Treatment Benefit Scheme

Under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, you may receive help in paying for medical treatments. If you hold a medical card, these treatments will be free, or inexpensive, anyway. This scheme is for non-medical card holders whose PRSI payments qualify them as socially insured. You may qualify if you are:

  • an insured person and you satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions.
  • the dependent spouse of an insured person.
  • a dependent widow or widower whose spouse at time of death was qualified for Treatment Benefit.

If you are unsure whether you or your partner are insured, contact your local Social Welfare Office. A number of benefits are available:

Dental Benefit

Dental Benefit gives cover for a number of different items of dental treatment including:

  • free dental examination
  • free diagnosis
  • free scaling and polishing (including mild gum treatment).

You must pay part of the cost of other types of treatment that are covered under the scheme, such as:

  • Fillings
  • Extractions
  • Dentures
  • root canal therapy
  • Severe gum treatment.

Your dentist, or the local Social Welfare Office, can advise you about the amounts you will have to pay towards the cost of these treatments.

Optical Benefit

Under Optical Benefit you can get:

  • A free general sight test. Sight tests for VDUs or driving tests are not covered by this scheme.
  • Free spectacles. Certain kinds of glasses are free. If you choose more expensive frames, the Department will pay a fixed amount and you must pay the balance.
  • Replacement lenses for existing frames.

Contact lenses

If you choose contact lenses instead of glasses, the Department will pay a fixed amount and you must pay the balance. If, however, you need contact lenses for medical reasons, the Department will pay up to half the cost subject to a maximum limit, provided you have a doctor's recommendation.

Hearing Aids

The Department will pay up to half the cost of a hearing aid (subject to a maximum limit). In addition, the Department will also pay for up to half the cost of any repairs.

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