefit. If you claim for a period of less than six weeks you must wait six weeks before being eligible to re claim.

If you are caring for more than one person the payment may be taken for the two people together, or separately for each person (104 weeks for each person consecutively). It can also be divided into separate blocks adding up to a maximum of 104 weeks for each person being cared for. The rate for two people being cared for is 50% greater than for one person.

Carers benefit may be paid for up to a maximum of two people being cared for. If a carer is caring for more than two people they may be eligible to receive a Respite Care Grant in June for each additional person being cared for.

When and how do I apply?

You can apply for Carer's Benefit by completing application form CARB1. Application forms are available from your local Social Welfare Office, Post Office, Citizens Information Centre or use the SMS (Text) Messaging Service or from.

Carer's Benefit Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00 
Dublin (01) 704 3000

Apply for Carer's Benefit 10 weeks before you intend to leave employment to give us enough time to check if you qualify before leaving your employment.

For more information see booklet SW 49 or contact the Carer's Benefit Section at the above address.

Carer's Leave

By law, you may qualify for temporary unpaid leave from your employment to provide full-time care and attention to another person.

To check if you qualify for carer's leave, contact the:

National Employment Right Authority (NERA)
LoCall : 1890 80 80 90

You can get further information on Carer's Leave online at http://www.employmentrights.ie/, or by emailing info@employmentrights.ie

Note:
You will get credited contributions (credits) for the period you are getting Carer's Benefit or take carer's leave. This will make sure that your social insurance record is kept up to date
.

7.6 Carer's Allowance

Carer's Allowance is a means-tested payment for carers on low incomes who live with and look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention. If you provide care to more than one person you may get an extra 50% of the maximum rate of Carer's Allowance each week, depending on your weekly means.

How do I Qualify?

You will qualify if you the carer:

  • are aged 18 or over
  • satisfy a means test
  • are caring full-time for the person
  • are not self-employed or employed outside the home for more than 15 hours a week
  • are living in the State
  • are not living in a hospital, convalescent home or similar institution
    and
  • are caring for somebody who:
  • is so disabled as to need full-time care and attention (a medical certificate is needed)
  • does not normally live in a hospital, home or other institution,and
  • is aged 16 or over, or under age 16 if the Health Service Executive is paying a full rate Domiciliary Care Allowance for them.

Note:
Since 27th Sept 2007 you may have an entitlement to a half-rate Carer�s Allowance and certain other Social Welfare payments.

What does 'full-time care and attention' mean?

The person being cared for must be so disabled as to need:

  • full-time care and attention for at least 12 months:
    and
  • continuous supervision and frequent help throughout the day with their personal needs, such as walking and getting about, eating or drinking, washing and dressing,
    or
  • continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves.

The requirement to provide full-time care and attention will be assessed on an individual basis. We do not expect a carer to provide round the clock care.

Note:
The person being cared for may attend a non-residential course of rehabilitation training or a non-residential day care centre approved by the Minister for Health and Children.

You the Carer may:

  • attend an educational or training course or take up voluntary or community work for up to 15 hours a week
    or
  • work part-time as a home help for the Health Service Executive (HSE) for up to 15 hours a week. Income from this employment is not assessed as means
    or
  • engage in employment outside your home for up to 15 hours a week.

Income from employment or self-employment will be assessed as means (excluding income from home help).

Living separately from the person receiving care:

To qualify for Carer's Allowance, you should normally be living with the person receiving care. However, if you are not living with them, you may qualify if:

  • you can show that you are providing full-time care and attention
  • a direct system of communication, such as a telephone or alarm system, exists between your home and the caree's residence, and
  • the person receiving care is not already receiving full-time care and attention within their own home from another person.
Means Test

A means test is a way of checking how much means you have to support yourself and what amount of payment, if any, you qualify for.

What counts as means?

Your means are any income belonging to you or your spouse or partner. This includes property (except your family home) or an asset that can provide you with an income, such as an occupational pension.

How savings and investments are assessed

The actual income from investments and savings is not taken as your means. Instead we add together the following items, and a formula is used to work out your means:

  • cash value of investments and property (except your family home)
  • money in a savings account and
  • cash-in-hand

Capital

Weekly means assessed

First �20,000

�20,000-�30,000

�30,000-�40,000

*Over �40,000

Nil

�1.00 per �1,000

�2.00 per �1,000

�4.00 per �1,000

*If you are married or living with someone as husband and wife, we will assess you with half of the combined capital held by both of you.

What Does Not Count as Means?

The following items do not count as means:

  • your own home
  • Child Benefit
  • your own social welfare payment or Health Service Executive payment,
  • Your spouse's or partner's social welfare or Health Service Executive payment
  • Your spouse�s or partner�s social security payment from another country, equal to the personal rate of the Irish State Pension (Contributory). Any amount greater than this is counted as means.
  • PRSI, union dues and superannuation paid from your spouse's or partner's employment
  • income earned as a part-time home help with the Health Service Executive
Disregards
Married or cohabiting carer

We will not take into account, the first �665 of your combined weekly income* when assessing your means.

Single Carer

We will not take into not account the first �332.50 of your weekly income* when assessing your means.

*Earnings from employment, an occupational pension, savings or rental income.

Note:
The above disregards do not apply to any social security payment made to your spouse or partner from another country
.

How much can I get?

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself and extra amounts for your qualified children. The amount you get depends on your means. If you are providing care for more than one person, you may qualify for up to an extra 50% of the maximum personal rate. Since 27th Sept 2007, people who are in receipt of certain other Social Welfare payments and who are also providing full time care and attention to a person may be able to retain their main welfare payments and receive a half rate Carer�s Allowance (subject to means test).

If your spouse or partner is getting a social welfare payment and claiming an increase for you, a qualified adult, they may be able to keep this increase in respect of you while you receive a half-rate Carer�s Allowance (subject to a means test).

See Rates of Payment booklet SW 19for more information.

How do I get my payment?

You may get Carer�s Allowance each week by direct payment into an account in a financial institution (not a mortgage account), or using a Social Services Card at a post office of your choice.

How long does payment last?

You can get Carer's Allowance for as long as you are caring for the person and satisfy the qualifying conditions.

Extra benefits

All people getting a Carer's Allowance qualify for:

  • a Free Travel Pass
  • the Household Benefits Package,
  • an increase paid automatically if you live on one of a number of off-shore islands, and
  • an annual Respite Care Payment (�1,700 since June 2008 for each person being cared for).

Note:
Carer's Allowance does not count as family income for the purposes of Family Income Supplement.

When and how do I apply?

You can apply for a Carer's Allowance by filling in application form CR 1 available from your local Social Welfare Office, post office or at the address below.

Carers Allowance Section

Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road,
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00 
Dublin (01) 704 3000

For further details, see information booklet SW 41 or contact Carer's Allowance Section at the address above.

Note:
You may get credited contributions (credits) for the period of caring. However, if you are not due credits, you may qualify to have homemaking years taken into account for the State
Pension (Contributory). (see
Section 4.5 for more details).

7.7 The Respite Care Grant

The Respite Care Grant is an annual payment for full-time carers who look after certain people in need of full-time care and attention. The payment is made regardless of the carer's means but is subject to certain conditions.

One Respite Care Grant only is paid for each person in need of full-time care and attention.

You do not need to apply for Respite Care Grant if:

  • You, or anyone else, is getting Carer's Allowance, Carer's Benefit, Domiciliary Care Allowance or Prescribed Relative Allowance for caring for this person, or
  • If the person receiving care is getting Constant Attendance Allowance.

The Respite Care Grant is paid automatically to anyone getting any of these payments.

How do I Qualify?

You will qualify if you the carer:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • are ordinarily resident in the State
  • care for the person on a full-time basis
  • care for the person for at least six months - this period of care must include the first Thursday in June
  • live with the person you are looking after or can be contacted quickly by a direct system of communication (for example, a telephone or alarm) between your home and the home of the person you are caring for.

In addition the person you are caring for must:

  • be so incapacitated as to need full-time care and attention (medical certification is required)
  • not normally live in a hospital, convalescent home or other similar institution,
  • not receive full time care and attention within their own home from another person.

You will not qualify if you the carer are:

  • employed or self-employed outside the home for more than 15 hours a week ,or
  • getting or are entitled to Jobseeker�s Benefit or Jobseeker�s Allowance or signing for Jobseeker�s Credits, or
  • living in a hospital, convalescent home, or similar institution.
What does "full-time" care and attention mean?

The person being cared for must be so incapacitated as to need:

  • continuous supervision and frequent help throughout the day with their personal needs, such as walking and getting about, dressing, washing, eating and drinking, or
  • continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves, and
  • full-time care and attention for at least six months. This period of care must include the first Thursday in June.
How much can I get?

Since June 2006, the Respite Care Grant is �1,500 for each person you are caring for. It is paid once a year by cheque.

How Do I Apply?

You can apply for the Respite Care Grant by completing the application from RCG 1 and sending it to:

Respite Care Grant Section
PO Box 10085
Dublin 2.
Telephone: (01) 673 2222

*The qualifying date for the Respite Care Grant is the first Thursday in June.

For more details see information booklet SW113

Application forms are available from your local Social Welfare Office, Post Office, Citizens Information Centre or use the SMS (Text) Messaging Service. Application forms may also be downloaded from our website at forms.

7.8 Injury Benefit

Injury Benefit is one of the benefits available under the Occupational Injuries Scheme. It is a weekly payment for people unable to work due to an accident at work or a disease they have contracted due to the type of work they do.

An occupational disease is a disease you contract in the course of your work, for example, from contact with physical or chemical agents.

Diseases from an occupation are generally contracted over time but may occasionally develop from a once-off accident at work. See information leaflet SW 33 for a list of prescribed occupational diseases.

How do I qualify?

You will qualify if:

  • you are in insurable employment
  • you are unfit for work due to illness because of an accident at work or an occupational disease
    and
  • your illness lasts for at least 4 days (excluding Sundays).

Note:
An accident while on an unbroken journey to or from work is regarded as an accident at work.

In general, people who pay PRSI at Classes A, D, J and M are covered for Injury Benefit.

PRSI Class B (paid by civil servants recruited before 6 April 1995) does not give cover for Injury Benefit, but does give cover for other benefits available under the Occupational Injuries Scheme.

How much can I get?

Your payment is made up of a personal rate for yourself with extra amounts for your dependants.

The rates of Injury Benefit are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

You may get half the personal rate of Injury Benefit but not a qualified child increase if you are getting:

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Widow's or Widower's Contributory Pension
  • Widow's or Widower's Non-Contributory Pension
  • Deserted Wife's Benefit or Allowance, or
  • Prisoner's Wife's Allowance.

If you get a reduced amount of one of the above payments, you get more than half the personal rate of Injury Benefit.

Since September 2007 if you or an adult dependant are providing another person with full time care you may be entitled to half-rate Carer�s Allowance in addition to Injury Benefit. See Section 7.6 and information booklet SW41 for information.

Is Injury Benefit taxable?

You will get Injury Benefit directly without any deduction of income tax. However, Injury Benefit (excluding any increase for a qualified child) is considered as income for income tax purposes. The first six weeks of Injury Benefit are not reckonable for tax purposes.

Contact your local tax office for more information on this matter.

How do I get my payment?

You may get Injury Benefit each week by cheque or by direct payment into an account financial institution.

Where there is an employer Sick Pay Scheme, it can be paid directly to the employer.

How long does payment last?

Injury Benefit is normally paid from the 4th day of your illness or incapacity and you may get it for up to 26 weeks.

If you are still unable to work after 26 weeks, you may qualify for Illness Benefit if you satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions (see Section 7.1 for details). You may also qualify for Disablement Benefit if you suffer loss of a physical or mental faculty because of the accident or disease (see Section 7.9 for details of Disablement Benefit).

Alternatively, if you do not have enough PRSI contributions for Illness Benefit and if you are awarded Disablement Benefit, you may qualify for Incapacity Supplement.

Extra benefits

If you are getting Injury Benefit, you may also qualify for:

  • assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme
  • refunds under the Medical Care Scheme
  • Rent or Mortgage Interest Supplement
  • Disablement Benefit and
  • Death Benefits for your dependants and
  • Smokeless Fuel Allowance (If you live in certain areas where the sale of bituminous coal is banned and you have been getting Injury Benefit for 13 weeks. Please refer Section 10.5)
When and How do I apply?

You should apply for Injury Benefit within 21 days of becoming ill or else you may lose benefit. You should apply by sending in a completed First Social Welfare Medical Certificate, available from your doctor which includes an application form. You can hand your certificate into your local Social Welfare Office or post it to:

Department of Social Protection
PO Box 1650
Dublin 1.

You should send in further certificates every week for as long as you are ill.

Note:
All work accidents or diseases do not result immediately in illness or disablement. In such a case, to protect your future right to benefit, you should apply for a declaration (on form
DB/OB 1 ) to say that your accident or disease occurred at work. You can get the declaration form from

Injury Benefit Section

Department of Social Protection
Floor 5
�ras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 704 3018 or 704 3020

For further details, see information booklet SW 30.

7.9 Disablement Benefit

 

You may get Disablement Benefit if, as a result of an accident at work or a prescribed disease contracted at work, you suffer a loss of physical or mental ability. See information booklet SW 33.

How do I qualify?

You may qualify, if you are in employment and you pay PRSI at Class A, B*, D, J or M and loose physical or mental abilities because of:

  • an accident at work.
  • a commuter accident on a direct route between your home and your workplace or,
  • a prescribed disease contracted at work.

* Under the Occupational Injuries Scheme, civil servants (insured at PRSI Class B) may not get Disablement Benefit for the first 26 weeks after the date of the accident. They may get half the rate of Disablement Benefit after this period, with the other half coming from the department they work for.

How much can I get?

Your payment depends on the degree of your disablement, which a doctor assesses. If you have lost less than 20% of your physical or mental ability, Disablement Benefit will normally be a lump sum known as a Disablement Gratuity.

The amount of the lump sum will vary depending on the degree of disablement and how long you are expected to be disabled. You may get a Disablement Pension if a doctor verifies that you have lost 20% or more of your physical or mental ability.

The maximum rates of Disablement Benefit are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How do I get my payment?

If you qualify for Disablement Pension you will get it weekly or monthly by direct debit payment to your account in a financial institution or by cheque.

If you qualify for a lump sum, you will get it by direct debit payment to your account in a financial institution or by cheque.

When do I apply?

If you are unable to work after the accident or disease

First apply for Injury Benefit, which you may get for up to 26 weeks after the accident or the onset of the disease. Before your Injury Benefit payment finishes, you should apply for Disablement Benefit if the accident or disease causes you to lose physical or mental ability.

Disablement Benefit is normally paid after Injury Benefit finishes.

If you are able to work after the accident or disease

Apply for Disablement Benefit as soon as possible or at the latest within three months of the date of the accident or the onset of the disease. You will receive Disablement Benefit from the fourth day of your disablement.

IMPORTANT:
You should apply within three months of the date of your accident or the onset of the disease. If you do not apply in time you may lose some benefit.

How do I apply?

To apply fill in application form OB 21 and send it to:

Disablement Benefit Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00
Dublin (01) 704 3000

How to protect your future right to Disablement Benefit

All work accidents or occupational diseases may not result immediately in illness or disablement.

If you are not immediately ill or disabled but wish to protect your future right to Disablement Benefit, you should:

  • tell your employer about the accident or disease, and
  • apply for a declaration stating that your accident or disease was related to your work.

Do this as soon as possible.

You may get a declaration form DB/OB 1 from:

Injury Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Floor 5
�ras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street
Dublin 1.
Telephone: (01) 704 3018 or 704 3020

If your disablement occurs at a later stage, you should apply within three months of becoming aware of it.

Other payments

If you are getting Disablement Benefit and you are unfit for work, you may also qualify for:

  • Illness Benefit (see Section 7.1 for details)
  • Incapacity Supplement, if you are permanently incapable of work because of the accident or disease and do not qualify for Illness Benefit, or
  • Constant Attendance Allowance, you may get an increase to Disablement Pension if you need someone to help you daily at home to attend to your personal needs for at least six months.

These rates are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

For further details, see information booklet SW 31 or contact Disablement Benefit Section.

Incapacity Supplement was previously known as Unemployability Supplement.

7.10 Medical Care

If you are injured at work or contract an occupational disease, you can get a refund of the cost of certain expenses that are not already paid by the Health Service Executive or covered under the Treatment Benefit Scheme (see Section 10.1 for details of Treatment Benefit).

PRSI contributions at Classes A, B, D, J or M give cover for medical
expenses allowed under the scheme. In the case of PRSI Class B
contributions, only expenses incurred subsequent to 26 weeks after the accident or development of the disease can be covered.

What expenses may be Refunded?

You may apply for a refund for:

  • doctor's visits and prescriptions
  • certain medical or surgical appliances and their repair and replacement
  • certain dental and optical treatment
  • certain qualified nursing at home on the instruction of your doctor
  • certain treatment prescribed by your doctor, and
  • certain travelling expenses. This is usually limited to the cost of public transport.
How do I get my payment?

Medical Care is paid by cheque.

Normally you receive only one payment, but if the treatment is ongoing you may get payments in instalments. The payment is usually made to you but may be made to your doctor or the Health Service Executive, if necessary.

When and How do I Apply

The application form C1is available from the address below or you can fill in the Notice of Request included in information booklet SW34 and return it to that address. When we receive the Notice of Request, we will send you the application form. You should apply for Medical Care within 6 weeks of the start of medical treatment.

Occupational Injuries (Medical Care) Section
Social Welfare Services Office
Floor 5
�ras Mhic Dhiarmada
Store Street
Dublin 1
Telephone: (01) 704 3627

For further details see information leaflet SW 34 or contact Medical Care Section at the address above.

7.11 Death Benefit

If a person dies because of an accident at work or occupational disease, Death Benefit may be paid to their dependants. It may also be paid to dependants if at the time of their death, the person was getting Disablement Pension for loss of at least half of their physical or mental ability, regardless of the cause of death.

The above conditions apply to all payments under Death Benefit which includes:

  • Widow's or Widower's Pension
  • Guardian�s Payment,
  • Funeral Grant.
Widow's and Widower's Pension

You may be entitled to a Widow's or Widower's Pension for as long as you remain widowed (you do not remarry or live with someone as husband and wife).

This is not affected by any income you may have already and may be paid with a qualified child increase. See Section 1.2 for details about qualified children.

If you are aged 66 or over and living alone, you may get an additional weekly increase.

Guardian's Payment

Under Death Benefit, Guardian's Pension may be paid on the death of the parent or step-parent or other person who supported the child(ren). The orphan's guardian should apply for the pension.

Funeral Grant

Under Death Benefit, a grant is paid by Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) or by cheque towards the cost of the funeral expenses.

How much can I get?

The rates of Death Benefit are shown in the Rates of Payment booklet SW 19.

How do I get the payment?

You may receive Death Benefit by direct payment into an account in a financial institution or by using a Social Services Card at a post office of your choice.

Extra benefits

With Death Benefit, you may also get:

  • Fuel Allowance
  • assistance under the Supplementary Welfare Allowance Scheme, and
  • a medical card (from your local office of the Health Service Executive)

If you are aged 66 or over, you are entitled to Free Travel. You may also qualify for the Household Benefits Package.

These are explained in Sections 10 and 11.

When and how do I apply?

You should apply for any of the payments under the Death Benefits scheme within 3 months of the date of death, or you may lose some benefit. You can get application form OB 61  online at http://www.welfare.ie/. Application forms are available from your local Social Welfare Office, Post Office, Citizens Information Centre or use the SMS (Text) Messaging Service or from.


Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road
Longford
Telephone: Longford (043) 334 00 00
Dublin (01) 704 3000
More information

For further details, see information booklet SW 32 or contact Disablement Benefit Section at the address above.

Last modified:16/05/2011
 

 Foirmeacha Iarratais

 
 

 Íoslódáilí