Benefits And Entitlements
Claiming an allowance or appealing a decision can be daunting and we hope the information below is helpful. We’ve also provided some useful links to advisory services.
Medical assessment criteria for chronic pain
People with Chronic Pain who have an outstanding compensation claim or have an income protection policy or even seeking a social welfare benefit have been in the past sent to healthcare professionals who do not have training in Pain Medicine. Chronic Pain Ireland believes you should only be assessed by a specialist in the field of Pain Medicine. The best person is a pain consultant.
. . .
Disability benefits and entitlements
Chronic Pain, may not, in all instances, be categorised as a disability for the purposes of claiming benefits, so your entitlement to benefits will to a large degree depend on how your disabling condition is reported in a medical report and how it is looked upon and interpreted by the relevant decision makers. You should take note of the definition of ‘disability’ as per the Disability Act 2005:
“disability”, in relation to a person, means a substantial restriction in the capacity of the person to carry on a profession, business or occupation in the State or to participate in social or cultural life in the State by reason of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment;
. . .
Getting a detailed medical report
Many claims are rejected because of an inadequate medical report. It is insufficient for your healthcare professional just to state that you have Chronic Pain and that you should get the relevant entitlement or allowance.
Your claim is assessed by a medical team working for the Department of Social Welfare. The medical report must contain as much detail as possible, including:
- The type of chronic pain the patient has (eg. FBSS, CRPS, fibromyalgia, neuropathic pain)
- The impact the illness has had on their life (e.g. the ability to work or travel, stress on relationships etc)
- Treatments that have been recommended
- The prognosis
The more detailed the report, the better the chance of success.
If you are claiming an allowance, there are some useful links below.
Remember if your application has been rejected there is an appeals process. The Department of Social Welfare has a protocol in place for assessing chronic pain.
. . .
Illness Benefit is a payment made to individuals (aged 66 and under) unable to work due to illness.
Invalidity Pension is a payment that may be paid where individual cannot work due to a long-term illness or disability and are covered by social insurance (PRSI).
Disability Allowance is a weekly payment to individuals where injury, illness or disability is expected to last more than a year.
Treatment Benefit Scheme provides dental, optical and aural services to individuals with the required number of PRSI contributions.
Partial Capacity Benefit is a scheme to support people on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension who want to return to work.
Occupational Injuries Scheme – provision of a range of benefits for those injured or incapacitated by an accident at work or while travelling directly to or from work.
Occupational Injury Scheme
This scheme relates to people injured or incapacitated who as a result of an accident at work, or when directly travelling to or from work end up with chronic pain, or whose work directly caused their condition – then they may be entitled to make a claim under the Occupational Injury Scheme.
The scheme also covers people who have contracted a disease as a result of the type of work they do.
There are a number of benefits available and there are different conditions attached to each benefit.
Claims can be made for any of the following benefits which are explained in more detail here:
Constant Attendance Allowance
Medical Care Scheme
Incapacity Supplement is a weekly supplement, which may be paid if you are not eligible for Illness Benefit or another social welfare payment. To get the supplement you must be getting Disablement Pension and be permanently incapable of work.
Constant Attendance Allowance
Constant Attendance Allowance is a weekly allowance, which you may be paid if you are getting Disablement Benefit and are so seriously disabled as to need someone to help you daily at home to attend to your personal needs.
If you incur medical costs as a result of your occupational injury or disease, you can claim for the cost of certain expenses which are not already covered by the Health Service Executive or through the Treatment Benefit Scheme under the Medical Care Scheme.
The cost of private or semi-private accommodation and treatment cannot be recouped under the Occupational Injuries Scheme.
. . .
Rules governing applications
In general people in employment insurable at PRSI Class A, D, J or M (Class M only where the employee is under 16 years of age) are covered in full for Occupational Injuries Benefits.
Civil servants recruited prior to April 1995 and insured at Class B may only qualify for limited Occupational Injuries Benefits.
Education and Training Board trainees, people on employment schemes and people over 66 who are working are covered for Occupational Injuries Benefits.
Unlike other social insurance benefits, it is not necessary to have a set number of PRSI contributions to qualify. It is simply necessary to be in employment that is insurable for Occupational Injuries.
Civil law claims for damages
The Recovery of Certain Benefits and Assistance (RBA) Scheme enables the Department of Social Protection to recover the value of certain illness-related social welfare payments as a consequence of personal injuries claims. They are recovered from the compensator and not from the injured person.
. . .
Further information and assistance
For confidential, independent and the most up-to-date information on your entitlements contact your local Citizens Information Bureau via Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm).
The National Advocacy Service for People with Disabilities (NAS) is an organisation which helps adults with disabilities. NAS provides a free and confidential advocacy service to adults with a disability, aged 18 years and over. NAS has a particular remit to work with people with disabilities who are in vulnerable situations, such as people who are isolated from their community of choice or mainstream society, may communicate differently and who have limited formal or natural supports. Visit advocacy.ie to find out more about their service and how to use it.
. . .
Other payments you may be eligible for
In addition to the above main social welfare payments, there are additional payments that you may be eligible to claim.
- Free Travel
- Fuel Allowance
- Household Benefits
- Rent Supplement / Allowance
- Carer’s Support Grant
- Diet and Heating Supplements
- Exceptional and Urgent Need Payments
- Back to School Clothing & Footwear Allowance
Further supports including:
- Tax relief for disabled drivers and disabled passengers
- Motorised Transport Grant
- Mobility Allowance
- Mobility training for people with visual impairments
- Disabled Person’s Parking Card
- Parking facilities for people with disabilities
If you are working you may be eligible to apply for the following:
- Disability payments and work
- Further Education and Training (FET) courses
- Community Employment
- Partial Capacity Benefit (for people on Illness Benefit for at least 6 months or on Invalidity Pension only)
- Rural Social Scheme
- Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Workplace/equipment adaptation grants
- Supported employment scheme
- Job interview interpreter grants
- Personal reader grants
Health Services and Community Supports
- Medical card
- GP Visit card
- Home Support Service
- Day centres and day care
- Respite Care
- Health services for people with disabilities
- Nursing Homes Support Scheme
- Mental health services
- Chiropody services
- Occupational therapy services
- Physiotherapy services
- Public health nurses
Applications for benefits: Occupational Injuries Section, Department of Social Protection, Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin 1.