May 25, 2023
Invalidity Pension is a social insurance payment for ill or disabled people who are unable to work in Ireland. Find out how to qualify, the payment rate, and more.
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Invalidity Pension is an Irish social insurance payment made to people who cannot work due to a long-term illness or disability.
If you are planning to apply for Invalidity Pension, you must be thinking:
Who can qualify for Invalidity Pension?
How and when should I apply?
What is the rate of payment?
Read on to get answers to these questions and more about Invalidity Pension.
Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment made to people covered by social insurance (PRSI) who cannot work due to prolonged sickness or disability.
When you receive Invalidity Pension, you are also eligible for other social welfare benefits, such as:
Free travel in Ireland: The Free Travel Scheme allows you to travel on public transportation and certain private bus and ferry services for free. Anyone aged 66 and over who lives permanently in Ireland is also eligible to avail of the travel pass under the Free Travel Scheme. Individuals with disabilities and caregivers under 66 years of age may also qualify for Free Travel.
Household Benefits package: The Household Benefits Package (HBP) helps people manage their expenses, such as paying for their electricity or gas bill and television license. One person per household can avail of the HBP.
Living Alone Increase: Supplementary increase for people receiving social welfare payments and living alone.
Fuel Allowance: An allowance paid to low-income households unable to meet their heating needs.
Telephone Support Allowance: Supplementary allowance for people receiving the Living Alone Increase and Fuel allowance and getting certain social welfare payments.
Increase for Living on a Specified Island: If you are getting a social welfare payment and reside on a specified island off the coast of Ireland, you can get an increase in your payments.
You can receive Invalidity Pension up to age 66, at which point you are automatically transferred to the full rate of the State Pension (Contributory).
Let’s examine the qualifying conditions you must fulfil to get Invalidity Pension.
To qualify for Invalidity Pension, you must meet certain medical and social insurance (PRSI) conditions.
To avail of Invalidity Pension:
You MUST be unfit or unable to work because of an illness or disability AND
You MUST have been incapable of working for at least 12 months and SHOULD also be incapable of working for at least another 12 months OR
You MUST be permanently unfit and incapable of working due to a severe illness or disability.
A Deciding Officer from the DSP (Department of Social Protection) MUST determine that you meet the medical criteria to qualify for Invalidity Pension.
Only the following PRSI classes can apply for Invalidity Pension:
Class A: People employed in commercial, industrial, or service employment.
Class E: Minister of Religion employed by the Church of Ireland representative body.
Class H: Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) and enlisted personnel from Defence forces.
Class S: Self-employed people.
To qualify for Invalidity Pension, you must meet both of the following conditions for PRSI contributions:
At least 260 PRSI contributions paid (which would amount to five years of contributions).
48 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the last or second last contribution year before your permanent incapacity for work.
The DSP will then decide the relevant start date for your Invalidity Pension.
The relevant date is set based on the commencement date of permanent incapacity for work. Usually, it’s set one year after an individual's illness/disability has prevented them from working. For those with a permanent incapacity to work that will last their whole lives, the relevant date is often set at less than a year after they become disabled.
You might be wondering…
Can I work while receiving Invalidity Pension?
People in receipt of Invalidity Pension cannot do paid work.
If you want to return to employment or self-employment, you must transfer from Invalidity Pension to Partial Capacity Benefit.
You can qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit only if the limitation on your capacity for work is moderate, severe, or profound.
However, to continue receiving your Invalidity Pension payment while attending education or training courses, you should contact the Invalidity Pension section and obtain written permission.
To receive Invalidity Pension, you must meet the medical conditions and social insurance contributions and apply on time.
But when is the right time to apply for Invalidity Pension?
Let’s find out.
You can apply any time after completing one year of incapacity for work — there is no specific date of application.
You can also apply before the completion of your one-year period only if a medical professional has prescribed it and you fulfil the appropriate medical criteria and PRSI conditions we discussed above.
Let’s see how much you are entitled to receive in Invalidity Pension payments.
Invalidity Pension is paid at a maximum personal rate of €225.50 per week.
You may get an increase on your Invalidity Pension rate if you have any adult or child dependants.
For qualified adult dependants, you get a maximum increase of €161.10 on your Invalidity Pension payment, but the rate of invalidity pension will depend upon their income.
You can obtain an increase on Invalidity Pension for adult dependants if:
Your adult dependant earns less than €100/week. In this case, you will receive the full-rate increase. OR
Your adult dependant makes between €100 and €310 per week. In this case, you will get a half-rate increase.
You will not be eligible for an adult-dependant increase if the dependant's weekly income is more than €310.
If you have a child dependant(s), you will get an increase based on your child’s age.
If your child is under 12 years of age, you get an increase of:
€42 (full rate)
If your child’s age is 12 years or above, you get an increase of:
€50 (full rate)
You won’t get an increase in your payment for child dependants if your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant has weekly earnings of more than €400.
But you may get a half-rate increase for a child dependant if your spouse, civil partner, or cohabitant earns between €310 and €400 a week.
Invalidity Pension is taxable — it may be taxed fully or at a specific amount based on your circumstances.
The Department of Social Protection does not deduct taxes before making the Invalidity Pension payment.
But to ensure the correct tax amount is paid, they will inform the Revenue about the taxable amount to be taken from Invalidity Pension for income tax purposes.
So you won’t have to do anything to pay the correct tax amount.
Let’s now check when you can expect to receive your Invalidity Pension payment.
Invalidity Pension has no specified payment date. You can receive it on any day from Monday to Saturday.
The Invalidity Pension payment is made until the claimant:
Resumes their employment/ self-employment
Chooses to transfer to another social welfare payment
Qualifies for another pension that pays a higher rate
Is disqualified from receiving Invalidity Pension
Is transferred to State Pension (Contributory) at 66 years
Once the claimant resumes work, they must submit medical evidence, i.e., final medical certificates showing they are well enough to continue employment, after which the Invalidity Pension payment is discontinued.
Ready to apply for Invalidity Pension?
Let’s see how you can do that.
To apply for Invalidity Pension, you must fill out the Invalidity Pension form (INV1 Form).
The form is available online at gov.ie, but you can also get it from your Intreo Center or the Social Welfare Branch Office.
Here are some details you will need to fill out in your INV1 form:
PPS (Personal Public Service) number
Work and claim details
Details of your qualified child/children
Spouse, civil partner, and cohabitant details (including work and claim details)
Other payment details
Have you received Illness Benefit for 468 days?
You may be able to transfer from Illness Benefit to Invalidity Pension.
You will have to complete the medical assessment conducted by the DSP. This will help them determine if you continue to qualify for Illness Benefit and meet the Invalidity Pension requirements.
If you meet the qualifying conditions for Invalidity Pension in your medical assessment, you will receive a new Invalidity Pension form (INV2) to apply for Invalidity Pension.
Suppose the Deciding Officer rejects your Invalidity Pension application, and you are unsatisfied with the result. In that case, you can appeal the decision to an appeals officer at the Social Welfare Appeals Office (SWAO) within 21 days of getting the decision on your claim.
Once you have completed your INV1 or INV2 application form, submit your Invalidity Pension application to the following address:
Invalidity Pension Section
Social Welfare Services Office
You can also contact the department for support at:
Tel: (043) 334 0000 or 0818 927 770
Email: [email protected]
Did you know that the Government of Ireland provides employability services to help people on Invalidity Pension easily find work opportunities post-recovery?
Let’s have a look at some of them.
The Nationwide EmployAbility Service provides employment support to people with disabilities, health conditions, and injuries.
Some of the employment support services they offer are:
Individual needs assessment
Career planning and vocational profiling
Support and mentoring follow-up
Coaching and on-job support
They also provide some other schemes, which include:
The Community Employment scheme assists long-term unemployed (or otherwise disadvantaged) people in returning to work.
It provides regular part-time employment and temporary placements in jobs based in local communities.
People who avail of the community employment scheme cannot simultaneously claim other social welfare payments.
The Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) scheme encourages people receiving social welfare payments to become self-employed.
People participating in the BTWEA scheme can keep a percentage of their social welfare payments for two years — 100% for the first year and 75% for the second year.
Disabled individuals who want to pursue self-employment full-time and have received Invalidity Pension for at least nine months can apply through the Department of Social Protection.
A person receiving Invalidity Pension can apply for Back to Education Allowance (BETA), which allows them to choose between second-level and third-level education options.
People who receive a Back to Education Allowance are not permitted to work full-time and are ineligible for the Community Employment and Social Economy Program.
Want to avail of Invalidity Pension, but you reside outside Ireland?
Here’s how you can do that.
Invalidity Pension is an exportable benefit; even if you move out of Ireland, you can continue to receive the Invalidity Pension payments in other countries.
You must notify the Department of Social Protection that you plan to move from Ireland.
The Ireland-United Kingdom Social Security Convention ensures that citizens of either jurisdiction who work (or have worked) in the other jurisdiction can benefit from national or social insurance contributions.
A frontier worker living and working in the Republic of Ireland can avail of Invalidity Pension provided they meet the medical and social insurance criteria.
Alongside Invalidity Pension, you can also obtain other social welfare payments.
Let’s have a look at some of them.
Some social welfare benefits available for sick and disabled people in Ireland are:
Supplementary Welfare Allowance: Have no income source and are waiting for your Invalidity Pension claim to be processed? You can apply for SWA. It’s a weekly payment made to people who are unable to make ends meet. Once you start receiving your Invalidity Pension payment, the amount received through SWA will be deducted from it.
Injury Benefit: A payment made at a weekly rate to employees who have experienced an on-the-job accident or contracted a disease due to their type of work, causing them to be unfit and unable to work.
Blind Pension: A means-tested payment made to blind and visually impaired people living in Ireland.
Treatment Benefit Scheme: Run by the Department of Social Protection, the Treatment Benefit Scheme assists people in completing the required number of PRSI contribution conditions needed to pay for dental, optical, and aural services.
Disablement Benefit: If you suffer a loss of physical or mental faculties due to a workplace accident or have contracted a prescribed disease at work, you can apply for Disablement Benefit.
Disability Allowance: This is a weekly payment you can receive if you suffer from an injury, illness, or disability expected to last more than a year.
Occupational Injuries Scheme: If a worker becomes injured or incapacitated because of an accident at work or while travelling to and from work, they can apply for the Occupational Injuries Benefit scheme that provides various benefits to the sick and injured.
Medical Care Scheme: It’s a medical cost reimbursement for insured people injured while working or infected by a prescribed occupational disease.
Domiciliary Care Allowance: It’s a monthly payment made to a caregiver looking after a severely disabled child who lives at home.
Invalidity Pension is a social welfare payment made to people incapable or unfit for work due to long-term illness or disability.
While payments like Invalidity Pension can help the sick and disabled, as an employer, you may want to offer more comprehensive benefits to your employees.
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