COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit

Introduction

When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (coronavirus), they can apply for a COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week.

Both employees and self-employed people qualify for the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit.

If you are ill for another reason and can’t work, you should apply for normal Illness Benefit.

You can read more about your employment rights during COVID-19 restrictions and social welfare payments and COVID-19.

Rules

You can apply for enhanced Illness Benefit, if you are:

  • Suspected of having COVID-19 and are told by a doctor or directed by the Health Service Executive (HSE) self-isolate or
  • Diagnosed with COVID-19

To qualify for COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit, you must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 66
  • Have medical certification from a doctor or the HSE to support your application
  • Be employed or self-employed and have worked in the 4 weeks before the date of your medical certification
  • Have a current contract of employment, if you are an employee

You won’t get the payment without medical certification. You must be certified by your own doctor or have a text notification from the HSE telling you that you have been identified as having contact with someone who has COVID-19.

If you are self-isolating for other reasons (for example, because you feel that you are at risk), you do not qualify for the payment.

How long will I get the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit?

Enhanced Illness Benefit can cover a COVID-19 diagnosis (or medically-required self-isolation) up to a certain number of weeks.

If you need to self-isolate because you may have COVID-19, it is paid for a maximum of 2 weeks.

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, it is paid for a maximum of 10 weeks. If your medical certificate is for fewer than 10 weeks, you will be paid for the duration of your medical certificate.

You should continue to talk with your doctor about your diagnosis and the length of time you are medically certified unfit to work because of COVID-19.

Other social welfare payments and COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit

You cannot get COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit and the COVID-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment at the same time.

If your income is a mixture of both earnings from employment and a social welfare payment and you are medically required to self-isolate or you are diagnosed with COVID-19, you will continue to get your social welfare payment.

If your social welfare payment is less than the rate of the COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit, you can apply for a top up payment from the Illness Benefit section - see 'Apply online' below. To qualify you must meet the criteria for COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit.

This top up payment of will not affect any other social welfare payments that you may be getting from the DEASP.

Rate of COVID-19 enhanced Illness Benefit

The personal rate of enhanced Illness Benefit is €350 per week.

If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, you may get an increase in your payment for your spouse or partner. You may also get an increase in your payment for dependent children.

Apply online

The DEASP needs your application for Illness Benefit and your medical certificate to process your application.

You should apply online for enhanced Illness Benefit. This is the quickest and easiest way to apply.

All you need to apply online is a basic MyGovID account.

Medical certification

Your doctor can complete a medical certificate on your behalf and send this directly to DEASP.

If you have been identified during contact tracing as someone who has been in contact with a person with COVID-19, you will get a text or a letter from the HSE with an instruction to you to self-isolate. You can email an image of this HSE document or text the image along with your name and PPS number to illnessenquiry@welfare.ie.

Illness Benefit contact centre

If you are unsure about whether you submitted your application form or medical certificate, you can contact the Illness Benefit section on (01) 704 3300 or 1890 928 400.

Page edited: 21 April 2020