Invalidity Pension is a weekly payment to people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI). At 66, you transfer automatically to the State Pension (Contributory) at the full rate. Invalidity Pension is taxable. You are entitled to a Free Travel Pass. You may also get extra social welfare benefits, for example, the Household Benefits Package.
On 1 December 2017, Invalidity Pension was extended to the self-employed. You can read further information on the Department of Social Protection's website.
Social insurance contributions
Only class A, E, H and S contributions count for Invalidity Pension. You cannot use voluntary contributions to satisfy the PRSI conditions for Invalidity Pension.
To get Invalidity Pension you must have at least:
- 260 (5 years) paid PRSI contributions since entering social insurance
- 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 of permanent incapacity (as decided by the Department) is usually after you have been incapable of work due to illness for one year. However, it can be less than one year if you are permanently incapable of work for life.
John was an office clerk for 10 years.
In December 2018, he had an accident and was unable to work. He was still unable to work a year later. John applied for Invalidity Pension and gave evidence that he was incapable of work to the Department and it seemed likely that he was permanently incapable of work.
The Department decided that John was permanently incapable of work and that the start date of John’s permanent incapacity was a year after he first stopped work.
This means that John’s start date of permanent incapacity was December 2018. To qualify for Invalidity Pension, John needed 48 weeks of PRSI paid or credited contributions in either 2018 or 2017.
Invalidity Pension is a payment for insured people who are permanently incapable of work because of an illness or incapacity.
To qualify 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 of the DSP will examine your claim and determine your entitlement based on the qualifying conditions outlined above.
Invalidity Pension and work
Since 13 February 2012, Partial Capacity Benefit has replaced the previous exemption arrangements where people on Invalidity Pension could get permission to work part-time (known as an exemption) for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes and keep their full social welfare payment. There is no requirement that the work a person does while on Partial Capacity Benefit has to be for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes.
Training and employment schemes
If you are on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension and want to do a training course, you do not go onto Partial Capacity Benefit. You apply to the Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension section, as appropriate.
If you want to do a Community Employment scheme you apply in the normal way.
Contributions paid in other EU member states
If you were previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations or in a country with which Ireland has a bilateral social security agreement and you have paid at least one full rate PRSI contribution in Ireland, you may combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Invalidity Pension.
More information is available in our document about combining your social insurance contributions from abroad.
Invalidity Pension rates 2021
|Maximum personal rate||Increase for an adult dependant||Increase for a child dependant
from 7 January 2021
|€208.50||€148.90||Child under 12 years of age
Child aged 12 and over
*Qualified adults who were over 66 before 2 January 2014 can continue to get a higher rate.
You may get an increase in your payment for an adult dependant and any child dependants you may have. You cannot claim an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) with your Invalidity Pension if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of over €400 a week. You get a half-rate IQC if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant earns between €310 and €400 a week. This only applies to claims made since 5 July 2012.
How to apply
To apply fill in an Invalidity Pension application form (INV1) (pdf). You can also get a form from your Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office. You may qualify for Supplementary Welfare Allowance while you are waiting for your claim to be processed.
If you have been getting Illness Benefit for a period of 468 days, you will be medically assessed for continued entitlement to Illness Benefit and possible entitlement to Invalidity Pension. If, as a result of this assessment, it is considered that you may be entitled to Invalidity Pension, an application form (INV2) will be sent to you. When they get the completed form a Deciding Officer will examine the claim and determine eligibility for Invalidity Pension.
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
Where to apply