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Disability benefits: get in the know!

Disability allowance and other financial supports.

Written by SpunOut | View this authors Twitter page and posted in life

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Normally the day-to-day expenses of having a disability are higher than they are for people without disabilities. You can apply for a disability allowance (which you keep while studying) or other financial supports to help with the increased costs.

  • Disability Allowance is a means-tested payment that you can get from age 16. You can qualify if you have a long-term disability that affects your ability to work. You may also get other social welfare benefits on top of this payment.
  • Invalidity Pension is for people who have made social insurance payments over a certain amount of time and are likely to be unable to work long-term due to illness or disability.
  • Blind Person's Pension is a means-tested payment for people over the age of 18 who are registered as legally blind or as having low vision. In order to get this pension, you must satisfy the means test and residency requirements (i.e. you must permanently live in Ireland). You will also need to be assessed by an ophthalmic surgeon in order to qualify for this payment.
  • Blind Welfare Allowance. This is a supplementary payment to people over the age of 16 who are blind or have low vision and are already getting another welfare payment. The purpose of this payment is to provide extra financial support.
  • Disability Benefit is a payment for people who are physically or mentally ill as a result of an accident at work or one on the way to work, or as a result of a disease they contracted because of the type of work they did. This may be paid as one lump sum or in the form of regular payments, depending on your injury or the type of ill health you have. You may also be able to get Incapacity Supplement or Constant Attendance Allowance if you are on Disability Benefit.
  • Occupational Injuries Benefits are a group of payments you can apply for if you're ill or disabled as a result of a work accident or an industrial illness. These payments include Injury Benefit, Disablement Benefit, Incapacity Supplement, Constant Attendance Allowance and Medical Care Scheme.
  • Back to Education Allowance. If you are receiving a disability payment, the Back to Education Allowance allows you to attend a second or third level course while still receiving a social welfare payment. You may also work part-time if you have this allowance.
  • Medical schemes. There are a variety of medical entitlements for all citizens in Ireland. These include Medical Cards, GP Visit Cards, the Long Term Illness Scheme, the Drugs Payment Scheme and tax back on medical expenses. Click here for further information on these entitlements (link to ‘overcoming difficulties’ article).
  • Employment schemes. There are a variety of schemes that will help you get back to work or to adapt your work environment to meet your needs. Click here to read further information on these schemes. 
  • Carer's Benefit and Carer's Allowance can be applied for if you're a full time carer of someone with a disability.
  • Household Benefits Package. If you receive a long term payment then you might also qualify for this package, which includes: an electricity/gas allowance, a telephone allowance and a free TV license.
  • Heating Supplement and the National Fuel Scheme. These payments help people who have extra heating needs or those who cannot afford to pay for their heating needs.
  • Contact the Equality Authority and Enable Ireland for more information. In Northern Ireland contact the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
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Published March 19th, 2013
Last updated October 14th, 2014
Tags money disability grants social welfare
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