As you enter into your mature years of life things start to change. However, not all of these changes are unpleasant. As an Irish citizen you gain certain rights you didn’t previously have and are entitled to a number of benefits you may not even know previously existed.
We have outlined a number of these benefits you are entitled to as senior.
Social Insurance Payments
If you wish to claim Social insurance payments you will need to have contributed to PRSI in previous years and built up the required amount. There are two different types:
1. State Pension (Contributory)
Payable to citizens aged 66 and over. Income from other sources is permitted however it is taxable.
2. Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s Contributory Pension
Payable to a surviving civil partner, widow or widower of the deceased, under the conditions you have not remarried, you are not cohabiting or in a civil partnership.
Benefits for Seniors in Ireland
When it comes to claiming living expenses in Ireland, seniors are entitled to a number of different benefits. We have listed a number of these below from housing, medical, travel and more.
1. Household Benefits Package:
This is a cost of living expenses package tailored for citizens over 70, and in certain circumstances citizens under the age of 70. There are, however, terms and conditions.
- You must be living in Ireland.
- Only one person per household is allowed to qualify for this package.
- If you are renting your home, your landlord must provide written proof of tenancy.
- Provide proof that you pay your own utilities.
If you are between the age of 66 and 70 there are certain conditions that allow you to claim the Household Benefit Package.
If you are:
- Receiving the State Pension (Contributory/ Non-Contributory).
- Receiving a Widow’s, Widower’s or Surviving Civil Partner’s (Contributory) Pension.
- Receiving Deserted Wife’s Benefit or allowance.
- Receiving a Garda Widow’s Pension from the Department of Justice and Equality.
- Receiving the equivalent Social Security Pension/Benefit from a country covered by EU Regulations.
- If you satisfy the means test.
There are two allowances within this benefit package:
You can choose one of the following:
- Electricity Allowance
- Natural Gas Allowance
- Cash Electricity Allowance
- Cash Gas Allowance
This benefit allows you to a supplementary, €35 off one of the above monthly.
- Free Television Licence
Starting 1st January 2015 the Household benefits Package will also include a €100 water support payment, towards the new water charges introduced in 2014 budget.
Unfortunately, as of January 1st 2014, the telephone allowance has been cut.
You do not need to be in receipt of a pension nor is the Household Benefits Package means tested for participants over 70.
Full details of the Household Benefits package available HERE.
2. Medical Card:
All citizens aged 70 and over are entitled to apply for a medical card and will be granted one, following the completion of a means test. All details on applying for a medical card can be found at the following link: https://www.hse.ie/portal/eng/services/list/1/schemes/mc/about/howtoapply/
You can also contact their Client Registration office for more information at 1890 252 919.
3. Housing Benefits:
Ireland offers its senior citizens a range of housing benefits. All of which are outlined below.
Housing Aid for Older People scheme
This scheme was initially established to promote better housing conditions for seniors in Ireland. The required age to apply for this scheme is 66 years and over. This grant covers the following repairs and improvements:
- Windows & Doors
- Water, sanitary services and heating
- Cleaning & painting
- Radon remediation
Full details of Housing for older people scheme available HERE.
Housing Adaption grant for people with a disability
This grant is available for any individual with a physical, sensory or intellectual disability. Individuals suffering with a mental health difficulty are also eligible for this grant. It provides funding for these individuals to adapt their homes, in order to maintain their independence and live in a safe, comfortable environment.
Full details of Housing Adaption grant for people with a disability available HERE.
Mobility Aids Grants scheme
This grant provides payment for the installation of safe grab-rails, easy access showers, ramps or stair lifts if required. This grant is only available to household incomes under €30,000 annually.
Full details of Mobility Aids Grants scheme available HERE.
Working in Retirement
You are entitled to continue working after the retirement age of 65, whether you are employed or self-employed. It will however affect your social welfare payment. (State Pension Contributory or Widow’s/Widower’s Contributory, not included).
Full details of Working in Retirement are available HERE.
Further details on all of the above benefits/entitlements can be found HERE.
Other Social Welfare Payments
1. Increase for Living Alone
This payment is made to individuals living completely alone. No exceptions! On January 1st 2015 this is to be increased from €7.70 to €9.00 weekly, a rise of €1.30 per week. This will benefit nearly 180,000 senior citizens in Ireland.
2. Aged 80 Increase
If you are in receipt of the Irish social welfare pension, when turning 80 years, you automatically receive an increase in your payment.
3. Free Travel: If you are 66 or over you are entitled to the Irish free travel pass. This pass allows you free travel “on bus, road, rail and DART services operated by Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, LUAS services, the Aran Islands ferry service and on certain private services which have opted into the scheme.”*
4. National Fuel Scheme
This payment is available to all and is granted providing they satisfy the means test. The purpose of this payment is to provide heating fuel in homes of those who can’t afford it.
Individuals providing full time care for others may be eligible for a carer’s payment.
Full details of all these Social Welfare payments are available HERE.
*Income supports for older people. 2014. Income supports for older people. Available at: https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/older_and_retired_people/income_supports_for_older_people.html.
• National Centre for the Protection of Older People (NCPOP): https://www.ncpop.ie/
• National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland: https://www.hiqa.ie/publication/national-quality-standards-residential-care-settings-older-people-ireland
• The Law and Elder Abuse in Ireland: https://humanrights.ie/criminal-justice/the-law-and-elder-abuse-in-ireland/
• Mistreatment of Older People in Ireland: https://www.stpatricks.ie/blog/mistreatment-older-people-ireland
Written by: myhomecare.ie – Mary Lavin
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