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Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

The rate for this payment was increased on the 24th of March. If you have applied before the before this date or are already in receipt of this payment you do not need to do anything.

What Illness Benefit for COVID-19 absences is

When a worker is told to self-isolate by a doctor or the HSE or has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) by a doctor, they can apply for an enhanced Illness Benefit payment of €350 per week.

To be eligible for this payment a person must be confined to their home or a medical facility.

Phone your GP. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. The GP will assess you over the phone.

How to qualify

To receive the enhanced payment, you must be:

  • self-isolating on the instruction of a doctor or the HSE and diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
  • be absent from work and confined to your home or a medical facility

Rate of payment

The personal rate for this payment is €350, as compared with the normal Illness Benefit rate of €203. It was originally set at a rate of €305 but it was increased by Government on March 24.

It will be paid for a maximum of 2 weeks where a person is self-isolating and for a maximum of 10 weeks if a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If a person has been certified for less than 10 weeks , they will be paid for the duration of their certificate.

How to Apply

Step 1

  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, or advised to self-isolate by a doctor, the doctor will then complete a medical certificate on your behalf and send this directly to the department. To complete the medical certification, your doctor will ask you for your name, PPSN and Date of Birth.
  • Alternatively, if you have been advised by the HSE that you must self-isolate (e.g. contact tracing) , you will have received a text or a letter from the HSE. You will need to submit a copy of this notification with your Illness Benefit application form.
  • If you are returning from travel abroad and following HSE self-isolation advice, and are not being paid by your employer, you will require your GP to complete a medical certificate on your behalf.

Step 2

You need to complete a paper application for Illness Benefit (Form IB1). This form is not available to download.

It is important to complete part 5 of the Illness Benefit form as this contain how you would like to be paid. You do not have to fill in part 7 of the form.

To get your application form you can

  • call 1890 800 024 or 01 2481398 between 9.00am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday to get an application form by post
  • organise someone to pick up a form at your doctor’s surgery or at your local Intreo Centre
  • request that a form to be posted to you by sending an email with tour name and address and form required to forms@welfare.ie . Forms can only be posted to addresses in Ireland. You can request a form to be posted to you by sending an email:

Request a Form be posted out to you

This email address is only to request that an application form be posted out to you so please supply your name and address. Forms can only be posted to addresses in Ireland.

From the end of March you will be able to apply online at MyWelfare.ie for Illness Benefit

Send your application form by Freepost to:

Social Welfare Services

FREE POST, Social Welfare Services, P.O Box 1650, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Dublin 1

Once both the application form and the medical certificate are received payment will be processed.

You should continue to liaise with your doctor in relation to your diagnosis and the length of time you are medically certified unfit to work because of COVID-19.

To help us to process all payments as quickly as possible, we would kindly ask you not to phone the department seeking updates on your application as staff will be focusing on processing applications. Thank you for your co-operation.