Disability Payments

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What Social Protection payments might I be eligible for?

This will depend on your circumstances, whether you are working or unable to work and what your income and means are. It will also depend on a medical assessment of the impact your epilepsy has on your day to day life and whether this meets the criteria for a disability and prevents you from taking up employment. The main disability payments for adults, carers and children are covered below.

Disability Allowance

Paid by Department of Social Protection.

To Qualify: You may be entitled to this if you are aged 16 to 66 years and are suffering from a disability which results in you being  unable to undertake work which would otherwise be suitable for a person of your age, experience and qualifications. You must not be living in an institution. Recipients qualify for Free Travel Pass, other Benefits are conditional.

Domicillary Care Allowance

Paid by: Department of Social Protection - monthly

To Qualify:  Paid to parents of children with severe disabilities living at home

Conditions: This allowance is paid to parents of children with a severe disability who live at home. The HSE guidelines state that while no condition is debarred conditions which are considered treatable are not normally considered unless a very high level of care and attention is required. The child must be aged under 16 (at 16 the child may qualify for a disability allowance). The disability must be so severe that the child needs constant care and supervision, substantially more than a child of the same age. Only the child’s means are assessed. DCA is only payable if the child lives at home. Children on Domiciliary Care are now entitled to medical cards.

Carers Support Grant (formerly Respite Care Grant)

This grant is payable once a year to carers providing full time care to an eligible older person or an eligible person with a disability, irrespective of means but conditions apply (see below). The amount is €1700 per person being cared for. The grant is paid annually at the end of June. It is paid automatically for those on Domiciliary Care and to those on Carers payments. For other carers not in receipt of these payments you may apply in the month of June if you are a fulltime carer for an eligible child or adult with a disability. Form CSG 1 is available from your local social welfare office or from your local Citizens Information Centre or from www.welfare.ie or by phoning the LoCall Leaflet Request line 1890 20 23 25. Complete a separate form for each individual person if you are caring for more than one qualifying person. 

Return completed forms to: Carers Support Grant Section PO Box 10085, Dublin 2 Tel 01‐6732222

NB: you are not expected to be caring 24 hours, each case is assessed individually. The Department will apply the arrangements in a flexible manner considering the needs of yourself and the person being cared for. You must have been caring for the person for at least six months including the first Thursday in June to qualify. You must live with the person or have a direct system of communication between your home and theirs. You may take up education, training or work outside home for a specified limited number of hours weekly if the Department approves this.

NB: Full Time Care is defined as requiring continuous supervision and frequent help throughout the day with personal needs, walking and getting about, dressing, washing eating and drinking; or continuous supervision to avoid danger to themselves and full time care and needing attention for at least six months which must include the first Thursday in June.

Illness Benefit

Paid by: The Department of Social Protection

To Qualify: You must be under 66, be incapable of work due to illness and have 52 PRSI contributions.  It will not be paid for the first 6 days.

Invalidity Pension

Paid by: The Department of Social Protection

To Qualify: You may get this if you have been receiving Disability Benefit for at least twelve months or sending in certificates for credits for at least a year and will continue to be incapable of work for at least a further twelve months. It may be possible to go straight onto Invalidity Pension if the illness is of such a nature that you are unlikely to be able to work for the rest of your life. Conditions: You must have at least 260 contributions paid since entering insurance and at least 48 contributions paid or credited in the year before.

Carer's Allowance

Paid by the Department of Social Protection.

A carer providing full time care and attention to a qualifying person may qualify for payment. Conditions: The person must be incapacitated and require full time care and attention and must be likely to require it for at least 12 months. They must be in receipt of a qualifying payment such as Invalidity or blind pension, Disability Allowance, a similar social security payment from another EU Member State or from a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement, or full rate Domiciliary Care Allowance. Recipients of this payment may be eligible in their own right for Free Travel and the Household Benefits package. This is a means tested payment . 

Carers Benefit

Paid by Dept. of Social Protection

This is a short term payment for up to 2 years for those who give up employment to care for someone who requires full time care. You must have sufficient PRSI contributions. The conditions require recipients of Carers Benefit to be in employment for at least 8 weeks in the previous 26 weeks prior to commencement of full time caring. You may currently work up to 15 hours per week and still qualify for payment. There is a maximum income which you can earn from employment or self employment.  

Returning to Work

Partial Capacity Benefit

Partial Capacity Benefit is a social welfare scheme which allows a person who has a reduced capacity to work to return to the workplace while receiving a welfare payment. The Department of Social Protection and the person’s doctor need to approve the return to work. There is no restriction on the level of earnings or the number of hours worked.

To be eligible to apply the person must currently be on either Illness Benefit (minimum 6 months) or Invalidity Pension. A Department of Social Protection Medical Assessor will determine the persons capacity to work and a medical may be required. Applicants will only be eligible for payment if their assessed restriction on capacity is moderate, severe or profound. If assessed as mild they are not eligible and will have their Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension entitlement reviewed. The Department states that it’s assessors are trained in assessing episodic conditions. The rates of payment include a personal rate and qualified dependent rate. Amounts depend on assessed capacity of moderate, severe or profound and whether the person is on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension. The person is allowed retain a percentage of their welfare payment whilst returning to work. These percentages are : for moderate levels 50%, for severe levels 75% and for profound levels 100%. If the person was eligible for Free Schemes (ESB units, TV Licence) they can retain these subject to a means test after 2 years. Payment lasts as long as the underlying condition entitles the person to their Illness of Invalidity payment, subject to a review and possible medical re‐assessment. If the person ceases to work or cannot find work they can revert to being paid either their Illness Benefit or their Invalidity Pension.

Occcupational Injuries: Disablement Benefit

Paid by: The Department of Social Protection

To Qualify: You will receive this if you have a physical or mental disability as a result of an injury at work or an occupational disease and you are in insurable employment. Applicants must be assessed as having a disablement of 15% or more of a loss of physical or mental function to be eligible.

Incapacity supplement is an extra payment to Disablement Benefit where a person is permanently incapable of work but not entitled to another welfare payment. 

Constant Attendance Allowance  is payable if someone is so seriously disabled as to need someone to attend to their personal needs for at least 6 months. To be eligible the person must receive at least 50% Disablement Benefit.

Am I entitled to Free Travel?

Free Travel is available to people on specified benefits and allowances. The eligible payments for free travel include disability allowance, invalidity pension, state old age pension, carers and blind pension. If you are receiving one of these payments then you are eligible for free travel.