have an injury, disease or physical or mental disability that has continued, or may be expected to continue, for at least one year
be substantially restricted from doing work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of your age, experience and qualifications
be aged between 16 and 66. When you reach 66 years of age you no longer qualify for Disability Allowance, but you are assessed for a State Pension.
satisfy a means test (a test of your income and any income from your spouse or partner, and the results will be used to work out your rate of pay) and habitual residence conditions
Payments for couples
If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting and you both qualify for Disability Allowance, you will each get the weekly personal rate.
If either you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant qualifies for Disability Allowance and the other person is getting another social welfare payment, you will each get the weekly personal rate of your respective payment.
Means testing if you have a job
A person in receipt of Disability Allowance can take up employment or self-employment and is means tested as follows:
the first €140 of weekly income from that employment (after deduction of PRSI, pension contributions and union dues) is disregarded for the purpose of the means test
50% of their weekly earnings between €140 and €375 is then disregarded for the purpose of the means test
any further earnings, over €375 per week, are fully assessed for the purpose of the means test
Tax free payment
Disability Allowance payments, including increases for dependent adults or children and other Allowances paid with the payment, are fully exempt from:
If you are getting Disability Allowance and go into hospital or residential care, you will continue to get your payment as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.
If you qualify for Disability Allowance, you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments.
Rates of payment
Your personal rate
Extra for dependent adult
Extra for dependent child (under 12)
€40 (or €20 in some cases)
Extra for dependent child (over 12)
€48 (or €24 in some cases)
You may receive the extra payment for an adult dependent, for example a spouse or partner, if their income is below a certain level. This is called an increase for a qualified adult.