Minister Doherty announces extension of Treatment Benefit services

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Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty T.D. today, announced details of the extension of the treatments available under the Department’s Treatment Benefit scheme.

The extended Optical and Dental services under the scheme will be available to qualified PRSI contributors, including employees and the self-employed, and their dependent spouses/partners with effect from Saturday, 28th October, 2017.  This is a further improvement to the Treatment Benefits scheme which was extended to the self-employed earlier this year.

The Optical scheme will now cover the provision of glasses, either free or subsidised if an upgraded design is chosen, or provide a contribution towards contact lenses. Repairs to glasses are also covered under the scheme. 

The Dental scheme will now include a contribution to cleanings, either an annual scale and polish or more extensive periodontal treatment if clinically required.  These treatments will be available in addition to the free annual dental examination also announced in March this year. The cleanings will require a co-payment from the patient if the cost of the treatment charged by the dentist is in excess of the fee payable by the Department. For the simpler scale and polish treatment this additional co-payment is capped at a maximum of €15.

Welcoming the extension to the Treatment Benefit services, Minister Doherty said:
"I am pleased to announce these improvements to the optical and dental treatment benefits. Currently over 2.5m qualified contributors, including 450,000 self-employed, may have an entitlement based on their PRSI contributions to claim Treatment Benefits, and this benefit is available to both themselves and their dependent spouse or partner. "

“Treatment benefits are an important support for those who contribute each week to the  Social Insurance Fund and our commitment to these extended benefits demonstrate a Government committed to supporting  people at work, be they employed or self-employed”

The cost of the scheme for the full year of 2018 is expected to be over €70 million.

Notes to Editors:

There is a two week advertising campaign currently underway using radio, print, social media and digital, informing workers of the extra services available to them and their dependants under PRSI.

Full details on the Treatment Benefits scheme and how to apply are available on the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection’s website at the following link:

Photos available from Shane O’Neill Photography -

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Contact Details
T: 01 704 3082
Twitter: @welfare_ie

Last modified:31/10/2017