Illness Benefit is a scheme to support you if you cannot work in the short term if you are ill. Your illness must be certified by a doctor.
Illness Benefit is not linked to your employer’s policy on pay for sick leave.
Illness Benefit is paid weekly. It can be paid Monday to Saturday depending on when the claim is registered and the first day of your illness.
You should claim Illness Benefit within 6 weeks of becoming ill. This applies whether your employer pays you or not while you are out sick from work. You should claim for Illness Benefit from the first day of your illness. You also should be certified by a doctor from your first day of illness.
If your income does not meet your needs while you are waiting to hear about your Illness Benefit claim, you may be able to get basic Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
This is a weekly payment for people who do not have enough income to meet their basic needs and the needs of their partner or children.
To qualify for Illness Benefit, you must meet conditions related to:
You must be under pensionable age. This is currently 66.
You must have at least 104 class A, E, H or P social insurance (PRSI) contributions paid since first starting work.
You must also meet either Condition 1 or Condition 2 below:
You must have 39 weeks of PRSI contributions paid or credited in the relevant tax year, of which 13 must be paid contributions.
If you do not have 13 paid contributions in the relevant tax year, then 13 paid contributions in one of the following tax years can be used instead:
You must have 26 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year, and 26 weeks of PRSI contributions paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year.
The relevant tax year is the second-last complete tax year before the year in which your claim for Illness Benefit begins.
Example 1: If you make a claim in 2022, the relevant tax year is 2020.
Example 2: If you make a claim in 2023, the relevant tax year is 2021.
You must also:
Illness Benefit rates are paid at four different rates. The department works out which rate you are paid based on your average weekly earnings in the relevant tax year.
The rates are:
|Average weekly earnings||Your personal rate||Extra for dependent adult||Combined rate (if you have adult dependent)|
|€300 or more||€220.00||€146.00||€366.00|
|€220 - €299.99||€172.30||€94.50||€266.80|
|€150 - €219.99||€141.90||€94.50||€236.40|
|less than €150||€98.70||€94.50||€193.20|
If you have dependent adult or children and are receiving Illness Benefit you may be entitled to an increase in your payment.
The department works out your average weekly earnings by dividing your total earnings (before tax and some other deductions) in the relevant tax year by the number of weeks you have worked.
|Example 1||Example 2|
|Earnings taken into account in relevant tax year||€16,800||€232.36|
|Number of weeks work||35||1|
|Average weekly earnings||€480 (€16,800 divided by 35)||€232.36 (€232.36 divided by 1)|
Illness Benefit is a taxable payment.
The department pays Illness Benefit without deducting tax.
The department notify Revenue of the amount of Illness Benefit paid to you. This means Revenue will deduct the correct tax if you need to pay. You do not have to do anything for the correct tax to be paid.
If you have been receiving Illness Benefit for more than 6 months you can apply for Partial Capacity Benefit, Disability Allowance or Invalidity Pension.
You will not get Illness Benefit for the first 3 days you are off sick from work. These are called waiting days. Sunday is not counted as a waiting day.
You can decide to have your Illness Benefit paid into your:
It can also be paid:
Illness Benefit may be paid directly to your employer. To do this, you will need your employer’s payment details to fill in the application.
You must get a doctor to examine you.
You may have to pay for this exam, but the Certificate of Incapacity for Work is free.
Your doctor can complete your Certificate of Incapacity for Work electronically. If your certificate has not been completed electronically you must submit a paper copy to accompany your illness benefit application.
You can apply for Illness Benefit online through MyWelfare. If you are unable to apply online you may ask your doctor for an IB1 application form.
If you have a verified or basic MyGovID account you can apply online on MyWelfare.ie.
If you cannot apply online, you can request an IB1 claim form from your GP. Alternatively, you can request an IB1 claim form by calling the Illness Benefit contact number +353 1 704 3300 or 0818 928 400 or emailing email@example.com and providing your full name and address.
Please include “Application Request” in the subject line of the email.
All completed certificates and forms should be sent to:
You have to notify the department when you are fit to return to work. You can contact the department by email or phone using the details below.
Your doctor needs to mark your last Certificate of Incapacity for Work as final before you go back to work. If you cannot get the certificate marked, you should still notify the department.
If you need to close your claim earlier than the date on your Certificate of Incapacity for Work you can contact the department by email or phone using the details below.
Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.
Get guidance on how to complete your Illness Benefit application online with MyWelfare.