09 Feb 2021 | 12.56 pm
New Welfare Payment For Over-65s
Only unemployed can claim €203 per week bridge to State Pension
09 Feb 2021 | 12.56 pm
A new welfare benefit has been introduced for people who reach the age of 65 and cease working.
Recipients of the payment are not required to be available for full-time work or genuinely seeking work and do not need to sign on. Eligibility for the payment is determined by a person’s PRSI contributions.
The rate of payment is €203 per week (same rate as Jobseeker’s Benefit) with an increase for dependants, if eligible.
Minister Heather Humphreys (pictured) said claimants are also exempt from participating in Activation unless they choose to engage, and can also participate in a course of education while retaining their full payment entitlement.
The payment is a bridge between retirement at 65 – compulsory in many workplaces – and claiming the State Pension from age 66.
According to Humphreys: “The ‘Benefit Payment for 65 Year Olds’ reflects a key commitment in the Programme for Government. This is a specific payment targeted at people in the year leading up to when they reach pension age.
“There are various other issues in relation to the State Pension that are being examined by the independent Commission on Pensions, which is due to make recommendations to me in the summer. In the meantime, I’m pleased to give clarity today to those aged 65 or approaching the age of 65, and I’m encouraging people to apply for this payment via MyWelfare.ie.”
Applications can only be made when a person reaches 65 years of age. This payment will continue until the person reaches pension age provided they continue to meet the eligibility conditions.
To qualify for this payment a person must have fully ceased employment or self-employment. A person who takes up casual or part-time work while in receipt of the payment does not qualify for the payment.
Claimants of Jobseeker’s Benefit who are eligible for the new payment will be transferred to the new scheme.
The minister added that while in receipt of the new benefit, a person continues to get credited contributions on their social insurance record if they had an entitlement to them at the start of the claim.
A self-employed person (or a person who was previously self-employed) may be entitled to unemployment credits also. This means that the person receiving this payment will not have a break in their social insurance record and the credits they receive are reckonable for other social welfare purposes e.g. State Pension (Contributory).