Disablement Benefit is a benefit under the Occupational Injuries Scheme. It can be paid to you if you suffer a loss of physical or mental faculty because of an accident at work, an accident travelling directly to or from work, or a prescribed disease contracted at work. Payment is only made where the level of disablement following the accident or disease is assessed at 15% or more.
Where the level of disablement is assessed at 20% or more the benefit is paid weekly or every 4 weeks (called Disablement Pension). However, where the rate is assessed at less than 20%, the benefit is paid as a lump sum (called Disablement Gratuity). The size of the lump sum will vary depending on the degree of disablement and how long you are reasonably expected to be disabled.
People getting Disablement Pension (without another payment) can work, full or part-time. If you are getting Disablement Pension and you are unfit for work, you may qualify for Illness Benefit based on your social insurance contributions (PRSI). If you do not qualify for Illness Benefit or another social welfare payment, you may get Incapacity Supplement.
Budget 2024: increase to Disablement Benefit
It was announced in Budget 2024 that people on the maximum rate of Disablement Benefit will get an increase of €12 per week from January 2024. There will be proportional increases for qualified adults and people on reduced rates of payment.
This is an extra supplement with Disablement Pension. You may get Incapacity Supplement if you are permanently incapable of work as a result of an occupational accident or disease and do not qualify for another social welfare payment such as Illness Benefit. You may get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant and child dependants. Incapacity Supplement is not payable outside the EU. If you do not qualify for a State Pension at age 66, you can remain on Incapacity Supplement.
Constant Attendance Allowance
This allowance can be paid weekly as an increase to Disablement Pension if you are so seriously disabled as to need someone (a relative or some other person) to help you daily at home to attend to your personal needs for a period of at least 6 months. You must be getting a Disablement Pension of 50% or over. Entitlement to Constant Attendance Allowance is based on the recommendation of the Department of Social Protection's medical advisor. You will not get the allowance during any period you are in a hospital or similar institution. Constant Attendance Allowance is not payable outside the EU.
Taxation of payments under the Occupational Injuries Scheme
Disablement Benefit, Incapacity Supplement and Constant Attendance Allowance are taxable sources of income but you are unlikely to pay tax if they are your only income. Disablement Gratuity is not taxable.
Other social welfare payments
Disablement Benefit is a compensation payment and can be paid at the same time as most social welfare payments including Jobseeker’s Benefit, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension, State Pension and One-Parent Family Payment. It is not considered as means for most social welfare means-assessed schemes except in the case of Supplementary Welfare Allowance or Working Family Payment.
Disablement Benefit is disregarded for the means test for Fuel Allowance from January 2023.
You may get Disablement Benefit if you suffer a loss of physical or mental faculty because of:
- An accident at work
- An accident while travelling (on an unbroken journey) directly to or from work
- A prescribed occupational disease
Loss of physical or mental faculty
The extent of your disablement is assessed by a Department of Social Protection Medical Assessor. The Medical Assessor determines the extent of your loss of faculty resulting from your occupational accident or disease. 'Loss of faculty' means your inability to enjoy a normal lifestyle because of the loss, or partial loss, of your ordinary physical or mental abilities as a result of your occupational injury or disease. In assessing the degree of loss of faculty, account is taken of how your current physical and mental condition compares to your pre-accident state of health, and how you compare with a healthy person of the same age and sex.
Examples of assessments are as follows:
|Loss of both hands||100%|
|Loss of one eye||40%|
|Loss of thumb||30%|
|Loss of 2 fingers of one hand||20%|
|Loss of index finger||14%|
In order to qualify for Disablement Benefit, you must have been in employment on or after 1 May 1967, that was insurable at PRSI Class A, B, D, J or M, at the time that you sustained the accident or disease.
(Under the Occupational Injuries Scheme, civil servants insured at PRSI Class B are not eligible for Disablement Benefit for the first 26 weeks after the date of the accident. This is because, for this 26-week period, civil servants continue to be paid by their parent Department. After this 26-week period, a civil servant is paid half their salary and half-rate Disablement Benefit).
Declaring an occupational injury
All work accidents or occupational diseases may not result immediately in illness or disablement. If you are not immediately incapacitated but wish to safeguard your future right to Disablement Benefit, you should notify your employer about the accident or disease and apply for a declaration that your accident or disease was an occupational one. This should be done without delay. Declaration forms are available from the Injury Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection (see 'Where to apply' below).
If your disablement occurs at a later stage, you should claim within 3 months of becoming aware of it.
Duration of payment
Disablement Pensions can be awarded on a provisional basis or for life. When you are awarded Disablement Pension for life, it is payable until your death. It is a personal award and is not payable to anyone else after your death.
Provisional awards are paid for a defined period of time. You are informed of this period when you are notified of an award.
Your payment depends on the degree of your disablement, which is medically assessed. For assessments of less than 20%, Disablement Benefit will normally be a lump sum (gratuity). The size of the lump sum will vary depending on the degree of disablement and how long you are expected to be disabled. For assessments of 20% upwards, a pension is payable.
Disablement Benefit rates 2023:
If you have 100% disablement, your maximum personal pension is €251.
If you have between 20-90% disablement, your maximum personal pension is as follows:
|Level of disablement||Weekly payment|
Up to 19% disablement:
A lump sum may be payable, up to a maximum of €17,560.
Incapacity Supplement rates 2023:
|Age||Weekly rate||Increase for an adult dependant||Increase for a child dependant
|Person under 66||€220||€146||Child under 12 years of age
€42 (full rate), €21 (half rate)
Child aged 12 and over
€50 (full rate), €25 (half rate)
|Person aged 66 and over||€239.30||€158.80|
Constant Attendance Allowance
Constant Attendance Allowance weekly rate in 2023:
This payment is only made to certain people with over 50% disablement.
How to apply
If you are unable to work after the accident or disease, you should first claim Injury Benefit, which can be paid for up to 26 weeks after the accident or the onset of the disease. Before your Injury Benefit payment finishes, you should claim Disablement Benefit if you suffer from loss of faculty as a result of your accident or disease. If you do not claim in time, you may lose some benefit. You should claim within 3 months of your Injury Benefit claim ending.
If you are able to work after the accident or disease, you should claim Disablement Benefit as soon as possible and within 3 months of the date of the accident or the onset of the disease. Payment is made from the fourth day of your disablement. If you do not claim in time, you may lose some benefit. You should claim within 3 months of the date of your accident or the onset of the disease.
To apply, fill in a Disablement Benefit claim form (pdf) and send it to the Disablement Benefit Section - see address below.
If you think you have been wrongly refused Disablement Benefit, or you are unhappy about a decision of a Social Welfare Deciding Officer about your entitlements, you can appeal this social welfare decision.
Where to apply
Your completed application form should be returned to Disablement Benefit Section below. For more information on Disablement Benefit, contact your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office or the Disablement Benefit Section.
If you wish to safeguard your future right to benefit, apply for a declaration that your accident or disease was an occupational one to: