If you have been out of work for 6 months or more due to an illness, and wish to return to the workforce, in a reduced capacity, you could qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit. If you are eligible, you could return to work while still receiving your social welfare payment.
What requirements do I have to meet to receive Partial Capacity Benefit?
You cannot work while receiving Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension. You must transfer to the Partial Capacity Scheme if you want to enter employment. It is not necessary that you undertake rehabilitative or therapeutic work while receiving Partial Capacity Benefit. Likewise, if you wish to do voluntary work you do not have to transfer to Partial Capacity Benefit.
To qualify to transfer to Partial Capacity Benefit you must meet the following criteria:
- Been in receipt of Illness Benefit for the previous 6 months or been in receipt of Invalidity Pension for 6 months
- Undergo a medical assessment
- Have a medical state assessed as moderate, severe, or profound
If you satisfy these conditions, then you can voluntarily avail of this scheme. However, if you find that you cannot continue to work, or your employment ceases, you may return to Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension without repercussions.
Do not start working until you the Department of Social Protection has given you written approval. You should also get approval from your doctor before taking up employment. If your application is successful, there are no restrictions on how many hours you work, or how much you earn while receiving Partial Capacity Benefit. You can also receive this payment if you work in a self-employed capacity.
You can receive Partial Capacity Benefit for as long as you are entitled to Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension. Your entitlement to this payment is subject to review though, and you may have to undergo a medical assessment.
Depending on your medical assessment, your personal rate of payment is based on your capacity for work. If your medical condition is classified as moderate, you will receive 50% of your Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension. If it is severe, you will receive 75%, and if it is profound you will receive 100%.
If you were getting Invalidity Pension and were entitled to Free Travel, you can keep this entitlement. However, this will be means-tested after the first two years, and yearly after that.
To apply for this scheme you must contact the Partial Capacity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection. They will send out the forms you need in the post, as they are not available online.
For more information visit Citizens Information.
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