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February 6, 2024

How To Apply For Illness Benefit in Ireland: 2024 Guide

Confused about the documents and processes to get Illness Benefit in Ireland? Check out this walkthrough guide to apply for Illness Benefit in 2024.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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Looking to apply for Ireland's Illness Benefit?  

It’s a lifesaver when you feel under the weather and can't work.

Whether you're navigating the initial application or addressing a declined claim, we're here to ensure a stress-free experience.

We’ll break down the Illness Benefit application process into easy steps to help you out.

Further Reading

How to Apply for Illness Benefit: Eligibility, Documents & Process

You must meet certain eligibility criteria to qualify for Illness Benefit in Ireland. 

For instance, you must be under Ireland’s pension age (66 as of January 2024) and meet specific PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance ) contribution conditions (typically under Class A for employed people). 

Explore our detailed Illness Benefit guide for a deeper dive into eligibility.

If you’re medically certified as unfit for work, apply for Illness Benefit — even if you don't qualify for payments. You may receive PRSI credits to maintain your social insurance record for future payments.

Documents You Need to Apply for Illness Benefit

Assuming you're eligible, let's gather your essential documents:

  • Personal Public Service (PPS) Number: This is your passport to the social welfare system, so keep it handy!

  • Medical certificates: After confirming your inability to work due to illness, your doctor will issue a 'Certificate of Incapacity for Work'. It typically covers the duration of your illness. Your GP will likely submit the certificate electronically to the Department of Social Protection (DSP), saving you paperwork hassle. If not, you must submit a paper copy of the certificate with your Illness Benefit application (details coming ahead).

  • Completed Illness Benefit application form (IB1): This is where you'll detail your personal information, employment status, and illness details. Find out How to Get the IB1 Claim Form.

  • Proof of employment and earnings (if applicable): If currently employed, your recent payslips will be sufficient.

Learn about Illness Benefit for Self-Employed Individuals

2 Ways to Apply for Illness Benefit in Ireland

Apply for Illness Benefit within 6 weeks of getting sick, or you may face delays and potential payment reductions. 

However, if you have a valid reason for applying late, the Department of Social Protection may backdate your payment.

Here’s how to apply:

1. Online Application

The most straightforward method of applying for Illness Benefit is the online application. You will need a verified MyGovID account.

  • Visit MyWelfare.ie and log in with your verified MyGovID account.

  • Enter your personal details, including your PPS Number.

  • Upload the 'Certificate of Incapacity for Work' from your GP. 

  • If employed, upload your recent payslips or employment verification.

  • Review your application for accuracy and submit it online.

  • You can track the status of your application directly on MyWelfare.ie.

2. Paper Application

Alternatively, fill out the IB1 form and send it by mail.

  • Get an IB1 form from your GP or request it by calling the Illness Benefit section at +353 1 704 3300 or emailing [email protected].

  • Fill in your details, including your PPS Number.

  • Attach the 'Certificate of Incapacity for Work' issued by your GP.

  • If applicable, include proof of employment and earnings.

  • Send the completed form and attachments to:

    • The Illness Benefit Section, 

      Social Welfare Services, 

      PO Box 1650, Dublin 1.

  • After mailing, you may contact the Illness Benefit section through the number above to confirm receipt of your application.

Eligibility & Application Process for Irish Citizens Living Outside of Ireland

The process for applying for Illness Benefit as an Irish citizen abroad depends on whether you reside in or outside the EU.

A. For Citizens in the EU

  • Irish citizens in EU countries can apply for Illness Benefit, provided they've paid PRSI in Ireland and meet other eligibility conditions.

  • They must submit the required documents to Irish authorities, including a medical certificate.

  • Eligible individuals can receive payments while residing in another EU country.

B. For Citizens Outside the EU

  • Ireland's agreements with some non-EU countries allow Illness Benefit claims under certain conditions.

  • Additional documentation or steps may be required based on the specific country's agreement.

  • Applicants must adhere to both Irish and local regulations for social security benefits.

Explore the updated Illness Benefit Rate for 2024 and discover When Illness Benefit Is Paid. 

If you're receiving Illness Benefit, you may be eligible for an additional amount for a Qualified Child or Adult (a spouse or partner), who is dependent on you. To receive an increase for a dependent, you must include their details on your initial claim form and attach supporting documents with the application. If you missed this step, contact the Department of Social Protection's relevant section directly.

What Should You Do If Your Illness Benefit Application Is Declined?

If your Illness Benefit application in Ireland is declined, don't give up immediately.

You may be able to address the issue through the following ways:

  • Contact the Department of Social Protection to determine why they declined your application.

  • If it's due to insufficient documentation, collect any additional evidence or detailed medical reports.

  • Get guidance from a Citizens Information Centre or social welfare officer.

  • You can appeal to the Social Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days of the decision. Be ready to present your case with all relevant evidence. 

  • The review process takes time, especially for complex cases. You may even consider legal advice for such cases.

In the meantime, check if you're eligible for other social welfare payments, like:

  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance: Immediate financial aid (paid weekly) for essential needs during temporary financial crises.

  • Disability Allowance: Long-term support for those with a disability affecting work capability for over a year.

  • Jobseeker Allowance: A weekly payment for the unemployed actively seeking employment, assessed by means.

3 FAQs on Illness Benefit Ireland

We’ll answer some commonly asked questions on Illness Benefit:

1. How is Illness Benefit Different from Statutory Sick Pay?

Unlike Illness Benefit, which is funded by the Department of Social Protection and based on your PRSI contributions, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is paid by employers.

Starting January 2024, an employee can take five days of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) per year — up from three days previously. 

Importantly, you can't claim Illness Benefit for days you receive SSP.

Here’s what this means for your entitlements:If you get sick for less than 5 days in 2024 and are eligible for Statutory Sick Pay, Illness Benefit is unnecessary. But if that illness persists over 5 days, you can get Illness Benefit starting on day 6.

Additionally, if you use up your 5 SSP days and fall ill again in the same year, Illness Benefit would kick in after the usual 3-day waiting period (there is no payment for the first 3 days of illness). 

2. What Is the Long-Term Illness Scheme in Ireland, and How Is it Different From Illness Benefit?

The Long-Term Illness Scheme in Ireland provides free medicines and medical appliances for specific long-term illnesses or disabilities

Unlike Illness Benefit, which offers financial support for short-term inability to work due to illness, the Long-Term Illness Scheme focuses on covering the costs of specific medical needs. 

It's also not based on social insurance contributions.

3. How is Partial Capacity Benefit Different from Illness Benefit?

Partial Capacity Benefit is designed for individuals returning to work with reduced capacity after an illness.

It bridges the gap between illness recovery and resuming full employment. It allows you to earn an income while still receiving support, bridging the gap between Illness Benefit and full-time employment.

Unlock Robust Health Plans for Your Staff Through Kota

Got that Illness Benefit application under control? Great!

But even with Ireland's Illness Benefit and other health-related programs, unexpected medical expenses can still leave a dent in your wallet.

That's where Kota can help. 

Kota is a digital employee benefits management platform that enables business owners and contractors to provide top-notch and compliant health insurance plans to their Irish teams.This way, employers can ensure comprehensive coverage for their staff beyond what social welfare provides.

With Kota's all-in-one app, you can:

  • Craft the perfect coverage plan and manage investments.

  • Eliminate brokers and extra fees, saving time and money.

  • Get a competitive edge by benchmarking your benefits against others in your area using our geo-location data.

So why wait? Get started with Kota to cover your team in minutes!


Aine Kavanagh

Article written by

Aine Kavanagh

👋🏻 Hi I'm Aine, Head of Customer Success at Kota. Whether you're a Kota customer, a Kota user, or you're just browsing, I hope to help educate and empower those who want to know more about owning their own benefits, and building financial autonomy 📚

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