Main Disability Benefits

Blind Person’s Pension

This is a weekly payment made to people over the age of 18 years who are blind or have low vision. To qualify you are required to satisfy both a means test and a residency test, and be required to have an eye test by an ophthalmic surgeon (paid for by the State). The rate of payment is €197.80 and extra rates of €131.30 for qualified (dependent) adult and €24 per dependent child.

Apply to: Blind Pension Section, Social Welfare Services Office, College Road, Sligo.

Blind Welfare Allowance

This is a means-tested weekly supplementary payment made to persons aged 16 years and over who are blind or have low vision, are getting a Blind Pension or another income maintenance payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs (such as Disability Allowance), and who needs extra support or resources to meet their needs. The rate of payment is €61.60 for a single person, €123.20 for a blind couple, and €4.40 for each child dependent.

Apply to: your local health office. Responsibility for the allowance is being transferred to the Department of Social and Family Affairs (from early 2009).

Disability Allowance

This is a long-term means-tested weekly allowance made to people with a disability aged 16 or over and under the age of 66. The disability must be expected to last at least a year and allowance is subject to medical suitability. If you qualify for Disability Allowance you may also get extra social welfare benefit with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments. The weekly rate of pay is €197.80 with extra rates of €131.30 for a qualified adult (dependent) and €24 per dependent child.

Apply to: Social Welfare Services, Ballinalee Road, Longford.

Disablement Benefit

Disablement Benefit is a payment for insured people who have lost physical or mental abilities as the result of an accident at work or directly on the way to work, or as the result of a disease contracted because of the type of work they do or did (known as occupational disease). Disablement Benefit can be paid as a single lump sum (called Disablement Gratuity) or a regular payment (called Disablement Pension) depending on your injury or the effect of the disease. Rates depend on level of disablement. In addition, you may be eligible for what is called Incapacity Supplement or Constant Attendance Allowance.

Apply to: Disablement Benefit Section Social Welfare Services, Ballinalee Road, Longford.

Invalidity Pension

This is a long-term weekly payment made to insured people who are permanently incapable of work due to illness or disability. People with a disability generally transfer to Invalidity Pension from another social welfare payment such as Illness Benefit. Invalidity Pension is payable for as long as you are unable to work. At the age of 65, the personal rate of payment increases to the same rate as State Pension and at age 66 you transfer to the State Pension (Contributory). Note that Invalidity Pension is the only disability payment with an automatic transfer to a State Pension – it is necessary to apply if you are on any other payments. The rate is €203.30 for those under the age of 65, increasing to €223.30 when aged 65. Qualifying adult rates are €145.10 (under 66) and €200 (over 66). The qualifying child rate is €24.

Apply to: Invalidity New Claims Section Social Welfare Services, Ballinalee Road, Longford.