Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get Disability Allowance from 16 years of age. If you are in education when you turn 16, you can continue to attend school.
To qualify for Disability Allowance (DA) you must:
If you are getting Disability Allowance and go into hospital or residential care you will continue to get your payment as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.
If you were not getting Disability Allowance before living in residential care you can get Disability Allowance if you meet the qualifying conditions.
Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment. To get the allowance your total assessed means must be below a certain amount. The main items that count as means are:
The proceeds of the sale of the house up to €190,500 may not be taken into account when assessing your means if you sell your home and:
If you are living in premises, part of which is a business and part of which is used for accommodation, only the proceeds that relate to the part of the premises that has been used for accommodation are not taken into account.
You can do rehabilitative work (which includes self-employment) and earn up to €120 per week (after deduction of PRSI, any pension contributions and union dues) without your payment being affected. You notify the Department of Social Protection before you start work.
50% of your earnings between €120 and €350 will not be taken into account in the Disability Allowance means test. Any earnings over €350 are fully assessed in the means test.
People on Disability Allowance are eligible for JobBridge - the National Internship Scheme.
More information is available in our document Disability payments and work.
If you have children living with you and you are single, widowed, separated or a civil partner who is not living with the other civil partner, you may get an increase in your payment for the person who is caring for your child, provided the person is aged 16 or over, living with and being supported by you.
If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant works it can affect your Disability Allowance.
Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant's weekly earnings (from employment, including rehabilitiative employment) are assessed as follows:
Weekly earnings are gross earnings less PRSI, superannuation (pension payments) and union dues.
€20 per day (up to a maximum of €60) from work is deducted from your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant's average weekly earnings and then 60% of the balance is assessed as weekly means. The weekly means is then deducted from the combined total of your personal rate of Disability Allowance and the maximum Increase for a Qualified Adult and any Increases for Qualified Children (if applicable). This formula does not apply to income from self-employment (all income from self-employment is assessed and there are no disregards).
If you were getting Disability Allowance before 26 September 2007 and you were still in payment on 26 September 2007, your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant's earnings will be assessed under the new means assessment to find out whether you are better off. If you would get a greater amount of Disability Allowance on the previous assessment then you will continue to be assessed using the previous method of calculating means from employment.
If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant's means have changed, for any reason, since 26 September 2007, you cannot apply the previous method of calculating means from employment.
You are required to have your own doctor complete a medical report, which is part of the application form, on your medical condition. This report is reviewed by one of the Department’s Medical Assessors.
In 2016 and up to 15 March 2017, the weekly maximum rate of Disability Allowance was:
Personal rate (claimant)
From 15 March 2017, the weekly maximum rate of Disability Allowance is:
Personal rate (claimant)
If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting and you both qualify for Disability Allowance, you will each get a weekly personal rate of Disability Allowance. If you both qualify you can both get the maximum rate.
If you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant qualifies for Disability Allowance and the other is getting another social welfare payment, you will each get the weekly personal rate of your respective payment.
You can get an application form for Disability Allowance (pdf) from the Disability Allowance Section - see 'Where to apply' below. You can also get an application form in your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.
If you think you have been wrongly refused Disability Allowance you can appeal
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel:(043) 334 0000
Locall:1890 92 77 70
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.