Invalidity Pension Extended To Self-Employed

18 Dec 2017 | 04.15 pm

Invalidity Pension Extended To Self-Employed

An estimated 360,000 people in Ireland are self-employed

18 Dec 2017 | 04.15 pm

The Department of Social Protection has extended the Invalidity Pension scheme to self-employed workers for the first time, effective from 1 December 2017.

Self-employed individuals who cannot work due to long-term illness or disability will be able to claim invalidity pension — including small business owners, farmers, tradespeople, freelancers, contractors and professionals. According to the CSO, there are more than 326,000 self-employed people in Ireland.

People who work for themselves and pay PRSI at Class S will have the option of applying for the invalidity pension on a similar basis to those who are employees. This follows the extension to the self-employed of access to the Treatment Benefit Scheme since March 2017, which includes free eye tests, dental examinations and contributions towards the cost of hearing aids. Additional dental and optical benefits have also been provided from last month to both self-employed and employees.

The current personal rate of payment is €198.50 per week, with top-ups which may be paid for a dependent adult (means-assessed) and dependent children.

Minister Regina Doherty (pictured) said that to qualify a self-employed person or employee must have:

  • 260 PRSI paid contributions (Class A, E, H or S) since they started paying social insurance and
  • 48 PRSI paid or credited contributions (Class A, E, H or S) in the last complete contribution year or the second last contribution year before the date of their claim.
  • For claims made during December 2017, the last complete contribution year is 2016 and the second last contribution year is 2015.
  •  For claims made in 2018, the last complete contribution year is 2017 and the second last contribution year is 2016.

Anyone receiving the invalidity pension will also get a free travel pass, and on their 66th birthday will automatically transfer to the contributory State Pension. Full details of the new arrangements are available on the department’s website.

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