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Disability Allowance

What is Disability Allowance?

Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get Disability Allowance from 16 years of age. If you are in education when you turn 16, you can continue to attend school.

If you qualify for Disability Allowance you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments.

To qualify for Disability Allowance (DA) you must:

  • Have an injury, disease or physical or mental disability that has continued, or may be expected to continue, for at least one year.
  • As a result of this disability be substantially restricted in undertaking work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of your age, experience, and qualifications.
  • Be aged between 16 and 66. When you reach 66 years of age you no longer qualify for DA, but you are assessed for a State pension.
  • Satisfy a means test.
  • Satisfy the habitual residence condition.

Further information about disability allowance

How will becoming employed affect my disability payments and other supports?

For people who get a disability payment, work pays better than getting Disability Allowance payments. Changes introduced in 2017 under the ‘Make Work Pay’ initiative means people with disabilities can retain some benefits when they take up employment. To qualify, you must be getting Disability Allowance, or Blind Pension, or be on Invalidity Pension, or Illness Benefit, and wish to apply for Partial Capacity Benefit.

If: Then:
Disability Allowance is your main income and you can start work You can earn up to 140 a week and you can keep your full payment
you earn between 140 and 350 from your job they will only take half of this into account when assessing your Disability Allowance payment
you decide to take up work and qualify for Disability Allowance you get to keep your free travel pass for as long as you qualify for Disability Allowance
you later no longer qualify for Disability Allowance you can keep your free travel pass for five years and your medical card for three

Partial Capacity Benefit

Partial Capacity Benefit is a social welfare scheme which allows you to return to work or self-employment (if you have reduced capacity to work) and continue to receive a payment from the Department of Social Protection (DSP).

If you have been getting Illness Benefit (for a minimum of 6 months) or Invalidity Pension and wish to return to work, you may qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if your capacity for work is reduced by your medical condition.

You will qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if your restriction on capacity for work is assessed as moderate, severe, or profound. If it is assessed as mild you will not qualify.

The Department of Social Protection has produced a Benefit of Work Estimator tool on welfare.ie for people getting disability payments. This can help you to assess the financial consequences of taking up work and claiming Partial Capacity Benefit.

There is no requirement that the work a person does while on Partial Capacity Benefit has to be for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes.

Further information on partial capacity benefit

National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities

In addition The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) provides independent, confidential and free advocacy for people with disabilities - in particular people who are isolated from their community and services, have communication differences, are inappropriately accommodated, live in residential services or attend day services and have limited supports. Visit the advocacy.ie website to find out more about the service and how to use it.

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The project is supported by

Open Doors Initiative

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