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May 9, 2023

How Much Is Illness Benefit in Ireland?

Employees in Ireland are given an Illness Benefit payment when they are too sick to work. Find out how much Illness Benefit is and answers to related FAQs.

Aine Kavanagh

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Aine Kavanagh

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Illness Benefit is an Irish social welfare payment you receive when you experience an incapacity to work due to sickness. 

How much is this weekly payment? 

Let’s find out.

How Much Is Illness Benefit in Ireland?

Your amount of Illness Benefit depends on your average weekly earnings for the relevant tax year. 

The relevant tax year refers to the second-last complete tax year before the year you claim your entitlement. So, if you claim in 2024, the relevant tax year will be 2022. 

People earning more money receive higher Illness Benefit during their sick leave, while those with lower weekly earnings receive a lower rate of payment. 

The 2024 weekly Illness Benefit rates in Ireland are as follows:

  • If your average weekly earnings are below €150

    • Personal rate: €104.10

    • Increase for an adult dependant: €99.70

  • If your average weekly earnings are between €150 - €219.99

    • Personal rate: €149.60

    • Increase for an adult dependant: €99.70

  • If your average weekly earnings are between €220 - €299.9:

    • Personal rate: €181.70

    • Increase for an adult dependant: €99.70

  • If your average weekly earnings are €300 or higher:

    • Personal rate: €232

    • Increase for an adult dependant: €154

Your Illness Benefit application form should state your average weekly earnings for the current tax year. You must also submit a medical certificate (Certificate of incapacity) from your doctor or general practitioner.

Find out what Illness Benefit Form you must submit and When Illness Benefit is Paid

A. Conditions for Adult Dependants

An adult dependant, in most cases, is the civil partner, cohabitant, or spouse of the person claiming Illness Benefit. 

The exception: A person aged 16 or over who looks after the claimant's child and does not earn a weekly income of more than €100 may also qualify as an adult dependant of the claimant. 

Do you have an adult dependant?

You can mention details of your adult dependant on your Illness Benefit claim form (IB1 Form). 

You may then receive an increase to the weekly rate subject to these conditions:

  • The adult dependant can’t receive Illness Benefits simultaneously. 

  • The adult dependant must not be in a different country or prison. 

  • The adult must not have weekly earnings of more than €310.

  • If the adult dependant is your spouse or civil partner and you are separated, you will only qualify for an increase if you pay maintenance of over €138 per week. Your spouse or civil partner should not be cohabiting with someone else.

As mentioned earlier, the amount you receive for an adult dependant can vary based on your weekly income. 

Note: Illness Benefit shouldn’t be confused with Enhanced Illness Benefit or sick pay. 

Sick pay is the amount paid by employers when an employee cannot make it to the workplace due to sickness. As per Ireland’s Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) scheme, employees have a right to 5 days’ sick pay a year.

B. Conditions for Child Dependants

If you have a child dependant, you stand to receive an increase to your Illness Benefit rate of payment. 

In 2024, the increase rates for a child dependant are:

  • €46 for children under 12 years old 

  • €54 for children over 12. 

Once again, the increase depends on a few conditions:

  • The child dependant must reside in an Irish city like Dublin.

  • The child dependant must not be in the legal custody of someone else. 

  • The child dependant must live with you. 

  • The child dependant must not already receive social welfare payments in their own right. 

  • If your child is over 18, you will still receive an increase until three months after they leave second-level education. (You can still claim the increase if your child starts work immediately after leaving school.) 

You’ll only receive a half-rate increase for a child dependant if your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant has an income of between €310 and €400 a week.

3 FAQs About Illness Benefit Payments in Ireland 

Below are the answers to some questions about Illness Benefit in Ireland:

1. Is Illness Benefit Taxed in Ireland?

Illness Benefit is taxed in Ireland. 

Additionally, increases for qualified adults are also subject to tax. However, these payments aren’t subject to Universal Social Charge (USC) and PRSI (Pay Related Social Insurance).

Any increases received for child dependants will not be taxed. 

Illness Benefit will be paid in full without any direct tax deductions. Revenue will reduce your tax credits and rate band to account for the tax amount. 

What are tax credits and rate bands?

Tax credits are given to people who regularly pay income tax and can be used to reduce the amount of tax payable. A rate band refers to the percentage of tax charged on your income. 

2. Can Illness Benefit be Paired with Other Social Insurance Payments?

It’s possible to receive Illness Benefit at the same time as these other social welfare entitlements: 

  • Blind Pension 

  • Carer’s Benefit

  • Disability Allowance

  • Disability Benefit

  • Widow’s, Widower’s, or Surviving Civil Partner’s Pension

  • Domiciliary Care Allowance/Carer's Support Grant

  • Working Family Payment (WFP) and Back to Work Family Dividend (BTWFD)

  • Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance (BSCFA)

Have you been receiving Illness Benefit for at least 6 months? 

Then, you can apply for Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB). 

PCB is an Irish social welfare scheme which allows you to return to work or self-employment and continue getting a payment from the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

If you don’t qualify for Illness Benefit, you may be eligible for Supplementary Welfare Allowance. It’s a weekly payment for those who don’t have enough income to meet their basic needs and the needs of their dependents.

3. How Long Is Illness Benefit Paid For? 

The duration of Illness Benefit payments depends on your illness period and PRSI contributions.

  • You can receive Illness Benefit for a maximum of 2 years if you have at least 260 weeks of PRSI contributions since you started work. 

  • Illness Benefit will be paid for a maximum of 1 year if you have between 104 and 259 weeks of social insurance contributions since you began work. 

Before your Illness Benefit payments are due to end, the Department of Social Protection (DSP) will contact you to inform you of the end date. 

You may receive Invalidity Pension after your Illness Benefit ends if you are permanently incapable of work. 

Illness Benefit payments will end if you turn 66 during the payment period. Should this occur, you can claim the Irish State Pension (Contributory).  

There are no paid days for the first three days of illness. These are known as ‘waiting days.’ This is put in place to see if you can recover before requiring any day of payment.

Use Kota to Manage Employee Benefits With Ease 

Illness Benefit is among the many Irish employee benefits for those out of the office due to poor health. 

Other benefits, like health insurance for consultations, checkups, and surgeries, are also essential for employee welfare. 

Want to offer employee health insurance as an employer in Ireland?

Use Kota

Kota helps employers, self-employed people, and contractors manage health insurance and retirement benefits effortlessly. Once you have set up your contributions, employees can choose benefit packages based on their needs. 

Join Kota to enrol, manage, and scale your benefits — all in one platform! 

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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