Invalidity Pension

What is the Invalidity Pension?

Invalidity Pension is a payment made to people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity. To obtain the pension, you will have to satisfy some medical and social insurance (PRSI) conditions. You must have been incapable of work and receiving Disability Benefit for at least 12 months before the date of claim.

Invalidity Pension is made up of a personal rate for you with extra amounts for a qualified adult and any child dependants. Increases in the personal rate are made when the pensioner reaches 65 and 80 years of age respectively: as of January 2006, the rates are €171.30 per week If you are under 65; €193.30 per week for age 65 years and over; and €203.30 per week for age 80 years and over.

Your personal rate of pension is not affected by any other income, savings or occupational pension you may have. Your invalidity pension payment will be liable for income tax.

If your disability or illness stops you from getting your pension in person, you may prefer to allow a relative or someone else to receive your payment on your behalf. You can get an application form at any Post Office.

If you are married or living with someone as husband and wife you may get an allowance for him/her as a qualified adult provided:

  • They do not have a Social Welfare payment in their own right, except Disablement Pension, or Child Benefit.
  • All income from employment or self-employment and any other sources is less than a certain amount.

As of January 2006, if their weekly income is less than €100 per week the full qualified adult allowance is payable. If they have an income of between €100 and €250 per week, you may be entitled to a reduced rate of qualified adult allowance. An income of over €250 per week would mean that you are not entitled to a qualified adult allowance.

If you have children living with you and you are single, widowed or separated, you may get an allowance for a person, aged 16 or over, who is caring for your children, provided the person is living with and being supported by you. You can claim an allowance of €19.30 for each of your dependent children, if you are getting a payment for a qualified adult. If you do not qualify for an allowance for a qualified adult, you may get half the Child Dependant Allowance.

Medical certificates are not normally needed for the Invalidity Pension; however they may occasionally be requested for review by a medical assessor at the Department of Social and Family Affairs.

Your pension can be paid:

  • Directly into your Bank or Building Society Account. Payment is made weekly in arrears.
  • By a book of Payable Orders which can be cashed weekly at a chosen Post Office.
  • By Electronic Information Transfer (EIT), using a Social Services card at a chosen Post Office if you wish to avail of the Household Budget Scheme. You cannot nominate another person to collect your payment using your Social Services Card and it must be collected each week.

While you are receiving an Invalidity Pension, you may qualify for Social Welfare credits. Contact your local Social Welfare Office for details.

Can I get the Invalidity Pension if I move abroad?

Invalidity Pension can be payable if you live outside of Ireland. If you intend going abroad to live you must contact the Department of Social and Family Affairs before you move at: Invalidity Pensions Payments Section, Social Welfare Services Office, Ballinalee Road, Longford, Tel (043) 40228 or (01) 7043000 ext 48818/48745.

Invalidity Pensioners living abroad are paid directly into their bank account on a 4 weekly basis only, three weeks in arrears and one week in advance.

Can I take up employment or education if I receive the invalidity pension?

While you should not engage in work, you may take up training for alternative employment, do rehabilitative-type work or start light work or training that you would not normally be paid for. You should contact your local FÁS Office who will advise you on the work and training opportunities, including Community Employment schemes, that are available in your area. You will retain your pension while you are doing this training or rehabilitative work.

You may also be eligible for returning to employment under the Back to Work scheme, which allows you to retain a proportion of your pension over the duration of the scheme. Your local Social Welfare Office will be able to advise you.

Similarly, you may be able to return to education and retain your pension payments under the Back to Education Programme. This scheme allows persons in receipt of Invalidity Pension to return to full-time education and keep their Pension and associated free schemes for the duration of their course. The scheme covers both second and third level approved courses and is administered by your local Social Welfare Office.

What other benefits might I qualify for?

Once a claimant is awarded Invalidity Pension they are entitled to a Free Travel Pass. If you are married or cohabiting, then your partner may accompany you. You may also be entitled to a Companion Free Travel Pass if you are unable to travel unaccompanied, but medical evidence must be provided. A Companion Free Travel Pass allows anybody over 16 years of age to accompany the Pass holder free of charge on any of the transport services included in the Free Travel Scheme.

For further information about Free Travel please contact 071 9169800 Ext. 8345.

You may also qualify for the household benefits package (which includes electricity, natural gas or bottled gas, television licence and telephone allowance), a medical card, carer’s allowance, carer’s benefit and respite care grant.

Where can I get more information?

The Department of Social and Family Affairs administers the Invalidity Pension scheme. If you think you might be eligible, contact your local Social Welfare Office.

Comhairle is an organisation set up under the aegis of the Department of Social and Family Affairs, which provides independent information, advice and other supports to people with disabilities, within the framework of a mainstream service for all citizens at local and regional level.

Citizen’s Information Centres provide free confidential and impartial information on the broad range of social services. There is a network of around 100 centres throughout the country, which are registered with and supported by Comhairle. You will find a list of centres and their telephone numbers and opening hours in the Golden Pages.

Information on social welfare services is available on

Reviewed: November 6, 2006