Need financial support?
We've created a list of available financial benefits
Living with long covid can be a challenging experience that can take a toll on both your physical and financial health. If you have been diagnosed with long covid and are struggling to make ends meet, it is important to know that there are financial benefits available to help you cope with the additional expenses that come with your condition. In Ireland, there are a range of financial supports and benefits available that can provide assistance to those living with long covid. This section will explore the various financial benefits available to long covid patients in Ireland, including eligibility criteria and how to apply.
Illness Benefit is a payment available to those who are unable to work due to illness or injury, including long covid. The payment provides financial support while you are unable to work and is paid for up to two years. To qualify for the benefit, you must have enough PRSI contributions and be unable to work for at least six days.
If you are a long covid sufferer who cannot work due to your condition, it is important to apply for Illness Benefit within six weeks of leaving work due to illness. To be eligible for the payment, you must be certified by a doctor as medically unfit for work and meet the relevant PRSI contribution criteria.
In addition to these requirements, you must have made at least 104 weeks' PRSI contributions since starting work. You must also meet one of the following criteria:
Have 39 weeks' PRSI contributions paid or credited in the relevant tax year, with at least 13 of these being paid.
Have 26 weeks' PRSI contributions paid in the tax year immediately before the year in which you make your claim and 26 weeks' PRSI contributions paid in the relevant tax year.
The relevant tax year is the second-last complete tax year before your claim for Illness Benefit begins. By meeting these criteria, you can ensure that your application for Illness Benefit is processed without delay.
It is important to note that if you are approved for Illness Benefit, you may also be eligible for other benefits, such as a medical card or a back-to-work scheme. The rate of Illness Benefit is subject to tax, and you may be required to pay PRSI contributions.
Disability Allowance is a weekly payment available to people with long-term illnesses or disabilities, including long covid. The payment is designed to help with the extra costs associated with living with a disability, such as medical expenses and travel costs.
To be eligible for Disability Allowance, you must have a disability that is expected to last for at least a year and which substantially limits your ability to work. You must also satisfy a means test, which takes into account your income, your partner's income, and any savings or assets you may have. The means test also considers the income and assets of any adult dependents living with you.
You will need to complete an application form to apply for Disability Allowance. The application form can be downloaded from the Department of Social Protection website or obtained by contacting your local Intreo Centre. The application form asks for information about your medical condition, your employment history, your income, and your living arrangements. You will also need to provide medical evidence to support your application.
Once you have completed the application form and gathered all necessary documents, you can submit your application online, by post, or in person at your local Intreo Centre. The application process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the complexity of your case and the volume of applications being processed.
If your application is successful, you will receive a letter confirming the amount of Disability Allowance you will be paid each week. The amount of the payment depends on your individual circumstances, such as your living arrangements and income. The payment is reviewed periodically, and you will be required to notify the Department of Social Protection of any changes in your circumstances.
The Medical Card is a valuable benefit for those with long covid, as it provides access to a range of health services free of charge. These services include doctor visits, prescribed medications, and hospital care, as well as dental and optical services. The card can also cover some additional services such as physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.
To be eligible for a Medical Card, you must meet certain income thresholds. The exact thresholds vary depending on your circumstances, such as your family size and whether you are single or married. You can check your eligibility for a Medical Card online here: https://www2.hse.ie/services/schemes-allowances/medical-cards/.
If you are eligible for a Medical Card, you can apply for it online, by post, or in person at your local HSE office. The application process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the volume of applications being processed. You will need to provide information about your income, your living arrangements, and any medical conditions you may have.
If your application is successful, you will receive a Medical Card, which will be valid for a set period of time. You will need to renew your application before the card expires to continue receiving the benefits. If your application is unsuccessful, you can appeal the decision by contacting the National Medical Card Unit.
Drugs payment scheme
The Drugs Payment Scheme is a benefit that helps people with long-term illnesses or disabilities, including long covid, to manage the cost of their prescription medications. The scheme applies to all prescription drugs, as well as certain medical appliances such as crutches or wheelchairs.
To be eligible for the Drugs Payment Scheme, you must be ordinarily resident in Ireland and not covered by a Medical Card. You must also have a medical condition that requires ongoing treatment with prescription medication. There is no means test for the scheme, and it is not based on your income.
If you are eligible for the Drugs Payment Scheme, you can apply for it online, by post, or in person at your local HSE office. Once you are enrolled in the scheme, you will be issued a Drugs Payment Scheme card, which you will present to your pharmacist when filling your prescription. The card limits the amount you pay for prescription medications to a set amount per month, regardless of the number of prescriptions you need.
The current monthly threshold for the Drugs Payment Scheme is €124. If you reach this threshold in a calendar month, you will not have to pay any further prescription charges for that month. It's important to note that the scheme does not cover non-prescription medications, such as over-the-counter painkillers or vitamins.
If you have any questions about the Drugs Payment Scheme, you can contact your local HSE office or the Drugs Payment Scheme Unit. It's important to keep track of your prescription costs and ensure that you present your Drugs Payment Scheme card to your pharmacist each time you fill a prescription.