What state entitlements do I qualify for?
Mar 28, 2022

In the first chapter of the Home Instead’s Essential Guide to Ageing Well 2022, we take a look at the state benefits and allowances that ageing adults are entitled to in Ireland. Below we have mapped out a round-up of key terms and their meanings, as well as links to the Guidebook itself for further information.

 

RETIRING EARLY

Early retirement generally means retirement under the age of 66. Regardless of why you have retired early, you may be entitled to Jobseeker’s Benefit (JB) and, later, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JA).

Be aware, retiring early means you no longer automatically make PRSI contributions. Several years without contributions could make it difficult for you to access the State Pension (Contributory).

To keep your PRSI contribution up to date, you can get credits by availing of JB or JA or, if you do not qualify, by signing on for credits. Alternatively, you can pay voluntary contributions.

 

JOB SEEKER’S BENEFITS (JB) AND JOB SEEKER’S ALLOWANCE (JA)

Early retirees under the age of 66 can qualify for Job Seeker’s Benefits if they are seeking and available for work.

Be aware, this JB payment may be disqualified for nine weeks if you received a redundancy payment of €50,000 or more upon retirement.

You are generally entitled to JB for 6 months or 9 months.

Early retirees under the age of 66 who have used up their JB entitlement or do not have enough PRSI contributions may instead be entitled to Job Seeker’s Allowance.

 

STATE PENSIONS

There are two types of state pensions, State Pension (Non-Contributory) and State Pension (Contributory).

STATE PENSION (NON-CONTRIBUTORY)

This is a means-tested payment that you can avail of over the age of 66, if you do not qualify for the State Pension (Contributory).

This payment can be taxed but generally is not if it is your only income.

If you receive the State Pension (Non-Contributory), you may also qualify for:

  • Rent Supplement: A payment to help with the cost of your rent
  • Living Alone Increase: An increase of payment if you are getting certain social welfare benefits and live alone
  • Household Benefits Package: This includes your electricity or gas allowance and your TV License
  • Travel Pass: This provides you with free travel on public transport
  • Fuel Allowance: You may be eligible for this if you are dependent on long-term social welfare benefits
  • Island Increase: An increase to your pension if you are living on specific islands off the coast of Ireland
  • Centenarian’s Payment: To mark your 100th Birthday
  • Carer’s Support Grant: Paid to carers over the age of 16 that provide six months of full-time care a year
  • Telephone Support Allowance: You may be provided with a weekly rate if you qualify for the Living Alone Increase and the Fuel Allowance


STATE PENSION (CONTRIBUTORY)

This is a payment that you can avail over the age of 66 and if you have enough Irish social insurance contributions.

This payment can be taxed but generally is not if it is your only income.

If you receive the State Pension (Contributory), you may also qualify for:

  • An Additional €10 Payment: This is paid per week upon turning 80. A Living Alone Allowance may also be received
  • Medical Card: A medical card allows you to avail of certain free health services. This is means-tested
  • Household Benefits Package: This includes your electricity or gas allowance and your TV License. This is available to your over the age of 70 and under the age of 70 in certain circumstances.
  • Travel Pass: This provides you with free travel on public transport
  • Fuel Allowance: You may be eligible for this if you are dependent on long-term social welfare benefits
  • Child Dependents is an increase to your pension for child dependents.



CARER’S ALLOWANCE

You can receive this taxable payment if you are on a low income and are looking are looking after someone who needs care because of age, disability, or health.

If you qualify for Carer’s Allowance you may also qualify for a Free Travel Pass and, if you are living with the person that you care for, free household benefits.

 

To find out more about state entitlements as well as other ageing well essentials, download the Ageing Well Guidebook here.