Invalidity Pension

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Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI). At 66, you transfer automatically to the State Pension (Contributory) at the full rate. Invalidity Pension is taxable. You are entitled to a Free Travel Pass. You may also get extra social welfare benefits, for example, the Household Benefits Package.

Since 1 December 2017, self-employed people who have paid sufficient class S PRSI contributions are entitled to Invalidity Pension.


Medical criteria

A qualifying condition for receipt of Invalidity Pension is that you must be regarded as being permanently incapable of work.

A person is regarded as being permanently incapable of work if immediately before the date of claim for the said pension:
(a)   he or she has been continuously incapable of work for a period of one year and it is shown to the satisfaction of a deciding officer or an appeals officer that the person is likely to continue to be incapable of work for at least a further year,
(b)   he or she is incapable of work and evidence is adduced to establish to the satisfaction of a deciding officer or an appeals officer that the incapacity for work is of such a nature that the likelihood is that the person will be incapable of work for life.

Contribution Criteria

The contribution conditions for Invalidity Pension are that before the relevant date* the claimant has:

  1. qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance,
  2. qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 48 contribution weeks in the last complete contribution year before that date in the last or second last complete contribution year before that date.

Only class A, E, H and S contributions count for Invalidity Pension.

Note that class S contributors do not qualify for credits.

You cannot use voluntary contributions to satisfy the PRSI conditions for Invalidity Pension.

On 1 December 2017, Invalidity Pension was extended to the self-employed. You can read detailed FAQs from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP).

*The relevant date is:

  1. any date after the completion of one year of continuous incapacity for work, or
  2. any lesser period that may be prescribed, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed

where the insured person has entered into a continuous period of incapacity for work and he or she is subsequently proved to be permanently incapable of work.


Contributions paid in other EU member states

If you were previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations or in a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement and you have paid at least one full rate PRSI contribution in Ireland, you may combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Invalidity Pension.


More information is available in our document about combining your social insurance contributions from abroad.


Invalidity Pension is a payment for insured people who are permanently incapable of work because of an illness or incapacity.


To qualify 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 (you may have been getting Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance during that time)


  • Be permanently incapable of work (in certain cases of very serious illness or disability, you can transfer directly from another social welfare payment or from your job to Invalidity Pension).

A Deciding Officer of the DEASP will examine your claim and determine your entitlement based on the qualifying conditions outlined above.

Invalidity Pension and work

Since 13 February 2012, Partial Capacity Benefit has replaced the previous exemption arrangements where people on Invalidity Pension could get permission to work part-time (known as an exemption) for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes and keep their full social welfare payment. There is no requirement that the work a person does while on Partial Capacity Benefit has to be for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes.

Training and employment schemes

If you are on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension and want to do a training course, you do not go onto Partial Capacity Benefit. You apply to the Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension section, as appropriate.

If you want to do a Community Employment scheme you apply in the normal way.



Rate of Invalidity Pension from 28 March 2019

Invalidity Pension Weekly rate, €
Aged under 66 208.50
Qualified adults* 148.90
Qualified child Under 12 years of age

34.00 (full-rate)

17.00 (half-rate)

​Qualified child 12 years and over

​37.00  (full-rate)

18.50 (half-rate)

Qualified adults who were over 66 before 2 January 2014 can continue to get a higher rate.

You may get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant and any child dependants you may have. You cannot claim an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) with your Invalidity Pension if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of over €400 a week. You get a half-rate IQC if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant earns between €310 and €400 a week. This only applies to claims made since 5 July 2012.

Tax implications

Depending on your circumstances, some or all of your invalidity pension payment may be liable to income tax.  The Department pays invalidity pension, without deducting tax.  The Department does, however, notify Revenue of the taxable amount of invalidity pension to be taken into account for income tax purposes.  This means you do not have to do anything for the correct tax to be paid.
Information about the taxation of social welfare payments is available from Revenue and on the Jobs and Pensions page of the Revenue website   [or click on ]

PRSI and USC are not charged on invalidity pension payments.

How to apply

To apply fill in an Invalidity Pension application form (INV1) (pdf). You can also get a form from your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting for your claim to be processed.

If you have been getting Illness Benefit for a period of 468 days, you will be medically assessed for continued entitlement to Illness Benefit and possible entitlement to Invalidity Pension. If, as a result of this assessment, it is considered that you may be entitled to Invalidity Pension, an application form (INV2) will be sent to you. When they get the completed form a Deciding Officer will examine the claim and determine eligibility for Invalidity Pension.

This does not stop you from applying for Invalidity Pension in the normal way using application form (INV1).

You can get help to fill in your form from your local Citizens Information Centre, Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.

If you think you have been wrongly refused Invalidity Pension or you are unhappy about a decision of a Deciding Officer, you can appeal this decision.


Where to apply

Invalidity Pension Section

Social Welfare Services Office
Government Buildings
Ballinalee Road

Tel: (043) 334 0000 (If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call +353 43 334 0000)

Locall: 1890 92 77 70 (Note: the rates charged for using 1890 (Lo-call) numbers may vary)

Last modified:27/06/2019

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