Am I eligible for Partial Capacity Benefit?

If you have been out of work due to a medical condition for at least six months, you could qualify for this payment

Written by spunout


If you have been out of work for six months or more due to a medical condition and wish to return to the workforce, you could qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit. 

What is Partial Capacity Benefit?

Partial Capacity Benefit is a social welfare payment for people returning to work after being out due to a medical condition. If your medical condition prevents you from working to your full capacity when you return to work, you might be able to receive this 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. There are certain requirements that you must meet to receive Partial Capacity Benefit. To qualify to transfer to Partial Capacity Benefit you must:

  • Currently receive Illness Benefit (for a minimum of six months) or Invalidity Pension 
  • 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 ends, you may return to Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension.

How many hours can I work while receiving Partial Capacity Benefit?

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.

How much is Partial Capacity Benefit?

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.

If you are applying for Partial Capacity Benefit, the Benefit of Work Estimator might be helpful. This is a free service offered by the Department of Social Protection. It aims to give you a clear idea of how certain social welfare supports will change when you are moving from unemployment into employment. The benefit of work estimator for disability and illness payments shows how additional income from employment may affect your disability or illness payment. Find out more about the Benefit of Work Estimator.

How can I apply for Partial Capacity Benefit?

If you wish to avail of Partial Capacity Benefit, you must apply before starting work. It is important that you do not start working until the Department of Social Protection has given you written approval. You should also get approval from your doctor before taking up employment.

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.

To apply for this scheme you must contact the Partial Capacity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection by calling (01) 704 3300 or emailing [email protected]. They will send you the forms that you need to complete by post.

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