New Partial Capacity Benefit Scheme Announced

15 Feb 2012

The Department of Social Protection has announced a new Partial Capacity Benefit Scheme for people with disabilities who are in receipt of an Invalidity Pension or who are in receipt of Illness Benefit for more than six months. This new scheme came into effect from 13th February 2012 and provides for a new Partial Capacity Benefit payment option.

The Partial Capacity Benefit scheme will provide an opportunity for people with disabilities to have their capacity for work assessed and to receive an ongoing income support payment based on this assessment.

Any increase being paid in respect of a qualified adult or qualified children will not be affected.

They can then avail of employment opportunities, with no restriction on employment income, while continuing to receive their income support payment from the Department of Social Protection.

Participation in the scheme will be voluntary and the scheme will address a limitation of the current welfare system by explicitly recognising and responding to the reality that some people with disabilities will have a capacity to engage in employment while continuing to need some income support from the State.

The objective of the scheme is to assist and encourage people with disabilities to return to the workplace without fear of loss of their disability related social welfare payments.

Together with the range of EmployAbility services provided by the Department of Social Protection this new scheme will provide a new impetus to people with disabilities, and potential employers, to focus on their abilities and capacity to work rather than being pigeonholed as 'incapacitated'. A new website contains further useful information..

Case Study - Partial Capacity Benefit

John, who is married with two children, had to leave his job as a painter and decorator having contracted MS. He qualified for Invalidity Pension and receives a weekly payment of €391.20 (comprising a personal rate of €193.50, a qualified adult increase of €138.10 and child dependent increases of €29.80 for his two children).

While John cannot work as a painter and decorator, he is able to do some light office work and has secured a job where he will work for five mornings a week, earning €200 per week. Under the Partial Capacity Scheme, John is assessed to have a moderate restriction on his work capacity and therefore continues to qualify for a weekly invalidity pension of €294.45 (comprising a reduced personal rate of €96.75, the qualified adult increase of €138.10 and child dependent increases of €29.80 for his two children). Gross household income therefore increases from €391.20 to €494.45.