May 4, 2023
To apply for Illness Benefit, submit the IB1 form and Certificate of incapacity for work. Learn more about the application process and get answers to some FAQs.
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Illness Benefit is an Irish social welfare payment you may receive if you can't work due to sickness.
To apply for Illness Benefit, submit:
The IB1 Form - Illness Benefit Form
The Certificate of Incapacity for Work (provided by a family doctor or general practitioner)
Keep reading for more information on Illness Benefit forms.
Here are the documents you need to apply for Illness Benefit:
To claim the Illness Benefit rate, complete the IB1 form and apply within six weeks of becoming ill.
In the Illness Benefit claim form, you must fill out:
Claim and employment details
Spouse, civil partner, cohabitant, or adult dependant details (including income details)
Injury Benefit (work-related)
Details of your dependant children/child
You can fill out and submit the Illness Benefit claim form online on mywelfare.ie or request a paper form from your doctor.
Alternatively, email [email protected] with “Application Request” in the subject line.
To support the claim, you must also submit a medical certificate from your doctor. Let’s discuss that next.
Note: Illness Benefit shouldn’t be confused with sick pay.
Sick pay is the amount paid by employers when an employee cannot make it to the workplace due to sickness. Whereas illness benefit is a weekly payment that you may get if you cannot work due to illness – provided you meet certain social insurance (PRSI) conditions.
You can get a ‘Certificate of Incapacity for Work’ from your doctor or general practitioner (GP), which confirms you’re incapable and unfit for work.
Your GP can provide you with a certificate for the duration of your illness, which they can complete online. If your GP can’t complete it online, you can get a physical certificate completed.
You do not have to pay any charges to get the ‘Certificate of Incapacity for Work,’ as the Department of Social Protection pays your GP an agreed amount. However, you may have to pay the doctor for the check-up.
Your doctor can send this certificate electronically, or you can request a paper copy to send along with your physical claim form.
Submit your Illness Benefit application form online on mywelfare.ie if you have a verified MyGovID account and a Public Service Card.
You can mail a physical application form.
Send the completed claim forms, along with the ‘Certificate of Incapacity for Work’, via Freepost to:
Social Welfare Services,
PO Box 1650,
Before sending the form, make sure you qualify for Illness Benefit. You must:
Be under 66 years old (pension age).
Have been certified unfit for work by a doctor or general practitioner.
Submit application within six weeks of illness.
Have sufficient social insurance contributions under the class A, E, H, or P.
You must continue to meet the following conditions to keep receiving Illness Benefit payments:
You CANNOT be engaged in any employment or self-employment roles.
You MUST NOT receive any holiday pay from your employer.
You MUST appear for any assessment you're asked to attend by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) and answer any relevant questions.
You CANNOT continue to claim Illness Benefit if you move to a country that falls outside EU regulations.
The Irish government, in its 'Budget 2024,' announced that those receiving the Illness Benefit at the maximum rate will get an increase of €12 per week from January 2024.
For more information, check out our in-depth guide on Illness Benefit in Ireland.
Here are the answers to some commonly asked Illness Benefit questions:
Self-employed people are NOT eligible to apply for Illness Benefit.
They were able to apply for Illness Benefit under the Enhanced Illness Benefit scheme available during Covid-19. It ended in September 2022.
So now, self-employed individuals should apply for other welfare benefits like the Invalidity Pension.
If you've received Illness Benefit for at least six months, you can apply for Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB), Disability Allowance, or Invalidity Pension. It allows you to return to work while still receiving a social welfare payment.
However, you CANNOT begin working until you've received written approval from the DSP.
If you don’t qualify for Illness Benefit, you may be eligible for Supplementary Welfare Allowance. It’s a weekly payment given to those who don’t earn enough to meet their basic needs and the needs of their dependents.
Here are some other social welfare payments you can get with Illness Benefit — provided you have enough PRSI contributions:
Half-rate Carer's Allowance
One-Parent Family Payment
Deserted Wife's Allowance/Benefit or Prisoner's Wife's Allowance
You can close your Illness Benefit claim when you are well enough to resume work.
Inform the Department of Social Protection over email or by phone:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 01 7043300, 0818 928400
To close your claim, your doctor should also mark your last ‘Certificate of Incapacity for Work’ as the final one. If you can't get it marked by your doctor, notify the DSP.
You can reach the DSP via the email address and phone numbers listed above or through post:
Illness Benefit - Close My Claim,
Illness Benefit Section,
Social Welfare Services,
PO Box 1650, Dublin 1
There are no set payment days for Illness Benefit — it can be paid anytime between Monday to Saturday, depending on the application date.
If you don’t withdraw your State Pension (Contributory) at age 66 and meet the conditions of the Illness Benefit scheme, you may receive/apply for Illness Benefit up until the age of 70. However, you’ll not receive credited contributions while on Illness Benefit after the age of 66, which may have an impact on your State Pension (Contributory) entitlements.
Employers are not obligated to pay their employees when they are on sick leave.
But if you're an employer who wants to support their employees' well-being – join Kota.
Kota lets you empower employees with scalable benefits like private health insurance in one intuitive app. Employees get the flexibility to choose their benefits, while employers can say goodbye to administrative overheads and broker fees!
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👋🏻 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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