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Four Live >> Know your rights 

Illness Benefit and Invalidity Pension


Teresa Mc Court - Welfare Expert

Illness Benefit

PRSI Condition:

To get Illness Benefit you must have:

- At least 104 weeks PRSI paid since you first started work and

- Have 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the relevant tax year (a minimum of 13 weeks must be paid contributions*)

Or

- Have 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year(2 years prior to your claim) and 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.

*If you do not have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year, the following years can be used to meet this condition:

- The 2 tax years before the relevant tax year

- The last complete tax year, or the current tax year.

Rates:

No payment is made for the first three days of illness.

Illness Benefit rates are graduated according to your average weekly earnings in the relevant tax year. (which is 2 years prior to your claim, i.e. claim in 2012, the relevant tax year is 2010)

Weekly payment in 2012 for claims started in 2010 or after

1. Average weekly earnings in relevant tax year - €300 or more

Personal rate - €188

Qualified adult rate - €124.80

2. Average weekly earnings in relevant tax year - €220 - €299.99

Personal rate - €147.30

Qualified adult rate - €80.90

3. Average weekly earnings in relevant tax year - €150 - €219.99

Personal rate - €121.40

Qualified adult rate - €80.90

4. Average weekly earnings in relevant tax year - less than €150

Personal rate - €84.50

Qualified adult rate - €80.90

Taxation of illness benefit

Illness Benefit (excluding any increases for child dependants) is considered as income for tax purposes and it is taxed from the first day of payment.

How long is Illness Benefit paid?

If you have 260 or more PRSI contributions you can get Illness Benefit for a maximum of 2 years. People who were getting Illness Benefit before January 2009 can continue to receive benefit for as long as they are ill until they reach 66.
If you have between 104 and 259 weeks PRSI contributions paid, you may be entitled to Illness Benefit for up to 52 weeks.

Work and Illness Benefit

You may be able to do part time rehabilitative work (up to a maximum of 20 hours a week) and keep your Illness Benefit. You must get written approval from the Department of Social Protection.

Invalidity pension

PRSI: To get Invalidity Pension you must have at least:

- 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance

- 48 contributions paid or credited in the last complete tax year before the date of your claim

The last complete tax year is the year before your claim. For example, if you claim Invalidity Pension in 2012, the last complete tax year is 2011.

Medical criteria

A doctor employed by the Department of Social Protection decides whether you are medically unfit for work and qualify on medical grounds for Invalidity Pension.

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.

- Or be permanently unfit for work

Rates 2012:

Invalidity Pension

Aged under 65 - weekley rate € 193.50

Aged 65 - weekley rate € 230.30

Qualified adult under 66 - weekley rate €138.10

Qualified adult over 66 - weekley rate € 206.30

Qualified child - weekley rate € 29.80 (full-rate), €14.90 (half-rate)

Tax implications

Invalidity Pension is a taxable and should be reported to your tax office as soon as your payment starts.

Invalidity Pension and work

You may be allowed to do rehabilitative work (up to a maximum 20 hours per week) and keep your Invalidity Pension. You must get written approval from the Department of Social Protection.

Extra benefits with Invalidity pension

- Entitlement to free travel pass

- May be entitled to the Household benefits packageBottom of Form

Disability and illness

An overview of benefits available to people who are sick or have a disability

Illness Benefit

Information about Illness Benefit, a payment made to people under 66 who are unable to work because of illness.

Invalidity Pension

Invalidity Pension is a social insurance payment that may be paid to people in Ireland who are incapable of work and getting Illness Benefit for at least twelve months immediately before the date of their claim.

Disability Allowance

A weekly payment to people that have an injury, illness or disability which is expected to last more than a year.

Blind Pension

The Blind Pension is a means tested payment paid to blind and visually impaired people normally living in Ireland.

Treatment Benefit Scheme

The Treatment Benefit Scheme is a scheme run by the Department of Social Protection that provides dental, optical and aural services to people with the required number of PRSI contributions.

Occupational Injuries Benefit Scheme

The Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme provides a range of benefits for people injured or incapacitated by an accident at work or while travelling directly to or from work.

Injury Benefit

Injury Benefit is a weekly payment made to employees in Ireland who are unfit for work as a result of an accident at work or because they have contracted a disease due to the type of work they do. Find out more.

Disablement Benefit

Disablement benefit may be payable to you if as a result of an accident at work in Ireland or a prescribed disease contracted at work, you suffer a loss of physical or mental faculty.

Medical Care Scheme

An insured employee in Ireland that is injured at work or who contracts a prescribed occupational disease is entitled to social welfare benefits.

Domiciliary Care
A monthly payment made to the carer of a child with a severe disability who lives at home.