Invalidity Pension

Introduction

Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI).

Subject to your medical condition, you may qualify for Invalidity Pension if you are or have been in receipt of Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance.

Invalidity Pension is based on a claimant’s social insurance contributions and the personal rate of payment is not means tested. Invalidity Pension is taxable. If awarded Invalidity Pension you are entitled to a Free Travel Pass. You may also get extra Social Welfare benefits, for example, the Household Benefits Package.

Since 1st December 2017, self-employed people who have paid sufficient class S PRSI contributions are eligible to apply for Invalidity Pension.


Qualifying for Invalidity Pension

To qualify for award of Invalidity Pension a claimant must satisfy both PRSI contributions and medical conditions as follows:

PRSI Contributions Condition

To get Invalidity Pension you must have at least:

  • 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance, and
  • 48 contributions paid (Class A, E, H or S) or credited in the last OR second last complete contribution year before the date of your claim

Medical criteria

In order to qualify for the payment you may be required to undergo a medical assessment by a doctor employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. A DEASP Deciding Officer will take all medical evidence into consideration when deciding if you qualify for the payment.

To qualify you must:

  • Have been incapable of work for at least 12 months and be likely to be incapable of work for at least another 12 months (you will probably have been getting Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance during that time), or
  • Be permanently incapable of work (in certain cases of very serious illness or disability, you can transfer directly from another Social Welfare payment or from your job to Invalidity Pension).

A Deciding Officer takes all medical evidence into consideration and determines eligibility.

 
Rates of Payment 
Personal Allowance€208.50
Qualified Adult €148.90
Each Qualified Child

€36.00 (under 12)

€40.00 (12 and over)

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Duration of payment

Invalidity Pension can be paid up to the age of 66 at which time there is an automatic transfer to State Pension (Contributory). It is payable while you continue to be assessed as unfit for work and where you are unlikely to be able to work for the rest of your life because of your illness or disability.

 

Medical Assessment

During the course of your claim for Invalidity Pension, you may be asked to attend a medical assessment by a Medical Assessor. The opinion of the Medical Assessor following this assessment is submitted to a Deciding Officer for consideration regarding your continued entitlement to Invalidity Pension.

In any case where payment of Invalidity Pension is disallowed, you will be notified of the decision and advised of your right to review and/or appeal.

Returning to Employment

EmployAbility Services

The Nationwide EmployAbility Service provides an employment support service for people with a health condition, injury, illness or disability.

The supports offered are:

  • Individual Needs Assessment
  • Job Sourcing
  • Vocational Profiling and Career Planning
  • Follow-up Support and Mentoring
  • On-the-job Support and Coaching

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Community Employment

Participants on Community Employment (CE) schemes cannot claim another Social Welfare payment at the same time.

Back to Work Enterprise Allowance

If you wish to pursue self-employment as a full-time option you can apply for the Back to Work Enterprise Allowance through the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection if you have been in receipt of Invalidity Pension for 9 months or more.

Back to Education Allowance

If you have been claiming Invalidity Pension you may be able to apply for the Back to Education Allowance.

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Additional Information

Training Courses (not CE)

Persons on Invalidity Pension are only allowed to participate on Training Courses with the permission and approval of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. This ‘exemption’ must be received before you can start the training course. Participants will not receive the standard training bonus of €20 per week.

Secondary Benefits

Entitlement to retain part or all of your secondary benefits may be affected by the amount and source of the additional income. Please contact the INOU for more information on (01) 856 0088.

Spouse/Civil Partner/Cohabitant Working

If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant works, is engaged in self-employment or has an income from a course of training or education, their income could affect the Qualified Adult payment you receive for them on your Invalidity Pension payment. Please contact the INOU for more information.

SWA Payments

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection may have the discretion to allow a person to access certain SWA payments, if a case can be made to show that an unforeseen and exceptional need exists. This includes the Exceptional Needs Payments and Urgent Needs Payments. Persons on Invalidity Pension can apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance.

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Contact Us

Telephone

You can speak, in complete confidence, to an Information Officer in the Information and Advocacy section directly at 01 - 856 0088 , Monday - Thursday 9.30 am to 5.00 pm and Friday 9.30am to 4.00pm.

Online

Use the online Contact Us form on the INOU website

E-mail

You can send your query directly to us by e-mail at welfare@inou.ie