What is Invalidity Pension?
Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and who are covered by social insurance (PRSI).
At 66, you transfer automatically to the State Pension (Contributory) at the full rate.
Invalidity Pension is taxable.
Budget 2024: Invalidity Pension increase and once-off payment
It was announced in Budget 2024 that people on the maximum rate of Invalidity Pension 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.
You will get one payment only, even if you qualify for more than one of these payments or you are caring for more than one person.
People getting the Disability Allowance, Invalidity Pension or Blind Pension will receive this between 22 November 2023 and 24 November 2023 (you will get the once-off payment on the same day you get your primary payment).
How to qualify for Invalidity Pension
To qualify for Invalidity Pension you must meet both:
- Social Insurance (PRSI) rules – see below
- Medical rules – see below
Social insurance (PRSI) rules
Only PRSI contributions at Class A, E, H and S count for an Invalidity Pension. Most employees are covered by Class A.
You must also have a certain number of PRSI contributions to get an Invalidity Pension.
To get Invalidity Pension you must have at least:
- 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions
- 48 weeks of paid or credited PRSI contributions in the last or second last completed year before the start date of your permanent incapacity for work. The start date is decided by the Department of Social Protection (DSP). It is usually after you have been unable to work for one year. But it can be less than one year if you are permanently incapable of work for life.
If you need your social insurance contributions paid in another EU/EEA member state to help you qualify, then your last contribution must have been in Ireland. Read more about combining social insurance contributions from abroad.
You cannot use voluntary contributions to meet the PRSI rules.
To get Invalidity Pension you must meet the PRSI rules and be unable to work because of an illness or disability.
To meet the medical rules, 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 may have been getting Illness Benefit or Disability Allowance during that time)
- 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 in the DSP will decide if you meet the medical and PRSI rules for Invalidity Pension.
Invalidity Pension and work
You cannot do paid work and get Invalidity Pension.
If you want to return to work or self-employment, you may be able to transfer to Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB). You will qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if the restriction on your capacity for work is assessed as moderate, severe, or profound.
Education and training
If you want to do an education or training course and keep your Invalidity Pension, you must contact the Invalidity Pension section and get written permission before you start.
Rate of Invalidity Pension
Weekly Invalidity Pension rate
Maximum personal rate
Increase for an adult dependant
Increase for a child dependant
Child under 12 years of age
€42 (full rate), €21 (half-rate)
Child aged 12 and over
€50 (full rate), €25 (half-rate)
You may get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant, but it will depend on their income.
You may get an increase in your payment for a child dependant. You will not get an increase in your payment for child dependant if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of over €400 a week. You will get a half-rate increase for a child if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant earns between €310 and €400 a week. This only applies to claims made after 5 July 2012.
Tax and Invalidity Pension
How to apply for Invalidity Pension
You can apply for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting for your Invalidity Pension claim to be processed. SWA is a means tested payment. In a means test the Department of Social Protection examines all your sources of income. To get SWA, your income must be below a certain amount.
Moving from Illness Benefit to Invalidity Pension
If you have been getting Illness Benefit for 468 days, the DSP will medically assess you to find out if you still qualify for Illness Benefit and if you may meet the medical criteria for Invalidity Pension. Following this assessment, you may be sent an IP application form (INV2).
This does not stop you from applying for Invalidity Pension in the normal way using application form (INV1).
You can get help to fill in your form from your local Citizens Information Centre, Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office.
If you think you have been wrongly refused Invalidity Pension or you are unhappy about a decision of a Deciding Officer, you can appeal this decision.