Partial Capacity Benefit is a social welfare scheme which allows you to
return to work or self-employment (if you have reduced capacity to work) and
continue to receive a payment from the Department of Social Protection.
If you have been getting Illness Benefit (for a minimum of 6 months) or
Invalidity Pension and wish to return to work you may qualify for Partial
Capacity Benefit if your capacity for work is reduced by your medical
You will qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit if your restriction on
capacity for work is assessed as moderate, severe, or profound. If it is
assessed as mild you will not qualify and your continued eligibility to Illness
Benefit or Invalidity Pension will also be reviewed.
Participation on the Partial Capacity Benefit scheme is voluntary and you
may return to Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension if, for example, your
employment ceases or if you find you cannot continue to work.
You do not have to transfer onto the Partial Capacity Scheme if you wish to do
Replacement of exemption arrangements
From 13 February 2012 Partial Capacity Benefit replaces the previous
exemption arrangements where people on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension
could get permission to work part-time (known as an exemption) for
rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes and keep their full social welfare
payment. There is no requirement that the work a person does while on Partial
Capacity Benefit has to be for rehabilitative or therapeutic purposes.
If you are on Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension and want to do a FET
(formerly FÁS) training course, you do not go onto Partial Capacity
Benefit. You apply to the Illness Benefit or Invalidity Pension section, as
appropriate. From 1 January 2014 new participants do not get a training
allowance and a social welfare payment together.
You cannot get Partial Capacity Benefit and take part in a Community
To qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit you need to be currently getting
You may not work until you have received written approval to do so from the
Department of Social Protection. You should also get the approval of your
doctor before taking up employment.
There is no restriction on earnings or number of hours you can work. You can
work in a self-employed capacity while getting Partial Capacity Benefit. You
cannot get Partial Capacity Benefit and Family
Income Supplement together. You can get Partial Capacity Benefit and a half-rate Carer's
Note that Disability Allowance and Blind Pension are not qualifying payments
for Partial Capacity Benefit.
How long does payment last?
Payment will last as long as you have an underlying entitlement to Illness
Benefit or Invalidity Pension. Your continued entitlement to Partial Capacity
Benefit is subject to review and you may be required to attend a
medical assessment by a medical assessor.
Partial Capacity Benefit is made up of a personal rate for you and may
include increases for your qualified adult and qualified child(ren). The
personal rate of payment is based on the assessment of your restriction on
capacity for work, whether you were in receipt of Illness Benefit or Invalidity
Pension and your current rate of payment.
% of your personal rate of Illness Benefit or Invalidity
for qualified children and adults
continue to be paid at the same rate. The conditions for payment of increases
are the same as those that applied to your Illness Benefit or Invalidity
Maximum rates of Partial Capacity Benefit 2015
||Person previously getting Illness Benefit at the maximum
personal rate €188.00
||Person aged under 66 and previously getting Invalidity
Pension at the maximum personal rate €193.50
Partial Capacity Benefit will be paid directly by Electronic Funds Transfer
(EFT) into your Irish bank or building society account (not a mortgage
If you were getting Invalidity Pension and were entitled to Free
Travel or Island
Allowance you can keep these if you qualify for Partial Capacity Benefit.
You cannot keep your Fuel Allowance. If you were getting Invalidity Pension and
a Living Alone Allowance (LAA) with your Invalidity Pension (or you start to
live alone while you are getting PCB) your rate of PCB will be calculated on
the basis of your Invalidity Pension and your LAA. So, for example, if your
restriction on capacity for work is severe your PCB payment will be 75% of your
IP and LAA payment.
You can also keep Free
Travel and/or the Household
Benefits Package but they will both be means-tested after the first 2 years
and annually after that. The means test has a weekly income limit. This limit
is the maximum rate of State Pension (Contributory) for your circumstances
(this includes any dependents you may have) plus €100. Your weekly income
limit is then compared to your weekly means in a means test.
You should check with the Department
of Social Protection's representative (formerly known as the Community Welfare
Officer) in your local health
centre to see how your Rent
Supplement or Mortgage
Interest Supplement may be affected by your participation in the Partial
How to apply
Contact the Partial
Capacity Benefit Section of the Department of Social Protection. They will
send out an application form to you (forms are not currently available online).
A Medical Assessor will assess the restriction on your capacity for work.
This may require you to attend a medical assessment. You should include all
appropriate medical evidence with your application. If you qualify for Partial
Capacity Benefit, you are not required to send in medical certificates.
You can apply for Partial Capacity Benefit before you start to look for work
and any reduction (if applicable) to your personal rate is not applied until
you start work.
Partial Capacity Benefit is not paid to people over 66. If you were getting
Invalidity Pension you will be transferred automatically to a State
Pension (Contributory) when you turn 66. If you were getting Illness
Benefit you must apply for a State pension and you should do so at least 3
months before your 66th birthday.
You can appeal a decision of a Deciding Officer on your claim for Partial
Capacity Benefit to the independent Social
Welfare Appeals Office within 21 days of the date of the decision. Before
an appeal you can seek a review of the decision by another Deciding Officer.
Where to apply
Partial Capacity Benefit Section
Department of Social Protection
Áras Mhic Dhiarmada
Tel:(01) 704 3950/3039/3735/3991
Locall:1890 928 400 (from the Republic of Ireland only) or +353 1 7043000 (Northern Ireland or overseas)