edited.jpg

Illness Benefit

Illness Benefit may very likely apply to you if you are diagnosed with narcolepsy, at the very least for a period of time during and after the diagnostic period.

  • Illness Benefit may very likely apply to you if you are diagnosed with narcolepsy, at the very least for a period of time during and after the diagnostic period.

  • Illness Benefit may also apply to you if you are the parent of a child who has been diagnosed with narcolepsy. Clearly you must not make any unreasonable or dishonest claims, but equally you must not neglect the likely very real tremendous stress that this situation will cause you. You must let your doctor decide on the appropriate way for you to cope with this. If your doctor decides that you must take time off work for your own health’s sake then you should abide by that decision and inform your employer and put an illness benefit claim in motion.

  • You may get Illness Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) if you cannot work because you are sick or ill. You must be aged under 66, covered by the appropriate class of social insurance (PRSI) and satisfy the PRSI conditions.

  • Illness Benefit is paid for a maximum of 2 years subject to your satisfying various conditions.

  • How do you apply?

You can get an Illness Benefit claim form (IB1) and a social welfare medical certificate (MED1) from your family doctor (GP). You fill out the IB1 claim form and your doctor completes the MED1 medical certificate.

  • Payment rates
    Illness Benefit rates are graduated according to your average weekly earnings in the relevant tax year. Average weekly earnings are calculated by dividing the total reckonable gross earnings (without deductions) in the relevant* tax year by the actual number of weeks worked in that year.

    For example, if a person is claiming for sickness benefit in 2019 and their average weekly earnings for the weeks worked in 2017 was €300 or more, then they are entitled to a personal illness benefit of €198 per week and may also qualify for an increase in their payment for an adult dependant or child dependant under certain conditions. Lower rates are paid where average weekly earnings were less.

  • Illness benefit is treated as taxable income .

For comprehensive treatment on Illness Benefit see Citizens Information and /or DEASP.


 
 
 
  • You may get Illness Benefit from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) if you cannot work because you are sick or ill. You must be aged under 66, covered by the appropriate class of social insurance (PRSI) and satisfy the PRSI conditions.

  • You should apply for Illness Benefit within 6 weeks of becoming ill. If you don't apply within this time you may lose some of your payment.

  • Illness Benefit is paid for a maximum of:

    • 2 years (624 payment days) if you have at least 260 weeks of reckonable social insurance contributions paid since you first started work
      or

    • 1 year (312 payment days) if you have between 104 and 259 weeks of reckonable social insurance contributions paid since you first started work

  • What happens when your entitlement period to illness benefit runs out?

    • If you are ill, likely to be permanently incapable of work and satisfy the PRSI conditions, you may qualify for Invalidity Pension.

    • If you do not qualify for Invalidity Pension and you have a disability that is expected to last for a year or more, you may qualify for a means-tested Disability Allowance.

  • Your Illness Benefit claim will be reviewed from time to time and you may be asked to attend for a medical assessment. This assessment will be carried out by a Medical Assessor, who is a doctor employed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The Medical Assessor will give an opinion on whether or not you are fit for work.

  • You can get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant or child dependant if you meet certain conditions.

  • If you are getting Domiciliary Care Allowance and/or the Carer's Support Grant you may still qualify for illness benefit.

  • If you are getting Illness Benefit and you satisfy the conditions for Carer's Allowance, you may get half the personal rate of Carer's Allowance along with your Illness Benefit payment.

  • It may also be possible for you to receive an Increase for a Qualified Adult for someone on your Illness Benefit claim while they receive a half-rate Carer's Allowance for caring for you or someone else.

  • If you are getting Disablement Benefit, you may also get Illness Benefit if you are ill, unable to work and satisfy the PRSI conditions (provided that the Disablement Benefit payment does not include an increase for Incapacity Supplement).

  • If you have been getting Illness Benefit (for a minimum of 6 months) or Invalidity Pension and wish to return to work, you may qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if your capacity for work is reduced by your medical condition.

  • To qualify for payment of Illness Benefit you must satisfy the following two conditions:

    • (1) You must have at least 104 weeks of PRSI contributions paid since you first started work

      and either

    • (2) 39 weeks of PRSI contributions paid or credited in the relevant* tax year, of which 13 must be paid contributions**. If you do not have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year, then 13 paid contributions in one of the following tax years can be used instead:

    • Either of the two tax years before the relevant tax year.

    • The last complete tax year (before the year in which your claim for Illness Benefit begins)

    • The current tax year

      Or

    • 26 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year, and 26 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.

How do you apply?

  • You can get an Illness Benefit claim form (IB1) and a social welfare medical certificate (MED1) from your family doctor (GP). You fill out the IB1 claim form and your doctor completes the MED1 medical certificate.

  • You must see your doctor and send in a MED1 medical certificate each week for as long as you are ill, unless you are told otherwise.

  • You do not need to pay for a social welfare medical certificate as the Department pays the doctor an agreed fee. However, you may have to pay for the doctor to examine you.

Payment rates
Usually no payment is made for the first 6 days of illness and no payment is made for any Sunday during your illness.

Illness Benefit rates are graduated according to your average weekly earnings in the relevant tax year. Average weekly earnings are calculated by dividing the total reckonable gross earnings (without deductions) in the relevant* tax year by the actual number of weeks worked in that year.

For example, if a person is claiming for sickness benefit in 2019 and their average weekly earnings for the weeks worked in 2017 was €300 or more, then they are entitled to a personal illness benefit of €198 per week and may also qualify for an increase in their payment for an adult adult dependant or child dependant  under certain conditions. Lower rates are paid where average weekly earnings were less.

Taxation issues:

Illness Benefit, both the personal rate and Increase for a Qualified Adult, (excluding increases for child dependants) is considered to be income for tax purposes and it is taxable from the first day of payment.

  • Illness Benefit is paid directly to you without any deduction of income tax. It is taxed by reducing your tax credits and rate band. Whether you are employed or unemployed, Revenue will take account of the amount of Illness Benefit paid to you when they adjust your tax credits or review the tax affairs of your spouse or civil partner.

For comprehensive treatment on Illness Benefit see Citizens Information and /or Dept of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

* The relevant tax year is the second-last complete tax year before the year in which your claim for Illness Benefit begins. For example: If your claim begins in 2019 the relevant tax year is 2017

** A paid contribution is a PRSI contribution paid by you when you are working. A credited PRSI contribution is one credited to you in certain circumstances while in receipt of  benefits such as Illness Benefit, Disability Allowance and in many other situations. For comprehensive details on Credited PRSI contributions see Citizen’s Information.