Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005

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Number 26 of 2005


SOCIAL WELFARE CONSOLIDATION ACT 2005


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART 1

Preliminary

Section

1.

Short title.

2.

Interpretation.

3.

Interpretation generally.

4.

Regulations.

5.

Expenses.

PART 2

Social Insurance

Chapter 1

Social Insurance Fund

6.

Sources of moneys for benefits.

7.

Social Insurance Fund — expenditure on benefit.

8.

Social Insurance Fund — payments to National Training Fund.

9.

Social Insurance Fund.

10.

Actuarial review.

11.

Payments from Fund for acquisition of land, etc.

Chapter 2

Employed Contributors and Employment Contributions

12.

Employed contributors and insured persons.

13.

Employment contributions.

14.

Modified insurance.

15.

Calculation of reckonable earnings.

16.

Employment by more than one employer.

17.

Payment of contributions and keeping of records.

18.

Priority debts to Social Insurance Fund in a company winding-up.

19.

Winding-up and bankruptcy.

Chapter 3

Self-Employed Contributors and Self-Employment Contributions

20.

Self-employed contributors and insured persons.

21.

Rates of self-employment contributions and related matters.

22.

Regulations providing for determination of contributions payable.

23.

Regulations providing for collection of self-employment contributions, etc.

Chapter 4

Voluntary Contributors and Voluntary Contributions

24.

Voluntary contributors.

25.

Voluntary contributions by former employed contributors.

26.

Voluntary contributions by former self-employed contributors.

27.

Calculation of voluntary contributions.

Chapter 5

Optional Contributors and Optional Contributions

28.

Optional contributors and optional contributions.

29.

Rates of optional contributions and related matters.

30.

Regulations providing for determination of optional contributions payable and related matters.

Chapter 6

General

31.

Employment outside State.

32.

Regulations varying rates and amounts of contributions.

33.

Exceptions and credits.

34.

Return of contributions paid in error.

35.

Return of contributions where entry into insurance occurs after specified age.

36.

Return of employment contributions — master or seaman.

37.

Return of contributions — maintenance arrangements.

38.

Return of contributions — payments to personal pensions.

Chapter 7

Description of Benefits

39.

Description of benefits.

Chapter 8

Disability Benefit

40.

Entitlement to benefit.

41.

Conditions for receipt.

42.

Rate of benefit.

43.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

44.

Duration of payment.

45.

Duration of payment (optional contributors).

46.

Disqualifications.

Chapter 9

Maternity Benefit

47.

Entitlement to and duration of benefit.

48.

Conditions for receipt.

49.

Rate of benefit.

50.

Disqualifications.

51.

Supplementary provisions.

Chapter 10

Health and Safety Benefit

52.

Entitlement to benefit.

53.

Conditions for receipt.

54.

Duration of payment.

55.

Rate of benefit.

56.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

57.

Disqualifications.

Chapter 11

Adoptive Benefit

58.

Entitlement to and duration of adoptive benefit.

59.

Conditions for receipt.

60.

Rates of adoptive benefit.

61.

Disqualification.

Chapter 12

Unemployment Benefit

62.

Entitlement to benefit.

63.

Condition for receipt (optional contributors).

64.

Conditions for receipt.

65.

Rate of benefit.

66.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

67.

Duration of payment.

68.

Disqualifications.

Chapter 13

Occupational Injuries Benefits

69.

Interpretation.

70.

Occupational injuries insurance.

71.

Insurable (occupational injuries) employment.

72.

Extension of meaning of references to accidents arising out of and in course of employment.

73.

Accidents in illegal employment and accidents outside State.

74.

Injury benefit.

75.

Disablement benefit.

76.

Increase of injury benefit and disablement pension for qualified adult and qualified children.

77.

Increase of disablement pension on account of unemployability.

78.

Increase of disablement pension where constant attendance needed.

79.

Adjustments for successive accidents.

80.

Entitlement to death benefit.

81.

Death benefit for widows and widowers and increases for qualified children, etc.

82.

Death benefit — parents.

83.

Death benefit — orphans.

84.

Death benefit — funeral expenses.

85.

Supplements to workmen’s compensation payments.

86.

Cost of medical care.

87.

Insurance against prescribed diseases and injuries not caused by accident.

88.

Notice of accidents.

89.

Reporting of accidents by employers.

90.

Declaration that accident is an occupational accident.

91.

Disqualifications for injury benefit or disablement benefit and suspension of proceedings.

92.

Treating person as incapable of work, etc.

93.

Medical treatment.

94.

Rehabilitation.

95.

Research.

96.

Taking account of benefit in assessing damages.

97.

Saver for repeal of Workmen’s Compensation Acts.

98.

Construction of certain references in Local Government (Superannuation) Act 1956.

Chapter 14

Carer’s Benefit

99.

Interpretation.

100.

Entitlement to benefit.

101.

Conditions for receipt.

102.

Rate of benefit.

103.

Duration of payment.

104.

Medical examination.

105.

Payment of benefit.

106.

Disqualification.

107.

Regulations.

Chapter 15

Old Age (Contributory) Pension

108.

Entitlement to pension.

109.

Conditions for receipt.

110.

Disregard of self-employment contributions in certain cases.

111.

Rate of pension.

112.

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

113.

Pre-1953 pension.

Chapter 16

Retirement Pension

114.

Entitlement to pension.

115.

Conditions for receipt.

116.

Rate of pension.

117.

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

Chapter 17

Invalidity Pension

118.

Entitlement to pension.

119.

Conditions for receipt.

120.

Contributions paid under the National Health Insurance Acts.

121.

Rate of pension.

122.

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

Chapter 18

Widow’s (Contributory) Pension or Widower’s (Contributory) Pension

123.

Interpretation.

124.

Entitlement to pension.

125.

Conditions for receipt.

126.

Rate of pension.

127.

Increases (including increases for qualified children).

128.

Disregard of self-employment contributions in certain cases.

129.

Certain claims.

Chapter 19

Orphan’s (Contributory) Allowance

130.

Entitlement to allowance.

131.

Condition for receipt.

132.

Rate of allowance.

133.

Payment of allowance.

Chapter 20

Bereavement Grant

134.

Entitlement to grant.

135.

Conditions for receipt.

136.

Amount of grant.

Chapter 21

Widowed Parent Grant

137.

Entitlement to grant.

Chapter 22

Treatment Benefit

138.

General provisions as to benefit.

PART 3

Social Assistance

Chapter 1

Description of Social Assistance

139.

Description of assistance.

Chapter 2

Unemployment Assistance

140.

Interpretation.

141.

Entitlement to assistance.

142.

Rates of assistance and effect of means on rates.

143.

Regulations.

144.

Total amount payable to a couple.

145.

Certain claims.

146.

Amount of increases payable in respect of qualified child in certain cases.

147.

Disqualifications.

148.

Disqualifications — attending a course of study.

Chapter 3

Pre-Retirement Allowance

149.

Entitlement to allowance.

150.

Rate of allowance (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

151.

Regulations.

Chapter 4

Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension

152.

Interpretation.

153.

Entitlement to pension.

154.

Statutory conditions.

155.

Special conditions for receipt of pension.

156.

Rate of pension and increase for qualified child.

157.

Increases (including increase for one of a couple).

158.

Amount of increases payable in respect of qualified child normally resident with beneficiary.

159.

Rate of pension for persons in receipt of farm assist.

160.

Disqualifications.

Chapter 5

Blind Pension

161.

Entitlement to pension.

Chapter 6

Widow’s (Non-Contributory) Pension, Widower’s (Non-Contributory) Pension and Orphan’s (Non-Contributory) Pension

162.

Interpretation.

163.

Entitlement to pension.

164.

Rate of pension.

165.

Increases.

166.

Disqualification.

167.

Avoidance of double pensions.

168.

Entitlement to orphan’s (non-contributory) pension.

169.

Rate of pension.

170.

Civil proceedings.

171.

Payment of pension.

Chapter 7

One-Parent Family Payment

172.

Interpretation.

173.

Entitlement to payment.

174.

Rate of allowance and increases for qualified children.

175.

Disqualification.

176.

Continuation of payment.

177.

Regulations.

178.

Transitional provisions — relevant payments.

Chapter 8

Carer’s Allowance

179.

Interpretation.

180.

Entitlement to allowance.

181.

Rate of allowance.

182.

Payment of allowance.

183.

Prescribed relative allowance.

184.

Entitlement to prescribed relative allowance.

185.

Medical examination.

186.

Regulations.

Chapter 9

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

187.

Interpretation.

188.

Definition of qualified child.

189.

Entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance.

190.

Exclusion of persons receiving full-time education.

191.

Exclusion of persons in full-time employment.

192.

Exclusion of persons not habitually resident in the State.

193.

Persons affected by trade disputes.

194.

Administration.

195.

Conditions for grant of supplementary welfare allowance.

196.

Calculation of supplementary welfare allowance.

197.

Weekly amounts of supplementary welfare allowance for persons of no means.

198.

Weekly or monthly supplements.

199.

Disqualifications.

200.

Allowances in kind.

201.

Power to make single payment for exceptional need.

202.

Grant of supplementary welfare allowance in cases of urgency.

203.

Supplementary welfare allowance granted to persons in receipt of certain Health Service Executive payments.

204.

Recoupment of supplementary welfare allowance.

205.

Recoupment of supplementary welfare allowance (continued).

206.

Arrangements for burials.

207.

Financing of Health Service Executive expenditure on supplementary welfare allowance.

208.

Transfer of certain property.

Chapter 10

Disability Allowance

209.

Interpretation.

210.

Entitlement to allowance.

211.

Rate of allowance (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

212.

Disqualification.

Chapter 11

Farm Assist

213.

Interpretation.

214.

Entitlement to allowance.

215.

Rate of allowance (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

216.

Amount of payment in respect of qualified child in certain cases.

217.

Total amount payable to a couple.

218.

Disqualifications.

PART 4

Child Benefit

219.

Qualified child.

220.

Qualified person.

221.

Amounts of child benefit.

222.

Exclusion of child benefit for superannuation or pension purposes.

223.

Payments to persons absent from State.

PART 5

Respite Care Grant

224.

Interpretation.

225.

Entitlement to respite care grant.

226.

Medical examination.

PART 6

Family Income Supplement

227.

Interpretation.

228.

Entitlement to supplement.

229.

Rate of supplement.

230.

Period of payment.

231.

Person to whom supplement is payable.

232.

Regulations.

233.

Receipt of claims.

PART 7

Continued Payment for Qualified Children

234.

Entitlement to payment.

235.

Weekly rate of payment.

236.

Period of payment.

237.

Disqualification.

238.

Regulations.

PART 8

EU Payments

239.

Certain EU payments — entitlement to island allowance.

PART 9

General Provisions Relating to Social Insurance, Social Assistance and Insurability

Preliminary

240.

Definition.

Chapter 1

Claims and Payments

241.

Claims.

242.

Payments.

243.

Payment in respect of loss of purchasing power.

244.

Payment to persons other than claimant or beneficiary.

245.

Statutory declarations.

246.

Provision with respect to habitual residence.

Chapter 2

Provisions Relating to Entitlement

247.

Avoidance of multiple payments.

248.

Payments after death.

249.

Absence from State or imprisonment.

Chapter 3

Appointment and Duties of Social Welfare Inspectors

250.

Social welfare inspectors.

Chapter 4

Offences, Miscellaneous Control Provisions and Proceedings

251.

False statements and offences, including offences relating to bodies corporate.

252.

Offences in relation to employment contributions.

253.

Notification by employer or other person of commencement of employment.

254.

Records to be maintained.

255.

Information to be given by employers to Minister.

256.

Application of Probation of Offenders Act 1907.

257.

Penalties.

258.

Failure to keep records.

259.

Loss of benefit due to employer’s default.

260.

Information required by Minister.

261.

Exchange of information.

262.

Personal public service number.

263.

Public service card.

264.

Payment card.

265.

Sharing of information.

266.

Data exchange — provision of education.

267.

Data exchange — sharing of personal public service number.

268.

Data exchange — health provisions.

269.

Data exchange — rented accommodation.

270.

Data exchange — correction of inaccurate information.

271.

Definition of information.

272.

Provisions relating to prosecutions.

273.

Civil proceedings — Criminal Assets Bureau.

274.

Evidence.

Chapter 5

Alienation of Books and Documents

275.

Application.

276.

Prohibition of alienation of documents.

277.

Avoidance of alienation of documents.

278.

Return of documents on demand.

Chapter 6

Miscellaneous Provisions

279.

Regulations relating to maintenance.

280.

Free certificates.

281.

Stamp duty.

282.

Birth, marriage and death certificates.

283.

Inalienability.

284.

Means for purpose of Debtors Act (Ireland) 1872.

285.

Exclusion in assessment of damages.

286.

Taking account of disability benefit and invalidity pension in assessing certain damages.

287.

Reciprocal arrangements.

288.

Provision of consultancy, training and contract services, etc.

289.

Administration of social welfare schemes.

290.

Budgeting in relation to social welfare payments.

291.

Regulations in relation to unpaid rent.

292.

Regulations varying rates of benefit or assistance.

293.

Effect of means on certain rates of assistance.

294.

Regulations in relation to benefit or assistance.

295.

Application of provisions of this Act, etc., by regulations.

296.

Payment of increases in respect of qualified children.

297.

Regulations in relation to payment of qualified adult increase in certain cases.

298.

Qualified adult (administrative schemes).

PART 10

Decisions, Appeals and Social Welfare Tribunal

Chapter 1

Deciding Officers and Decisions by Deciding Officers

299.

Appointment of deciding officers.

300.

Decisions by deciding officers.

301.

Revision of decisions by deciding officers.

302.

Effect of revised decisions by deciding officers.

303.

Reference by deciding officer to appeals officer.

Chapter 2

Appeals Officers, Chief Appeals Officer and Decisions by Appeals Officers

304.

Appointment of appeals officers.

305.

Chief Appeals Officer.

306.

Reference to High Court.

307.

Appeals to Circuit Court.

308.

Annual report.

309.

Appointment of assessors.

310.

Other functions of Chief Appeals Officer.

311.

Appeals and references to appeals officers.

312.

Supplementary welfare allowance — appeals.

313.

Power to take evidence on oath.

314.

Notification to persons to attend and give evidence or produce documents at appeal hearing.

315.

Procedure where assessor appointed.

316.

Award of expenses.

317.

Revision by appeals officer of decision of appeals officer.

318.

Revision by Chief Appeals Officer of decision of appeals officer.

319.

Effect of revised decision by appeals officer.

320.

Decision of appeals officer to be final and conclusive.

321.

Supplementary welfare allowance.

Chapter 3

Supplementary Welfare Allowance — Determinations and Appeals

322.

Determination of entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance.

323.

Appeals.

324.

Revision of determination of entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance.

325.

Effect of revised determination by employee of Health Service Executive.

Chapter 4

General Provisions Relating to Decisions and Appeals

326.

Appeals — oral hearings.

327.

Appeals to High Court.

328.

Certificate by deciding officer or appeals officer.

329.

Revision to include revision consisting of reversal.

330.

Regulations.

Chapter 5

Social Welfare Tribunal

331.

Application for adjudication by Social Welfare Tribunal.

332.

Adjudications by Social Welfare Tribunal.

333.

Social Welfare Tribunal.

PART 11

Overpayments, Repayments, Suspension of Payment, etc.

334.

Interim payments and suspension of payment.

335.

Overpayments.

336.

Repayment of benefit, assistance, etc., overpaid.

337.

Liability to repay where person convicted of offence.

338.

Recovery of debts.

339.

Distribution of assets.

340.

Recovery of payments from financial institutions.

341.

Recovery of sums due by civil proceedings or by deduction from other payments.

342.

Repayment of amounts due to be deferred, suspended, reduced or cancelled.

343.

Effect of decision for purposes of proceedings.

PART 12

Liability to Maintain Family

344.

Interpretation.

345.

Liability to maintain family.

346.

Contribution towards benefit or allowance.

347.

Attachment of earnings order.

348.

Employer’s obligations in relation to attachment of earnings order.

349.

Payments under attachment of earnings order.

350.

Powers of District Court.

351.

Changes in employment.

352.

Determinations by District Court.

353.

Liable relative in service of State.

354.

Discharge, variation or lapse of attachment of earnings order.

355.

Cesser.

356.

Offences.

357.

Payments under order of court to offset contributions.

358.

Recipient of benefit or allowance to transfer to competent authority payments under order of court.

359.

Investigations by Health Service Executive.

PART 13

Commencement, Repeals and Continuance

360.

Repeals.

361.

Continuity of repealed enactments.

362.

Continuance of officers, instruments and documents.

363.

Continuity of insurance under old codes.

364.

Commencement.

SCHEDULE 1

EMPLOYMENTS, EXCEPTED EMPLOYMENTS AND EXCEPTED SELF-EMPLOYED CONTRIBUTORS

PART 1

Employments

PART 2

Excepted Employments

PART 3

Excepted Self-Employed Contributors

SCHEDULE 2

RATES OF BENEFITS

PART 1

Rates of Periodical Benefits and Increases

PART 2

Occupational Injuries Benefits — Gratuities and Grant

PART 3

Disablement Pension

PART 4

Increases of Disablement Pension

PART 5

Bereavement Grant

SCHEDULE 3

RULES AS TO CALCULATION OF MEANS

PART 1

Definitions

PART 2

Unemployment Assistance, Pre-Retirement Allowance, Disability Allowance and Farm Assist

PART 3

Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension, Blind Pension, Widow’s (Non-Contributory) Pension, Widower’s (Non-Contributory) Pension and Orphan’s (Non-Contributory) Pension, One-Parent Family Payment and Carer’s Allowance

PART 4

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

SCHEDULE 4

RATES OF ASSISTANCE

PART 1

Rates of Periodical Social Assistance and Increases

PART 2

Increase of Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension for One of a Couple and Increase in Blind Pension for One of a Couple Where Both Beneficiary and Spouse have attained Pensionable Age

PART 3

Increase of Blind Pension for One of a Couple Where Both Beneficiary and Spouse have not attained Pensionable Age

PART 4

Increase of Blind Pension for One of a Couple Where Beneficiary has not attained Pensionable Age and Spouse has attained Pensionable Age

PART 5

Increase of Blind Pension for One of a Couple Where Beneficiary has attained Pensionable Age and Spouse has not attained Pensionable Age

PART 6

Amounts of Child Benefit

SCHEDULE 5

SPECIFIED BODIES

SCHEDULE 6

COMMENCEMENT OF CERTAIN PROVISIONS

SCHEDULE 7

ENACTMENTS REPEALED

Acts Referred to

Adoption Act 1991

1991, No. 14

Adoption Act 1998

1998, No. 10

Adoption Acts 1952 to 1998

Adoptive Leave Act 1995

1995, No. 2

Agriculture Act 1931

1931, No. 8

Aliens Act 1935

1935, No. 14

Army Pensions Acts 1923 to 1980

Bankruptcy Act 1988

1988, No. 27

Blind Persons Act 1920

10 & 11, Geo. 5, c. 49

Building Societies Act 1989

1989, No. 17

Central Bank Act 1971

1971, No. 24

Child Care Act 1991

1991, No. 17

Civil Legal Aid Act 1995

1995, No. 32

Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1964

1964, No. 17

Civil Liability Act 1961

1961, No. 41

Companies Act 1963

1963, No. 33

Companies Acts 1963 to 2005

Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993

1993, No. 8

Connaught Rangers (Pensions) Acts 1936 to 1964

Consumer Credit Act 1995

1995, No. 24

Courts (No. 2) Act 1986

1986, No. 26

Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996

1996, No. 31

Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001

2001, No. 50

Data Protection Act 1988

1988, No. 25

Debtors (Ireland) Act 1872

35 & 36, Vic., c. 57

Dublin Institute of Technology Act 1992

1992, No. 15

Education Act 1998

1998, No. 51

Employment Agency Act 1971

1971, No. 27

Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1926

1926, No. 18

Enforcement of Court Orders Act 1940

1940, No. 23

Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976

1976, No. 11

Family Law Act 1995

1995, No. 26

Fatal Injuries Act 1956

1956, No. 3

Finance Act 2003

2003, No. 3

Fire Services Act 1981

1981, No. 30

Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959

1959, No. 14

Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941 to 2003

Guardianship of Infants Act 1964

1964, No. 7

Harbours Act 1946

1946, No. 9

Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act 1999

1999, No. 13

Health (Nursing Homes) Act 1990

1990, No. 23

Health (Provision of Information) Act 1997

1997, No. 9

Health Act 1947

1947, No. 28

Health Act 1953

1953, No. 26

Health Act 1970

1970, No. 1

Health Acts 1947 to 2005

Health Authorities Act 1960

1960, No. 9

Health Contributions Act 1979

1979, No. 4

Higher Education Authority Act 1971

1971, No. 22

Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992

1992, No. 18

Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997

1997, No. 21

Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002

2002, No. 9

Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Act 1982

1982, No. 6

Housing Act 1966

1966, No. 21

Housing Act 1988

1988, No. 28

Immigration Act 2004

2004, No. 1

Income Tax Acts

Industrial Training Act 1967

1967, No. 5

Interpretation Act 1937

1937, No. 38

Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1989

1989, No. 6

Larceny Act 1916

6 & 7 Geo. 5, c. 50

Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Act 1992

1992, No. 19

Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Act 1968

1968, No. 24

Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Acts 1968 to 1992

Local Government (Superannuation) Act 1956

1956, No. 10

Local Government Act 2001

2001, No. 37

Maternity Protection Act 1994

1994, No. 34

Medical Practitioners Act 1978

1978, No. 4

Mental Treatment Act 1945

1945, No. 19

Mental Health Acts 1945 to 2001

Merchant Shipping Act 1894

57 & 58 Vic., c. 60

Military Service Pensions Acts 1924 to 1964

National Archives Act 1986

1986, No. 11

National Insurance Act 1911

1 & 2, Geo. 5, c. 55

National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952

National Training Fund Act 2000

2000, No. 41

Pensions Act 1990

1990, No. 25

Pilotage Act 1913

2 & 3, Geo. 5, c. 31

Post Office Savings Bank Acts 1861 to 1958

Probation of Offenders Act 1907

7, Edw. 7, c. 17

Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts 1984 to 2004

Public Assistance Act 1939

1939, No. 27

Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999

1999, No. 26

Redundancy Payment Act 2003

2003, No. 14

Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2003

Refugee Act 1996

1996, No. 17

Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992

1992, No. 16

Regional Technical Colleges Acts 1992 to 2001

Road Traffic Act 1961

1961, No. 24

Social Welfare Acts

Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1981

1981, No. 1

Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1993

1993, No. 27

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2002

2002, No. 8

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2003

2003, No. 4

Social Welfare (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004

2004, No. 9

Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 1989

1989, No. 12

Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 1993

1993, No. 32

Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 1995

1995, No. 23

Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 2001

2001, No. 51

Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act 1966

1966, No. 16

Social Welfare (Supplementary Welfare Allowances) Act 1975

1975, No. 28

Social Welfare Act 1952

1952, No. 11

Social Welfare Act 1973

1973, No. 10

Social Welfare Act 1975

1975, No. 1

Social Welfare Act 1990

1990, No. 5

Social Welfare Act 1994

1994, No. 4

Social Welfare Act 1995

1995, No. 3

Social Welfare Act 1996

1996, No. 7

Social Welfare Act 1997

1997, No. 10

Social Welfare Act 1998

1998, No. 6

Social Welfare Act 1999

1999, No. 3

Social Welfare Act 2000

2000, No. 4

Social Welfare Act 2001

2001, No. 5

Social Welfare Act 2002

2002, No. 31

Social Welfare Act 2003

2003, No. 41

Social Welfare Act 2004

2004, No. 41

Social Welfare and Pensions Act 2005

2005, No. 4

Status of Children Act 1987

1987, No. 26

Statutory Declarations Act 1938

1938, No. 37

Superannuation Act 1936

1936, No. 39

Tax Acts

Taxes Consolidation Act 1997

1997, No. 39

Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994

1994, No. 5

Trustee Savings Banks Act 1989

1989, No. 21

Unemployment Insurance Act 1920

10 & 11, Geo. 5, c. 55

Universities Acts 1997 and 1999

Vocational Education Act 1930

1930, No. 29

Widows’ and Orphans’ Pensions Act 1935

1935, No. 29

Workmen’s Compensation Act 1906

6, Edw. 7, c. 58

Workmen’s Compensation Act 1934

1934, No. 9

Workmen’s Compensation Acts

Workmen’s Compensation Acts 1934 to 1955

Youth Employment Agency Act 1981

1981, No. 32

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Number 26 of 2005


SOCIAL WELFARE CONSOLIDATION ACT 2005


AN ACT TO CONSOLIDATE THE SOCIAL WELFARE ACTS.

[27th November, 2005]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

PART 1

Preliminary

Short title.

1.—This Act may be cited as the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005.

Interpretation.

[1993 s2(1); 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

2.—(1) In this Act, save where the context otherwise requires—

“Act of 1997” means the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 ;

“appeals officer” means a person holding office as an appeals officer under section 304 ;

“assistance” means assistance under Part 3;

“beneficiary” means a person entitled to any benefit, assistance, child benefit or family income supplement, as the case may be;

“benefit” means, subject to section 248 and Part 9, benefit under Part 2;

“benefit year” means the period beginning on the first Monday in a particular year and ending on the Sunday before the first Monday in the following year;

[1999 s30 & Sch F]

“bureau officer” means an officer of the Minister appointed as a bureau officer under section 8 (1)(a)(iii) of the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996 ;

“claimant” means a person who has made a claim for any benefit, assistance, child benefit or family income supplement, as the case may be;

“Collector-General” means the Collector-General appointed under section 851 of the Act of 1997;

“contribution week” means one of the successive periods of 7 consecutive days in a contribution year beginning on the first day of that contribution year, or on any 7th day after that day, the last day of a contribution year (or the last 2 days of a contribution year ending in a leap year) being taken as included in the last contribution week of that contribution year;

“contribution year” means a year of assessment within the meaning of the Income Tax Acts;

“credited contribution” means, in relation to any insured person, a contribution credited to that person by virtue of section 33 ;

“day of incapacity for work” has the meaning given to it by section 40 (1);

“day of unemployment”, in relation to Part 2 , has the meaning given to it by section 62 , and in relation to Chapter 2 of Part 3 , has the meaning given to it by section 141 (4) or (7);

“deciding officer” means a person holding office as a deciding officer under section 299 ;

[1993 (No. 2) s11(a)]

“developing country” means any country which the Minister, having regard to the countries so designated by the United Nations, the World Bank or the International Labour Organisation as developing countries and after consultation with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, may determine, for the purposes of this Act, to be a developing country;

“employed contributor” has the meaning given to it by section 12 (1);

“employer’s contribution” has the meaning given to it by section 6 (1)(a);

“employment contribution” has the meaning given to it by section 6 (1)(a);

“entry into insurance” means, subject to sections 35 (3) and 125 (7) and Chapters 15 and 16 of Part 2 , in relation to a person, the date on which the person became an insured person;

[2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

“Executive” means the Health Service Executive;

“health board” means—

(a) a health board established under the Health Act 1970 ,

(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act 1999 , or

(c) an Area Health Board established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act 1999 ;

“incapable of work” means incapable of work by reason of some specific disease or bodily or mental disablement or deemed, in accordance with regulations, to be so incapable;

“infectious diseases maintenance allowance” means a payment under section 44 of the Health Act 1947 to a person suffering from an infectious disease;

“insurable employment” means employment such that a person, over the age of 16 years and under pensionable age, employed in that employment would be an employed contributor;

“insurable (occupational injuries) employment” has the meaning given to it by section 71 ;

“insurable self-employment” means self-employment of such a nature that a person engaged in that employment would be a self-employed contributor;

“insured person” means a person insured under Part 2;

[2001 s15(1)(a)]

“island” means any island lying off the coast of the State, that is prescribed;

“local authority” has the meaning given to it by the Local Government Act 2001 ;

“Member State” means a Member State of the European Communities;

“Minister” means the Minister for Social and Family Affairs;

“non-governmental agency” means any organisation which has as one of its functions the promotion of relief and development in developing countries through the sponsoring or aiding of projects involving the employment of volunteer development workers in those countries;

[1993 (No. 2) s11(b)]

“occupational injuries insurance” has the meaning given to it by section 70 (2);

[1993 (No. 2) s3(a)]

“optional contribution” means a contribution paid under Chapter 5 of Part 2;

[1993 (No. 2) s3(a)]

“optional contributor” means a person engaged in share fishing paying optional contributions;

[1995 s20(1); 2005 (SW&P) s18]

“orphan” means a qualified child—

(a) both of whose parents are dead, or

(b) one of whose parents is dead or unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child, as the case may be, and whose other parent—

(i) is unknown, or

(ii) has abandoned and failed to provide for the child,

where that child is not residing with a parent, adoptive parent or step-parent;

“outworker” means a person to whom articles or materials are given out to be made up, cleaned, washed, altered, ornamented, finished or repaired or adapted for sale in the person’s own home or on other premises not under the control or management of the person who gave out the articles or materials for the purposes of the trade or business of the last-mentioned person;

“pensionable age” means the age of 66 years;

[1993 (No. 2) s3(b)]

“person engaged in share fishing” means a self-employed contributor who is a member of the crew of a fishing vessel and whose principal means of livelihood is derived from a share in the profits or the gross earnings of the working of the vessel;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations;

[2001 s8(1)]

“qualifying contribution” means the appropriate employment contribution or self-employment contribution which was paid or would have been paid but for section 13 (2)(c) in respect of any insured person or the appropriate optional contribution which was paid or would have been paid but for section 29 (1)(b);

[1999 s26(2)]

“record” means any book, document or any other written or printed material in any form including any information stored, maintained or preserved by means of any mechanical or electronic device, whether or not stored, maintained or preserved in a legible form;

[2004 (MP) s13(1)(b)]

“reckonable earnings” means, subject to regulations, earnings derived from insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment;

[2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

“reckonable emoluments”, in relation to a self-employed contributor, means emoluments (other than reckonable earnings and any other emoluments that may be prescribed) to which Chapter 4 of Part 42 of the Act of 1997 applies, reduced by so much of the allowable contribution referred to in Regulations 41 and 42 of the Income Tax (Employments) (Consolidated) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 559 of 2001 ) as is deducted on payment of those emoluments;

“reckonable income”, in relation to a self-employed contributor or an optional contributor, means the aggregate income (excluding reckonable earnings, reckonable emoluments and any other income that may be prescribed) from all sources for the contribution year as estimated in accordance with the Income Tax Acts, but without regard to—

(a) sections 195, 231 and 232 of the Act of 1997, or

(b) save in the case of a person to whom paragraph 1 of Part 3 of Schedule 1 applies, Chapter 1 of Part 44 of the Act of 1997, after deducting from the income so much of any deduction allowed by virtue of the provisions of the definition of “capital allowance” in section 2(1) of the Act of 1997;

“regulations” means regulations made by the Minister under this Act;

“Regulations of 1996” means the Social Welfare (Consolidated Contributions and Insurability) Regulations 1996 ( S.I. No. 312 of 1996 );

“self-employed contributor” has the meaning given to it by section 20 ;

“self-employment contribution” has the meaning given to it by section 6 ;

“short-time employment” means employment in which, for the time being, a number of days is systematically worked in a working week which is less than the number of days which is normal in a working week in the employment concerned;

“Social Insurance Fund” means the Fund to which section 9 relates;

[2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

“social welfare inspector” means a person appointed by the Minister under section 250 to be a social welfare inspector for the purposes of Parts 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 , 9 and 12 ;

“statutory declaration” means a statutory declaration within the meaning of the Statutory Declarations Act 1938 ;

“trade dispute” means any dispute between employers and employees, or between employees and employees, which is connected with the employment or non-employment or the terms of employment or the conditions of employment of any persons, whether employees in the employment of the employer with whom the dispute arises or not;

“voluntary contribution” has the meaning given to it by section 25 ;

“voluntary contributor” has the meaning given to it by section 24 ;

[1993 (No.2) s11(c)]

“volunteer development worker” means a person who is employed temporarily outside the State in a developing country and has secured that employment—

(a) by or through the Department of Foreign Affairs or by or through a non-governmental agency in the State, or

(b) by or through a governmental or non-governmental agency in any Member State other than the State, or

(c) directly with the government of a developing country, and who is employed by any of those agencies or by the government of the developing country or by both under conditions of remuneration similar to local conditions applying in that country and who was resident in the State immediately before taking up that employment;

“Workmen’s Compensation Acts” means the Workmen’s Compensation Acts 1934 to 1955 and the enactments repealed by the Workmen’s Compensation Act 1934.

[1993 s2(2); 2001 s24(1)]

(2) In this Act “qualified adult”, subject to sections 134 , 187 and 297 , means in relation to a person—

(a) a spouse who is wholly or mainly maintained by that person but does not include—

(i) a spouse in employment (other than employment specified in paragraph 4 or 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 ), or

(ii) a spouse who is self-employed, or

(iii) a spouse who is entitled to or is in receipt of any benefit, pension, assistance or allowance (other than supplementary welfare allowance) under Part 2 or 3, or

(iv) a spouse who, by virtue of section 68 (1) or 147 (2), is or would be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit payable under Chapter 12 of Part 2 or unemployment assistance payable under Chapter 2 of Part 3 in his or her own right with the exception of a spouse who qualifies as a qualified adult by virtue of regulations made under paragraph (c), or

(v) a spouse who is entitled to or is in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 or unemployment benefit payable under section 65 or 66 , in respect of a non-craft full-time course approved by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair under the Industrial Training Act 1967 , or

(vi) a spouse who is entitled to or in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 or unemployment benefit payable under section 65 or 66 , in respect of participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Education and Science and known as the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, or

(vii) a spouse who is entitled to or in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 or unemployment benefit payable under section 65 or 66 , in respect of participation in a scheme administered by the Minister and known as—

(I) Back to Education Allowance, or

(II) Back to Work Allowance, or

(III) Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, or

(IV) Part-Time Job Incentive,

or

(b) a person over the age of 16 years being wholly or mainly maintained by that person and having the care of one or more than one qualified child who normally resides with that person where that person is—

(i) a single person,

(ii) a widow,

(iii) a widower, or

(iv) a married person who is not living with and is neither wholly or mainly maintaining, nor being wholly or mainly maintained by, the married person’s spouse,

or

(c) any person whom the Minister may by regulations specify to be a qualified adult for the purposes of this Act.

[1993 s2(3); 2003 (MP) s5(1)(a)]

(3) Subject to section 134 (3), in this Act “qualified child” means a person who is ordinarily resident in the State, is not detained in a reformatory or an industrial school, and—

(a) for the purposes of—

(i) section 43 (2), in the case of an applicant for disability benefit other than as referred to in paragraph (b),

(ii) section 56 (2), in the case of an applicant for health and safety benefit other than as referred to in paragraph (b),

(iii) section 66 (2), in the case of an applicant for unemployment benefit other than as referred to in paragraph (b),

(iv) section 76 (2), in the case of an applicant for injury benefit other than as referred to in paragraph (b), and

(v) section 142 (1)(b)(ii), in the case of an applicant for unemployment assistance other than as referred to in paragraph (b),

is under the age of 18 years or is of or over the age of 18 years and is regarded as attending a course of study referred to in section 148 (3)(a), and

(b) for the purposes of—

(i) sections 81 (5), 83 (1), 102 (1), 112 (2), 117 (2), 122 (2), 127 (1), 130 , 137 , 150 (1)(b), 156 (1), 168 (1), 174 (1), 181 (1), 211 (1)(b), 215 (1)(b) and 228 ,

(ii) section 43 (2), in the case of an applicant who, in respect of any period of interruption of employment has been entitled to or is in receipt of disability benefit for not less than 156 days or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, has been entitled to or has been in receipt of disability benefit and a relevant payment for not less than 156 days,

(iii) section 56 (2), in the case of an applicant who, in respect of a period of health and safety leave under the Maternity Protection Act 1994, has been entitled to or is in receipt of health and safety benefit for not less than 156 days or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, has been entitled to or has been in receipt of health and safety benefit and a relevant payment for not less than 156 days,

(iv) section 66 (2) or 142 (1)(b)(ii), in the case of an applicant who, in any continuous period of unemployment as read in accordance with section 141 (3), has been entitled to or is in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance for not less than 156 days, or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, has been entitled to or has been in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance and a relevant payment for not less than 156 days, and

(v) section 76 (2), as it applies to disablement pension or in the case of an applicant who, in respect of any period of interruption of employment, has been entitled to or is in receipt of injury benefit and a relevant payment for not less than 156 days, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed,

and satisfies one of the following conditions—

(I) is under the age of 18 years, or

(II) is of or over the age of 18 years and under the age of 22 years and is receiving full-time education, the circumstances of which shall be specified in regulations, or

(III) is of or over the age of 18 years and is regarded as attending a course of study referred to in section 148 (3)(a).

[2003 s5(1)(a)]

(4) In subsection (3) “relevant payment” means any benefit specified in section 39 (1) (other than old age (contributory) pension) or any assistance specified in section 139 (1) (other than old age (non-contributory) pension).

[1993 s2(4); 2003 s5(1)(a)]

(5) (a) Notwithstanding subsection (3)(b)(v)(II), a person receiving full-time education, in accordance with that provision, who attains the age of 22 years during an academic year shall continue to be regarded as a qualified child for the purposes of that provision, while receiving full-time education for the duration of that academic year.

(b) In this subsection “academic year” has the meaning given to it by section 148 (2).

[2003 s5(1)(a)]

(6) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) and notwithstanding subsection (3)(a), a person who attains the age of 18 years while attending a full-time day course of study, instruction or training at an institution of education, shall continue to be regarded as a qualified child for the purposes of that subsection until the following 30 June or until the person completes the full-time day course, whichever is the earlier.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a), the Minister may prescribe the conditions subject to which a person shall be regarded as attending a full-time day course of study, instruction or training at an institution of education.

(c) In this subsection, “institution of education” has the meaning given to it by section 148 (2).

[1998 s24(1)]

(7) Subject to Part 12 , “liable relative” means in relation to any person—

(a) a man who is liable to maintain—

(i) his wife,

(ii) his former wife where the marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State,

while she is in receipt of an allowance or benefit, and

(iii) any qualified child of his in respect of whom an increase in allowance or benefit is payable to the mother,

or

(b) a woman who is liable to maintain—

(i) her husband,

(ii) her former husband where the marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State,

while he is in receipt of an allowance, and

(iii) any qualified child of hers in respect of whom an increase in allowance is payable to the father.

Interpretation generally.

[1993 s3(1); 1995 (No. 2) s10(3)]

3.—(1) For the purposes of this Act—

(a) a person is deemed to be over any age mentioned in this Act where the person has attained that age and is deemed to be under any age mentioned in this Act where the person has not attained that age;

(b) a person is deemed to be between 2 ages mentioned in this Act where the person has attained the first-mentioned age but has not attained the second-mentioned age;

(c) a person is deemed not to have attained the age of 16 years until the beginning of the 16th anniversary of the day of the person’s birth, and similarly with respect to any other age;

(d) regulations may provide that, for the purpose of determining whether a contribution is payable in respect of a person, or at what rate a contribution is payable, the person shall be treated as having attained at the beginning of a contribution week, or as not having attained until the end of a contribution week, any age which that person attains during the course of that week;

(e) the circumstances in which a person is to be regarded as living alone shall be specified in regulations;

(f) regulations shall provide for determining the circumstances in which a person is or is not to be regarded to be wholly or mainly maintaining another person.

[1993 s3(2)]

(2) Any reference in this Act to contributions, where the reference is without qualification, shall be read, save where the context otherwise requires, as including a reference to employment contributions, self-employment contributions and voluntary contributions.

[1993 s3(3)]

(3) Regulations may, in relation to any class or description of insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment, specify the persons to be treated for the purposes of this Act as the employers of employed contributors employed in that employment.

[1993 s3(4)]

(4) References in this Act to an employed contributor's employer shall not be read as including his or her employer in any employment other than insurable employment or insurable (occupational injuries) employment.

[1993 s3(5)]

(5) Any question relating to the normal residence of a qualified child shall, subject to section 220 (2), be decided in accordance with regulations made under that subsection.

[1993 s3(6)]

(6) Where a child has been or becomes adopted under the Adoption Acts 1952 to 1998, then for the purposes of this Act—

(a) the child shall after the adoption be treated as if he or she were the child of the adopter or adopters born to that adopter or adopters and were not the child of any other person and, where the child was an orphan immediately before the adoption, as having ceased to be an orphan, and

(b) where there is one adopter only, in any application after the adoption with respect to the child of the definition of “orphan” contained in section 2 (1), “the parent of whom is dead” is substituted in paragraph (a) of that definition for “both of whose parents are dead”.

(7) In this Act—

[1993 s3(9)]

(a) a reference to a Part, Chapter, section or Schedule is to a Part, Chapter or section of or Schedule to this Act, unless it is indicated that reference to some other enactment is intended,

[1993 s3(10)]

(b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause is to the subsection, paragraph, subparagraph or clause of the provision (including a Schedule) in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that reference to some other provision is intended, and

[1993 s3(7)]

(c) a reference to any other enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be read as a reference to that enactment as amended or extended by or under any subsequent enactment.

[1993 s3(8)]

(8) References in any other enactment to the “Social Welfare Acts” means this Act and every enactment which is to be read together with it as one.

[1993 s3(11)]

(9) In this Act, any reference to this Act shall be read as including a reference to regulations made under or applying the provisions of this Act.

[1993 s3(12); 2004 (MP) s18]

(10) For the purposes of sections 43 (3), 66 (3), 76 (3), 112 (3), 117 (3), 122 (3), 134 , 141 (2)(d), 146 , 149 (2), 150 (3), 158 , 181 (4), 210 (2), 211 (3), 216 , 219 (2), 297 and 298 and Chapter 9 of Part 3 , “spouse” means—

(a) each person of a married couple who are living together, or

(b) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife.

[1993 s3(13); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

(11) For the purposes of determining the entitlement of a person to an increase in respect of a qualified adult, references to a spouse in the definition of “qualified adult” contained in section 2 (2) and regulations made under that provision shall be read as including:

(a) a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State, or

(b) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife.

Regulations.

[1993 s4(1)]

4.—(1) The Minister may make regulations—

(a) for any purpose in relation to which regulations are provided for by any of the provisions of this Act, and

(b) for prescribing any matter or thing referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed.

[1993 s4(2)]

(2) Except in so far as this Act otherwise provides, any power conferred by this Act to make regulations may be exercised—

(a) either in relation to all cases to which the power extends, or in relation to all those cases subject to specified exceptions, or in relation to any specified cases or classes of case, and

(b) so as to make, as regards the cases in relation to which it is exercised—

(i) the full provision to which the power extends or any less provision (whether by exception or otherwise),

(ii) the same provision for all cases in relation to which the power is exercised or different provision for different cases or classes of case, or different provision in relation to the same case or class of case for different purposes of this Act,

(iii) any such provision either unconditionally or subject to any specified condition.

[1993 s4(3)]

(3) Without prejudice to any specific provision in this Act, regulations may contain any incidental or supplementary provisions that may appear to the Minister to be expedient for the purposes of the regulations.

[1993 s4(4); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(4) The following are subject to the sanction of the Minister for Finance:

(a) regulations for the purposes of sections 2 (2), 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 , 20 (2)(d), 22 , 23 , 25 (1)(d), 41 (4), 41 (7), 49 , 60 , 62 (3), 62 (5), 62 (7), 64 (6), 70 (3), 71 (7), 71 (8), 71 (9), 99 (3), 108 (6), 108 (7), 109 (8), 109 (11), 109 (14), 109 (16), 114 (6), 114 (7), 115 (4), 115 (5), 115 (7), 119 (1), 119 (2), 120 , 125 (3), 125 (5), 135 (2), 135 (3), 141 (1), 142 (5), 151 , 173 (4), 179 (1), 186 (2)(b), 198 , 232 (2), 232 (3), 233 , 241 (7), 289 , 292 , 297 , 342 and 363 and, in Schedule 3 , Rule 1(2)(b)(iv)(I), (6) and (7) of Part 2, Rule 2(3) of Part 3 and Rule 2 of Part 4 and Reference 14 and 19 in Table 2;

(b) a draft of regulations under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (5).

[1993 s4(5); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(5) Where regulations are proposed to be made for the purposes of section 12 (2), 12 (3), 13 (3)(a), 20 (2)(a), 20 (2)(b), 20 (2)(c), 32 , 41 (6), 58 (3), 64 (5), 101 (2), 109 (7), 115 (3), 119 (6), 125 (2), 131 (2), 135 (2), 262 (3), 263 (1) or 264 (1), or, in Schedule 3 , Rule 4(a) of Part 2, Rule 7 of Part 3 or Rule 2(a) of Part 4, or Schedule 5 , a draft of those regulations shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas and the regulations shall not be made until a resolution approving of the draft has been passed by each such House.

[1993 s4(6); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(6) Regulations or rules (not being regulations of which a draft is required by this Act to be approved of by resolution of each House of the Oireachtas) shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as practicable after they are made and, if a resolution annulling the regulations or rules is passed by either House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulations or rules have been laid before it, the regulations or rules shall be annulled accordingly, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under those regulations or rules.

[1993 s4(7)]

(7) Where the Minister revokes regulations made under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (5) and makes regulations which he or she certifies to be substantially to the like effect as the regulations so revoked, a requirement that a draft of the proposed regulations be laid before each House of the Oireachtas shall not apply.

Expenses.

[1993 s5(1)]

5.—(1) Any expenses incurred by the Minister or any other Minister in carrying this Act into effect shall, to the extent that may be sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

[1993 s5(2)]

(2) There shall be paid to the Minister for Finance out of the Social Insurance Fund, at the times and in the manner the Minister for Finance may direct, any sums that the Minister may estimate, on the basis that may be agreed on between the Minister and the Minister for Finance, to be the part of those expenses of the Minister or any other Minister which relates to the scheme of social insurance provided for in Part 2 and any sums so paid shall be appropriated in aid of moneys provided by the Oireachtas for carrying this Act into effect.

[1993 s5(3)]

(3) In estimating expenses for the purposes of subsection (2), there shall be included an amount that, in the opinion of the Minister for Finance, represents the amount of the accruing liability in respect of any superannuation or other retiring allowances, lump sums or gratuities accruing in respect of the employment of any officer or other person for the purposes of this Act.

[1993 s5(4)]

(4) Any expenses incurred by An Post under Part 2 (determined on the basis that may be agreed on between the Minister, the Minister for Finance and An Post) shall be paid by the Minister out of the Social Insurance Fund to An Post at the times and in the manner the Minister for Finance may direct.

[1996 s40]

(5) Any fees in respect of an audit of the Social Insurance Fund which are payable to the Comptroller and Auditor General in accordance with section 12 of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 shall be paid by the Minister out of that Fund.

[Redundancy Payments Act 2003 s2]

(6) There shall be paid to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment out of the Social Insurance Fund, at the times and in the manner the Minister for Finance may direct, the sums that the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment may estimate, on the basis that may be agreed on between the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, the Minister and the Minister for Finance, to be part of the expenses incurred in carrying into effect—

(a) the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts 1984 to 2004, and

(b) the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2003,

and any sums so paid shall be appropriated in aid of moneys provided by the Oireachtas for carrying into effect the Acts referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b).

PART 2

Social Insurance

Chapter 1

Social Insurance Fund

Sources of moneys for benefits.

[1993 s6(1); National Training Fund Act 2000 s4(10)]

6.—(1) For the purposes of providing moneys for meeting the expenditure on benefit and making any other payments which, under this Act (other than section 8 ), the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2003 and the Protection of Employees (Employers’ Insolvency) Acts 1984 to 2004, are to be made out of the Social Insurance Fund, there shall be—

(a) contributions (referred to in this Act as “employment contributions”) in respect of employed contributors, each of which shall comprise a contribution by the employed contributor and a contribution (referred to in this Act as “the employer’s contribution”) by the employer of the employed contributor,

(b) contributions (referred to in this Act as “self-employment contributions”) in respect of self-employed contributors,

[1993(No.2) s5(a)]

(c) contributions in respect of optional contributors,

(d) contributions in respect of voluntary contributors, and

(e) payments out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

[1993 s6(2); 1993(No.2) s5(b)]

(2) Employment contributions, self-employment contributions, optional contributions and voluntary contributions shall be paid into the Social Insurance Fund.

Social Insurance Fund — expenditure on benefit.

[2000 s29(a)]

7.—(1) Benefit shall be paid or provided for out of the Social Insurance Fund.

[2000 s29(a)]

(2) A reference to benefit in section 6 and this section includes:

(a) the benefits described in section 39 ,

(b) a relevant payment within the meaning of section 178 (1)(a),

(c) schemes administered by the Minister and known as—

(i) Free Fuel Allowance,

(ii) Free Electricity Allowance,

(iii) Free Television Licence,

(iv) Free Telephone Rental Allowance,

(v) Free Natural Gas Allowance, and

(vi) Free Bottled Gas Allowance,

where those allowances are payable in respect of a person in receipt of a benefit under section 39 (1) or a relevant payment within the meaning of section 178 (1)(a),

[2002 (MP) s13]

(d) a payment under regulations made under section 138 in respect of dental treatment or optical treatment and appliances which would have been payable in respect of a person but for the fact that the person availed of a service in respect of dental treatment or optical treatment and appliances under sections 45 and 67 of the Health Act 1970 ,

(e) any benefit to which section 39 (1) refers which would have been payable in respect of a person but for the receipt by that person of old age (non-contributory) pension,

(f) any increase in any benefit to which section 39 (1) refers which would have been payable in respect of a person, but for the receipt by that person of an old age (non-contributory) pension in his or her own right, and

(g) unemployment benefit which would have been payable in respect of a person but for the receipt by that person of unemployment assistance.

[2000 s29(a)]

(3) Benefit to be paid or provided for out of the Social Insurance Fund shall include such sums as the Minister may estimate on the basis that may be agreed on between the Minister and the Minister for Finance in respect of the benefits set out in subsection (2)(c), (d), (e), (f) and (g).

[2000 s29(a)]

(4) There shall be paid out of the Social Insurance Fund—

(a) to the Minister for Health and Children the sum agreed between the Minister and the Minister for Finance in respect of the benefit set out in subsection (2)(d), and

(b) to the Exchequer in respect of the sums agreed between the Minister and the Minister for Finance in respect of the benefits set out in subsection (2)(c), (e), (f) and (g),

in the manner and at the times the Minister may determine.

Social Insurance Fund — payments to National Training Fund.

[National Training Fund Act 2000 s5(5)]

8.—The Minister shall make payments out of the Social Insurance Fund into the National Training Fund equalling those paid into the first-mentioned fund pursuant to section 5(3) and (4) of the National Training Fund Act 2000 .

Social Insurance Fund.

[1993 s7(1)]

9.—(1) The Social Insurance Fund (in this section and in section 11 referred to as “the Fund”), established under the Social Welfare Act 1952 and continued in being under section 7 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1993 , shall continue in being and to comprise a current account and an investment account.

[1993 s7(2)]

(2) The Minister shall manage and control the current account of the Fund.

[1993 s7(3)]

(3) The Minister for Finance shall manage and control the investment account of the Fund.

[1993 s7(4); 1998 s16]

(4) Save where otherwise specifically provided—

(a) sums payable into the Fund shall be paid into either the current account of the Fund or the investment account of the Fund, and

(b) sums payable out of the Fund shall be paid out of the current account of the Fund.

[1993 s7(5)]

(5) Moneys standing to the credit of the current account of the Fund and not required to meet current expenditure shall be transferred to the investment account of the Fund.

[1993 s7(6)]

(6) Whenever the moneys in the current account of the Fund are insufficient to meet the liabilities of that account, there shall be paid into that account from the investment account of the Fund the moneys necessary to meet those liabilities.

[1993 s7(7)]

(7) Subject to subsection (6), moneys standing to the credit of the investment account of the Fund shall be invested by the Minister for Finance and income arising from any such investment shall be paid into that account.

[1993 s7(8)]

(8) An investment under subsection (7) may be—

(a) in securities in which trustees are for the time being by law empowered to invest trust funds, or

(b) in any of the stocks, funds and securities which are for the time being authorised by law as investments for Post Office Savings Bank Funds.

[1993 s7(9)]

(9) (a) The amount by which the income of the Fund for any financial year is less than its expenditure shall be paid into the Fund out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

(b) The income and expenditure of the Fund for a financial year shall be determined for the purposes of this subsection by the Minister on the basis that may be agreed on between the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

[1993 s7(10)]

(10) Any sum payable into the Fund under subsection (9)(a) shall be paid in the manner and at the times as the Minister for Finance may determine.

[1993 s7(11)]

(11) Accounts of the Fund shall be prepared in the form and manner and at the times the Minister for Finance may direct and the Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine and certify every account and a copy of every account, together with the report thereon of the Comptroller and Auditor General, shall be laid before each House of the Oireachtas.

Actuarial review.

[1998 s17]

10.—(1) The Minister shall cause—

(a) actuarial reviews to be made of the financial condition of the Social Insurance Fund by the persons the Minister may decide for the purpose of determining the extent to which the Fund may be expected, in the longer term, to meet the demands in respect of payment of benefits and other payments, having regard, in particular, to the adequacy or otherwise of the contributions to support benefits and other payments and any other matters the Minister considers to be relevant as affecting the current and future financial condition of the Fund,

(b) a report to be made to the Minister on completion of any such review, and

(c) a copy of every report under this section to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas within 6 months of the completion of the review.

[1998 s17]

(2) The date of completion of the first actuarial review under this section shall be a date not later than 31 December 2002, and the date of completion of each subsequent review shall be a date not later than 5 years after the date of completion of the immediately preceding review.

Payments from Fund for acquisition of land, etc.

[1993 s8(1)]

11.—(1) Payments may be made out of the Fund in respect of expenditure by the Minister on the acquisition of lands, premises, furniture or equipment or the construction or reconstruction of premises, and any such lands, premises, furniture or equipment shall be held by the Minister on behalf of the Fund.

[1993 s8(2)]

(2) A payment shall not be made under subsection (1) save with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

[1993 s8(3)]

(3) The Minister may dispose of any lands, premises, furniture or equipment which he or she has acquired, constructed or reconstructed under this section and any moneys which the Minister receives in respect of any such disposal shall be paid into the Fund.

[1993 s8(4)]

(4) A disposal shall not be effected under subsection (3) save with the consent of the Minister for Finance.

Chapter 2

Employed Contributors and Employment Contributions

Employed contributors and insured persons.

[1993 s9(1)]

12.—(1) Subject to this Act—

(a) subject to paragraph (b), every person who, being over the age of 16 years and under pensionable age, is employed in any of the employments specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, not being an employment specified in Part 2 of that Schedule, shall be an employed contributor for the purposes of this Act, and

(b) every person, irrespective of age, who is employed in insurable (occupational injuries) employment shall be an employed contributor and references in this Act to an employed contributor shall be read accordingly, and

(c) every person becoming for the first time an employed contributor shall thereby become insured under this Act and shall thereafter continue throughout his or her life to be so insured.

[1993 s9(2)]

(2) Regulations may provide for including among employed contributors persons employed in any of the employments specified in Part 2 of Schedule 1.

[1993 s9(3)]

(3) Regulations may provide for—

(a) excluding particular employments or any classes of employment from the employments specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1, or

(b) adding to the employments so specified particular employments or any classes of employment,

and, where the Minister considers that any modifications of this Act are appropriate having regard to the purpose for which the regulations are made, the regulations may make those modifications.

[2003 (MP) s19(a)]

(4) For the purposes of this Part, with regard to employment specified in paragraph (13) of Part 1 of Schedule 1, the person who is liable to pay the wages or salary of the individual concerned in respect of the work or service concerned is deemed to be the individual’s employer.

Employment contributions.

[1993 s10(1)(a)]

13.—(1) Employment contributions shall be paid by employed contributors and their employers in accordance with this section.

[SWA 2000 s8; SWA 2001 s8, 36 & Sch E]

(2) (a) Where in any contribution week a payment of not more than €287 per week (or the equivalent thereof in respect of an employed contributor remunerated otherwise than on a weekly basis) is made to or for the benefit of an employed contributor in respect of reckonable earnings of that contributor relating to an employment, a contribution shall not be payable by that employed contributor in respect of those earnings from that employment.

[SWA 1995 s6; SWA 2001 s8, 36 & Sch E]

(b) Subject to paragraph (c) and to regulations under section 14 , where in any contribution week a payment of more than €287 is made to or for the benefit of an employed contributor in respect of reckonable earnings of that employed contributor, there shall be payable a contribution by the employed contributor at the rate of 4 per cent of the amount of reckonable earnings in excess of €127 in that week in respect of each employment (or the equivalent thereof in the case of an employed contributor remunerated otherwise than on a weekly basis) to which that payment relates.

[1993 s10(1); 2004 s5(1)]

(c) Where in a particular contribution year an employed contributor’s reckonable earnings have amounted to the sum of €44,180 and the contributions payable under paragraph (b) have been paid in respect of those reckonable earnings, no further such contribution shall be payable in respect of any reckonable earnings of that employed contributor by the employed contributor in that contribution year.

(d) Subject to subsection (8) and to regulations under section 14 , where in any contribution week a payment is made to or for the benefit of an employed contributor in respect of reckonable earnings of that employed contributor, there shall be payable a contribution by the employed contributor’s employer—

(i) at the rate of 7.8 per cent of the amount of the reckonable earnings in that week to which that payment relates where those reckonable earnings do not exceed €356 (or the equivalent thereof in the case of an employed contributor remunerated otherwise than on a weekly basis), and

(ii) at the rate of 10.05 per cent of the amount of the reckonable earnings in that week to which that payment relates where those reckonable earnings exceed €356 (or the equivalent thereof in the case of an employed contributor remunerated otherwise than on a weekly basis).

[2003 (MP) s17; 2003 s13]

(e) For the purposes of this Chapter—

“payment” includes a notional payment;

“notional payment” has the meaning given to it by section 985A (inserted by section 6 of the Finance Act 2003 ) of the Act of 1997.

[1993 s10(2); 2001 s8(2)(e)]

(3) (a) The Minister may by regulations vary the sums specified in subsection (2)(c) and any variation has effect from the beginning of the contribution year following that in which the regulations are made.

(b) When making regulations under this subsection to vary the sum specified in subsection (2)(c) the Minister shall take into account any changes in the average earnings of workers in the transportable goods industries so recorded by the Central Statistics Office since the date by reference to which the sum specified in subsection (2)(c) was last determined.

[1993 s10(3)]

(4) The employer shall, in relation to any employment contribution, be liable in the first instance to pay both the employer’s contribution comprised therein and also, on behalf of and to the exclusion of the employed contributor, the contribution comprised therein payable by the contributor.

[1993 s10(4)]

(5) An employer shall be entitled, subject to and in accordance with regulations, to recover from an employed contributor the amount of any contribution paid or to be paid by the employer on behalf of that contributor and, notwithstanding anything in any enactment, regulations for the purposes of this subsection may authorise recovery by deductions from the employed contributor’s remuneration, but those regulations shall provide that—

(a) where the employed contributor does not receive any pecuniary remuneration either from the employer or from any other person, the employer shall not be entitled to recover the amount of any such contribution from that contributor, and

(b) where the employed contributor receives any pecuniary remuneration from the employer, the employer shall not be entitled to recover any such contribution otherwise than by deductions.

[1993 s10(5)]

(6) Notwithstanding any contract to the contrary, an employer shall not be entitled to deduct from the remuneration of a person employed by the employer, or otherwise to recover from the person, the employer’s contribution in respect of that person.

[1993 s10(6)]

(7) Any sum deducted by an employer from remuneration under regulations for the purposes of this section is deemed to have been entrusted to the employer for the purpose of paying the contribution in respect of which it was deducted.

[1996 s12(1); 2001 (No.2) s5(1)(c)]

(8) In the case of employment specified in paragraph 12 of Part 1 of Schedule 1 , subsection (2)(d) shall be read as if “0.5 per cent” were substituted for “7.8 per cent” and “10.05 per cent”.

[1995 s10]

(9) Regulations may, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, exempt an employer who employs an employee under and by virtue of a scheme administered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs, known as the Employers’ Pay-Related Social Insurance Exemption Scheme, from the liability to pay the contribution specified in section 13 (2)(d) in respect of that employee.

[2004 (MP) s14]

(10) Where, for a year of assessment (within the meaning of the Tax Acts), the Revenue Commissioners and an employer enter into an agreement under a specified provision of the Act of 1997 whereby the employer will account to the Revenue Commissioners, in accordance with that provision, in respect of the income tax due on qualifying emoluments (within the meaning of that provision) and where that agreement is not null and void, then in respect of those qualifying emoluments—

(a) the employer—

(i) as part of that agreement and in so far as the qualifying emoluments are comprised of reckonable earnings of an employed contributor to which the agreement applies, shall pay a contribution at a rate of 14.05 per cent in respect of the aggregate of the amount of those reckonable earnings and the amount of income tax payable under the agreement in respect of them, and

(ii) notwithstanding section 13 (4) or Article 7 of the Regulations of 1996, shall not be entitled to recover from an employed contributor any part of a contribution paid in accordance with subparagraph (i),

and

(b) a contribution paid in accordance with paragraph (a)(i) shall not be regarded as an employment contribution for the purposes of any benefit specified in section 39 (1).

[2004 (MP) s14]

(11) In subsection (10) “specified provision” means any provision that may be prescribed for the purposes of that subsection.

Modified insurance.

[1993 s11(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

14.—(1) Regulations may modify this Part in its application in the case of—

(a) persons employed in any of the employments specified in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10 of Part 1 of Schedule 1, or

[1996 s12(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch. 4]

(b) in the cases that may be prescribed, persons employed in eircom plc, or

[2001 s28]

(c) in such cases as may be prescribed, persons who, on 5 April 1995 were employed in an employment to which paragraph (a) or (b) applies and which is prescribed, and who cease to be so employed, but immediately on such cessation become employed in another employment which is prescribed, under terms and conditions which provide that the person continues to be employed in a permanent and pensionable capacity and for payment during illness on a basis considered adequate by the Minister, or

(d) persons employed in a statutory transport undertaking, or

(e) persons employed as teachers in primary schools which are recognised schools within the meaning of the Education Act 1998 , or

(f) persons employed as teachers in training colleges recognised by the Minister for Education and Science for teachers in primary schools, or

(g) persons employed as teachers in post-primary schools which are recognised schools within the meaning of the Education Act 1998 , or

(h) persons employed as teachers in domestic science training colleges funded by moneys voted by the Oireachtas for that purpose, or

(i) persons employed as members of the Army Nursing Service, or

(j) persons employed in voluntary hospitals to which grants are paid from moneys provided by the Oireachtas in recoupment of revenue deficits, or

(k) persons employed by voluntary organisations which are providing district nursing services, or

(l) persons employed in an employment which is an insurable (occupational injuries) employment under section 71 .

[1993 s11(2)]

(2) This section is without prejudice to the generality of any other provision of this Part providing for regulations.

Calculation of reckonable earnings.

[1993 s12(1)]

15.—(1) For the purposes of this Part, reckonable earnings may be calculated or estimated, either for a person or a class of persons, in the manner, by reference to the matters and on the basis that may be prescribed.

[1993 s12(2); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(2) Regulations may provide for the calculation of the amounts payable in respect of employment contributions in accordance with prescribed scales, and for adjustments of those amounts to facilitate computation and to avoid fractions of 1 cent in the amounts.

Employment by more than one employer.

[1993 s13; 2001 s8(3)]

16.—Regulations may provide for the determination of liability for the payment of employment contributions in the case of a person who works under the general control or management of a person who is not his or her immediate employer.

Payment of contributions and keeping of records.

[1993 s14(1)]

17.—(1) Regulations may provide for—

(a) the time and manner of payment of employment contributions,

(b) the collection and the recovery of, and the furnishing of returns by employers in relation to, employment contributions,

(c) the charging of interest on arrears of employment contributions,

(d) the waiving of interest due on arrears of employment contributions,

(e) the estimation of amounts due in respect of employment contributions and appeals in relation to those estimates,

(f) the furnishing of returns by employers in relation to periods of insurable employment,

(g) the deduction by an employer from the reckonable earnings of an employed contributor of any employment contribution reasonably believed by the employer to be due by the contributor, and adjustment in any case of over-deduction, and

(h) any matter ancillary or incidental to any of the matters referred to in any of paragraphs (a) to (g).

[1993 s14(2)]

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under that subsection may provide for—

(a) the assignment of any function relating to any matter referred to in that subsection to the Collector-General or to any person engaged under contract by the Minister, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, for this purpose,

(b) the assignment to the Collector-General of any function conferred on the Minister by section 272 and the modification for that purpose of any provision of that section,

(c) the inspection by or on behalf of the Revenue Commissioners of records prescribed under subsection (5),

(d) treating, for the purpose of any right to benefit, contributions paid after the due dates as paid on those dates or on any later dates that may be prescribed, or as not having been paid, and

(e) treating as paid, for the purpose of any right to benefit, employment contributions payable by an employer in respect of an insured person which have not been paid, where the failure to pay those contributions is shown not to have been with the consent or connivance of the insured person or attributable to any negligence on the part of the insured person.

[1993 s14(3)]

(3) Nothing in any regulations under this section affects the liability of the employer under section 13 (4) to pay employment contributions.

[1993 s14(4); 2002 (MP) s14(a)]

(4) The provisions of any enactment, regulation or rule of court relating to—

(a) the inspection of records, the estimation, collection and recovery (including the provisions relating to the offset of taxes and appropriation of payments in Chapter 5 of Part 42 of the Act of 1997) of, or the furnishing of returns by employers in relation to, income tax, or

(b) appeals in relation to income tax, or

(c) the publication of names of persons under section 1086 of the Act of 1997,

shall apply in relation to employment contributions which the Collector-General is obliged to collect as if the contributions were an amount of income tax which the employer was liable to remit to the Collector-General under the Income Tax (Employments) (Consolidated) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 559 of 2001 ).

[1993 s14(5); 2004 (MP) s16(1)]

(5) For the purposes of this Part, regulations may require employers to keep any records that may be prescribed in relation to the earnings of persons employed by them and the periods during which those persons were employed, and to retain those records for prescribed periods.

Priority debts to Social Insurance Fund in a company winding-up.

[1993 s15(1); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

18.—For the purposes of section 285 (2)(e) of the Companies Act 1963

(a) the amount referred to in that subsection is deemed to include any amount—

(i) which, apart from Article 9 of the Regulations of 1996 would otherwise have been an amount due at the relevant date in respect of sums which an employer is liable under Chapter 2 or 3 of Part 2 and any regulation thereunder (other than the said Article 9) to deduct from reckonable earnings or reckonable emoluments, to which those Chapters apply, paid by the employer during the period of 12 months next before the relevant date, and

(ii) with the addition of any interest payable under Article 10 of the Regulations of 1996,

and

(b) notwithstanding subsection (1) of section 285 of the Companies Act 1963 , the relevant date is deemed to be the date which is the ninth day after the end of the income tax month in which the relevant date (within the meaning of that subsection) occurred.

Winding-up and bankruptcy.

19.—(1) In this section “Act of 1988” means the Bankruptcy Act 1988 .

[1993 s16(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) The assets of a limited company in a winding-up under the Companies Acts 1963 to 2005 shall not include—

[1993 s16(2)]

(a) any sum deducted by an employer from the remuneration of an employee of the employer paid before the winding-up in respect of an employment contribution due and unpaid by the employer in respect of that contribution, or

(b) any sum which would have been deducted from the remuneration of an employee in respect of an employment contribution for a period of employment before a winding-up had that remuneration been paid before the winding-up,

and in such a winding-up a sum equal in amount to the sum so deducted and unpaid or which would have been deducted and payable shall, notwithstanding anything in those Acts, be paid to the Social Insurance Fund in priority to the debts specified in section 285 (2) of the Companies Act 1963 .

[1993 s16(3); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(3) A sum equal in amount to any sum deducted by an employer from the remuneration of an employee of the employer in respect of an employment contribution due by the employer and unpaid by the employer in respect of the contribution before the date of the order of adjudication or the filing of the petition for arrangement (as the case may be) shall not form part of the property of the bankrupt or arranging debtor so as to be included among the debts which under section 81 of the Act of 1988 are in the distribution of that property to be paid in priority to all other debts, but shall, before the distribution and notwithstanding anything in the Act of 1988, be paid to the Social Insurance Fund in priority to the debts specified in section 81 of the Act of 1988.

[1993 s16(4); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(4) Formal proof of a debt to which priority is given by this section is not required except where required by or under the Act of 1988 or the Companies Act 1963 .

[1993 s16(5); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(5) There shall be included among the debts which under section 81 of the Act of 1988 are, in the distribution of the property of a bankrupt or arranging debtor, to be paid in priority to all other debts, all employment contributions payable by the bankrupt or arranging debtor during the 12 months before the date of the order of adjudication in the case of a bankrupt or the filing of the petition for arrangement in the case of an arranging debtor, and that Act has effect accordingly, and formal proof of the debts to which priority is given under this subsection is not required except in cases where it may otherwise be provided by general orders made under that Act.

Chapter 3

Self-Employed Contributors and Self-Employment Contributions

Self-employed contributors and insured persons.

[1993 s17(1)]

20.—(1) Subject to this Act—

(a) every person who, being over the age of 16 years and under pensionable age (not being a person included in any of the classes of person specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1) who has reckonable income or reckonable emoluments, shall be a self-employed contributor for the purposes of this Act regardless of whether the person is also an employed contributor,

(b) every person becoming for the first time a self-employed contributor shall become insured under this Act and shall thereafter continue throughout his or her life to be so insured, and

(c) in the case of a person who, not having been an employed contributor at any time, becomes for the first time a self-employed contributor, the first day of the contribution year in which the person becomes a self-employed contributor shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance.

[1993 s17(2)]

(2) Regulations may provide for—

(a) including among self-employed contributors classes of person or part of any class of person specified in or included in Part 3 of Schedule 1,

(b) adding to the classes of person specified in Part 3 of Schedule 1,

(c) the modification of any of the provisions of this Act relating to self-employed contributors,

(d) the application (with or without modification) to self-employed contributors or self-employment contributions payable under section 21 (1)(a), (b) or (c) of any provisions of this Act which apply to employed contributors or employment contributions.

Rates of self-employment contributions and related matters.

[1993 s18(1); 2001 s36 & Sch E]

21.—(1) Self-employment contributions shall be paid by self-employed contributors in accordance with the following provisions:

(a) subject to paragraphs (b) and (f), where in any contribution year a self-employed contributor has reckonable income there shall be payable by him or her a self-employment contribution which shall be the greater of an amount equal to 3 per cent of the reckonable income or the amount of €253;

(b) where for any contribution year a self-employed contributor is informed by the Revenue Commissioners that he or she is not required to make a return of income within the meaning of section 1084 of the Act of 1997, self-employment contributions shall be paid by the self-employed contributor (whether by instalments or otherwise as may be prescribed) amounting to €157 in respect of that contribution year;

(c) subject to paragraph (f), where in any contribution year a payment is made to a self-employed contributor in respect of reckonable emoluments of that self-employed contributor, there shall be payable by him or her a self-employment contribution which shall be the greater of an amount equal to 3 per cent of the reckonable emoluments or the amount of €253;

(d) subject to regulations under section 22 , where a self-employment contribution has been paid by a self-employed contributor of not less than the amount that he or she is liable to pay under paragraph (a) or the amount specified in paragraph (b), whichever is appropriate, the self-employed contributor shall be regarded as having paid contributions for each contribution week in that contribution year and, where the contribution paid is less than that appropriate amount, no contribution shall be regarded as having been paid by the self-employed contributor in respect of any week of that contribution year;

[1999 s19(2)]

(e) subject to section 26 (3), self-employment contributions shall be disregarded in determining whether the contribution conditions for any benefit other than old age (contributory) pension, widow’s (contributory) pension, widower’s (contributory) pension, orphan’s (contributory) allowance, maternity benefit, adoptive benefit or bereavement grant are satisfied;

(f) a person who, but for this paragraph, would be liable for contributions of €253 under paragraphs (a) and (c) shall be liable only for a single contribution of €253.

[1993 s18(2); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(2) Regulations may provide for adjustments in the calculation of amounts payable in respect of self-employment contributions to facilitate computation and for the elimination from self-employment contributions of amounts of not more than 5 cent and for the rounding up of amounts of more than 5 cent but less than 10 cent to 10 cent.

[2004 (MP) s15]

(3) Where, for a year of assessment (within the meaning of the Tax Acts), the Revenue Commissioners and an employer enter into an agreement under a specified provision of the Act of 1997 whereby the employer will account to the Revenue Commissioners, in accordance with that provision, in respect of the income tax due on qualifying emoluments (within the meaning of that provision) and where that agreement is not null and void, then in respect of those qualifying emoluments—

(a) the employer—

(i) as part of that agreement and in so far as the qualifying emoluments are comprised of reckonable emoluments of a self-employed contributor to which the agreement applies, shall pay a contribution at a rate of 3 per cent in respect of the aggregate of the amount of those reckonable emoluments and the amount of income tax payable under the agreement in respect of them, and

(ii) notwithstanding Article 7 of the Regulations of 1996, shall not be entitled to recover from an employed contributor any part of a contribution paid in accordance with subparagraph (i),

and

(b) a contribution paid in accordance with paragraph (a)(i) shall not be regarded as a self-employment contribution for the purposes of determining entitlement to any benefit specified in section 39 (1).

[2004 (MP) s15]

(4) In subsection (3) “specified provision” means such provision as may be prescribed for the purposes of that subsection.

Regulations providing for determination of contributions payable.

[1993 s19(1); 2001 s9(2)(a)]

22.—(1) Regulations may provide for the determination of the contributions payable, the amount or rates of those contributions, and the contribution weeks in respect of which those contributions shall be regarded as having been paid, in the case of a person who—

(a) becomes for the first time a self-employed contributor,

(b) ceases to be a self-employed contributor,

(c) is both an employed contributor and a self-employed contributor whether concurrently or not,

(d) in any contribution year has reckonable emoluments but does not have reckonable income,

(e) in any contribution year has both reckonable emoluments and reckonable income, or

(f) in any contribution year has reckonable emoluments which relate to a period less than the full year.

[1993 s19(2); 2001 s9(2)(b)]

(2) The Minister may by regulations specify the circumstances in which contributions payable by a self-employed contributor may be treated as paid.

[1993 s19(4); 2001 s9(2)(b)]

(3) For the purposes of this section “contributions” means—

(a) employment contributions payable under section 13 , and

(b) self-employment contributions payable under section 21 .

Regulations providing for collection of self-employment contributions, etc.

[1993 s20(1); 1997 s33(1)(a)]

23.—(1) For the purposes of self-employment contributions payable under section 21 (1)(a), (b) and (c), regulations may provide for—

(a) the time and manner of payment of self-employment contributions,

(b) the collection and the recovery of and the furnishing of details in relation to self-employment contributions,

(c) the charging of interest on arrears of self-employment contributions,

(d) the waiving of interest due on arrears of self-employment contributions,

(e) the estimation of amounts due in respect of self-employment contributions and appeals in relation to those estimates,

(f) the furnishing of returns by employers in relation to periods of insurable self-employment,

(g) the deduction by an employer from the reckonable emoluments of a self-employed contributor of any self-employment contribution reasonably believed by the employer to be due by the contributor, and adjustment in any case of over-deduction, and

(h) any matter ancillary or incidental to any of the matters referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g).

[1993 s20(2)]

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), regulations under that subsection may provide for the assignment of any function relating to a matter referred to in that subsection to the Collector-General or any other specified person.

[1993 s20(3); 2002 (MP) s14(b)]

(3) The provisions of any enactment or instrument made under any enactment relating to—

(a) the estimation, collection and recovery (including the provisions relating to the offset of taxes and appropriation of payments in Chapter 5 of Part 42 of the Act of 1997) of income tax or the inspection of records for those purposes, or

(b) appeals in relation to income tax, or

(c) the publication of names of persons under section 1086 of the Act of 1997,

shall apply in relation to self-employment contributions in respect of reckonable emoluments which the Collector-General is obliged to collect as if the contributions were an amount of income tax which the employer was liable to remit to the Collector-General under the Income Tax (Employments) (Consolidated) Regulations 2001 ( S.I. No. 559 of 2001 ).

[1993 s20(4); 1997 s33(1)(b)]

(4) Other than in the case of the class or classes of self-employed contributors that may be prescribed, self-employment contributions payable by a self-employed contributor for a contribution year under section 21 (1)(a) in respect of reckonable income shall be assessed, charged and paid in all respects as if they were an amount of income tax and they may be stated in one sum (hereafter in this subsection referred to as the “aggregated sum”) with the income tax contained in any computation of or assessment to income tax made by or on the self-employed contributor for the year of assessment (within the meaning of the Income Tax Acts) which coincides with the contribution year and for this purpose the self-employed contributions may be so stated notwithstanding that there is no amount of income tax contained in that computation or assessment and all the provisions of the Income Tax Acts, other than any such provisions in so far as they relate to the granting of any allowance, deduction or relief, apply as if the aggregated sum were a single sum of income tax.

[1993 s20(5); Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 Sch 31]

(5) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), where an election made or deemed to be made under section 1018 of the Act of 1997 has effect for the year of assessment the self-employment contributions payable by a wife shall be charged, collected and recovered as if they were the contributions of her husband.

(b) The question as to the amount of the self-employment contributions payable in respect of the husband or the wife are not affected by this subsection.

[1993 s20(6); 2001 s25(1)]

(6) In any proceedings instituted by virtue of this Act, a certificate purporting to be signed by an officer of the Revenue Commissioners or by any officer duly appointed by the Minister in that behalf which certifies that an amount in respect of employment or self-employment contributions is due and payable by the defendant shall be evidence until the contrary is proved that that amount is so due and payable.

Chapter 4

Voluntary Contributors and Voluntary Contributions

Voluntary contributors.

[1993 s21(1); 1997 s12(2)]

24.—(1) Subject to this Act, where a person ceases to be—

(a) an employed contributor, or

(b) a self-employed contributor,

otherwise than by reason of attaining pensionable age and the person has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks, he or she shall, on making application in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed period, be entitled to become an insured person paying contributions under this Act voluntarily (in this Act referred to as “a voluntary contributor”).

[1993 s21(2)]

(2) The occupational injuries insurance of a person shall be disregarded in determining the person’s right to become, or to continue to be, a voluntary contributor and the rate of voluntary contribution payable in any case shall not be affected by that insurance.

[1993 s21(3)]

(3) A voluntary contributor shall—

(a) where he or she becomes an employed contributor, cease to be a voluntary contributor except insofar as is provided in section 25 (2), or

(b) where he or she becomes a self-employed contributor, cease to be a voluntary contributor.

Voluntary contributions by former employed contributors.

[1993 s22(1)]

25.—(1) (a) Subject to paragraph (c), a contribution (in this Act referred to as a “voluntary contribution”), in the case of a person who becomes a voluntary contributor by virtue of section 24 (1)(a) and who is under pensionable age, shall be payable in each contribution year, at the time or times and in the manner that the Minister shall prescribe, at a percentage rate, as set out in paragraph (b), of the amount of the reckonable income (if any) of the contributor in the preceding contribution year or in an amount (“minimum annual amount”), as set out in paragraph (b), whichever is the greater.

[1993 s22(1)]

(b)  (i) In the case of a voluntary contributor who, immediately before ceasing to be an employed contributor, was employed in employment in respect of which the employment contributions payable are not reckonable for the purposes of old age (contributory) pension, the percentage rate shall be 2.6 per cent and the minimum annual amount shall be €126.

[1993 s22(1)]

(ii) In the case of a voluntary contributor who, immediately before ceasing to be an employed contributor, was employed in employment in respect of which the employment contributions payable are reckonable for the purposes of old age (contributory) pension, the percentage rate shall be 6.6 per cent and the minimum annual amount shall be €317.

[1993 s22(1)]

(iii) In the case of a person to whom subsection (2) applies and who, by virtue of compliance with that subsection, continues to be a voluntary contributor, the percentage rate shall be 4 per cent and the minimum annual amount shall be €190.

[1993 s22(1)]

(c) A contribution under paragraph (a) shall not be payable in respect of reckonable income in any contribution year which exceeds the sum specified in section 13 (2)(c).

[1993 s22(1); 2001 s36 & Sch E]

(d) “Reckonable income” for the purposes of this subsection means, subject to regulations, income derived from any employment, including any trade, business, profession, office or vocation.

[1993 s22(2)]

(2) In the case of a person who, on 31 March 1974, was a voluntary contributor entitled to pay voluntary contributions and who became an employed contributor in respect of whom special rate contributions were payable under section 17(1) of the Social Welfare Act 1975 , that person shall, notwithstanding section 24 (3), continue to be entitled to be a voluntary contributor on applying to the Minister in writing for that entitlement.

[1993 s22(3); 1999 s19 & Sch E]

(3) Voluntary contributions paid under subsection (2) by a person to whom that subsection applies shall be disregarded in determining whether the contribution conditions for any benefit other than old age (contributory) pension, retirement pension or bereavement grant are satisfied.

[1993 s22(4); 1999 s19 & Sch E]

(4) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, but subject to subsection (5), a voluntary contributor shall not be entitled to disability benefit, unemployment benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity pension or treatment benefit and, where any voluntary contributions paid by the voluntary contributor are at the percentage rate for the time being payable under subsection (1)(b)(i), they shall be disregarded in determining whether the contribution conditions for old age (contributory) pension, retirement pension or bereavement grant are satisfied.

[1993 s22(5)]

(5) Notwithstanding subsection (4), any benefit mentioned in that subsection may be granted to a voluntary contributor in the circumstances and subject to the limitations that may be prescribed.

[1993 s22(6)]

(6) A voluntary contribution paid under subsection (1)(a) shall be regarded, where the contribution relates to a full contribution year, as having been paid for each contribution week in that contribution year or, where the contribution relates to a shorter period, as having been paid for each contribution week in that period.

Voluntary contributions by former self-employed contributors.

[1993 s23(1); 2001 s36 & Sch E]

26.—(1) A voluntary contribution, in the case of a person who becomes a voluntary contributor by virtue of section 24 (1)(b), shall be at the rate of €253 in a contribution year payable at the time or times and in the manner that the Minister may prescribe.

[1993 s23(2); 1996 s27 & Sch G]

(2) Subject to subsection (3), voluntary contributions paid by a person under subsection (1) shall be disregarded for all benefit other than old age (contributory) pension, widow's (contributory) pension, widower's (contributory) pension and orphan's (contributory) allowance.

[1993 s23(3); 1999 s19 & Sch E]

(3) Self-employment contributions paid by a person who, being a voluntary contributor becomes a self-employed contributor on or after 6 April 1988, and any subsequent voluntary contributions paid by those persons, shall also be reckonable for retirement pension and bereavement grant in the case of a person whose rate of voluntary contribution, immediately before ceasing to be a voluntary contributor, was determined under section 25 (1)(b)(ii) or (iii).

[1993 s23(4)]

(4) A voluntary contribution paid under subsection (1) shall be regarded as having been paid for each contribution week in that contribution year.

Calculation of voluntary contributions.

[1993 s24; 2001 s37 & Sch F]

27.—Regulations may provide for the calculation of the amounts payable in respect of voluntary contributions in accordance with prescribed scales, and for adjustments of those amounts to facilitate computation and to avoid fractions of one cent in those amounts.

Chapter 5

Optional Contributors and Optional Contributions

Optional contributors and optional contributions.

[1993 (No. 2) s4]

28.—(1) A person engaged in share fishing shall, subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, be entitled to opt to become an insured person (“optional contributor”) paying contributions under this Chapter (“optional contributions”) which shall be payable in each contribution year with effect from the contribution year ending on 5 April 1994 at the time and in the manner that may be prescribed.

[1993 (No. 2) s4]

(2) An optional contributor ceases to be an optional contributor where he or she—

(a) ceases to be a person engaged in share fishing,

(b) ceases to be a self-employed contributor, or

(c) fails, in any contribution year, to pay an optional contribution which by virtue of being an optional contributor, he or she is liable to pay.

Rates of optional contributions and related matters.

[1993 (No.2) s4; 2004 s6(1)]

29.—(1) Optional contributions shall be payable by optional contributors in accordance with the following provisions:

(a) subject to paragraph (b), an optional contributor shall pay an optional contribution of the greater of an amount equal to 4 per cent of his or her reckonable income in excess of €2,500 in the preceding contribution year, or €200;

(b) an optional contribution shall not be payable in respect of so much (if any) of the reckonable income of an optional contributor in any contribution year which exceeds €44,180.

[1993 (No.2) s4]

(2) Subject to regulations under section 30 , where an optional contribution has been paid by an optional contributor of not less than the amount that he or she is liable to pay under subsection (1), he or she shall be regarded as having paid contributions for each contribution week in that contribution year and, where the contribution paid is less than that appropriate amount, no contribution shall be regarded as having been paid by the optional contributor in respect of any week of that contribution year.

[1993 (No.2) s4; 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(3) Regulations may provide for adjustments in the calculation of amounts payable in respect of optional contributions to facilitate computation and for the elimination from optional contributions of amounts of not more than 5 cent and for the rounding up of amounts of more than 5 cent but less than 10 cent to 10 cent.

[1993 (No.2) s4]

(4)  (a) Subject to paragraph (b), optional contributions shall be disregarded in determining whether the contribution conditions for any benefit other than disability benefit, unemployment benefit or treatment benefit are satisfied.

(b) The contribution conditions for the benefits referred to in paragraph (a) shall not be regarded as being satisfied unless all optional contributions payable by an optional contributor in accordance with this Chapter have been paid.

Regulations providing for determination of optional contributions payable and related matters.

[1993 (No.2) s4]

30.—Regulations may provide for—

(a) the determination of optional contributions payable, the amount or rates of those contributions, and the contribution weeks in respect of which those contributions shall be regarded as having been paid, in the case of a person who—

(i) becomes for the first time an optional contributor,

(ii) ceases to be an optional contributor, or

(iii) in any contribution year has reckonable earnings and reckonable income,

and

(b) any matter ancillary or incidental to any of the matters referred to in paragraph (a).

Chapter 6

General

Employment outside State.

[1993 s25(1)]

31.—(1) Regulations may modify the provisions of this Part and Schedule 1 in their application in the case of persons who are or have been outside the State while insured under this Part.

[1993 s25(2)]

(2) The modifications which may be made by regulations for the purposes of subsection (1) shall, in particular, include the deletion of “in the State” in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 1.

[1993 s25(3)]

(3) This section is without prejudice to the generality of any other provision of this Part providing for regulations.

Regulations varying rates and amounts of contributions.

[1993 s26]

32.—Regulations may alter the rates or amounts of employment, self-employment or voluntary contributions.

Exceptions and credits.

[1993 s27; 1996 s24(1)(c)]

33.—Regulations may provide for—

(a) making exceptions from the liability to pay contributions for any specified periods, and

(b) crediting contributions to insured persons for any specified periods, including, in particular—

(i) periods for which there is an exception from the liability to pay contributions by virtue of paragraph (a),

(ii) the period between the beginning of the contribution year last preceding that in which they become insured persons and their entry into insurance, and

(iii) periods in any contribution year in which they become or cease to be a homemaker within the meaning of section 108 (2).

Return of contributions paid in error.

[1993 s28; 1993 (No.2) s6]

34.—Regulations may provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in the regulations, of any sums paid in error by means of employment, self-employment, voluntary or optional contributions.

Return of contributions where entry into insurance occurs after specified age.

[1993 s29(1)]

35.—(1) Regulations shall provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in the regulations of so much of any employment contribution paid by an employed contributor or voluntary contribution payable under section 25 by a voluntary contributor whose entry into insurance occurred—

(a) after he or she had attained the age of 60 years,

(b) after he or she had attained the age of 58 years in the case of a person who attained the age of 57 years on or after 1 July 1974,

(c) after he or she had attained the age of 57 years in the case of a person who attained the age of 56 years on or after 1 April 1975, or

(d) after he or she had attained the age of 56 years in the case of a person who attained the age of 55 years on or after 1 October 1977,

as is determined in accordance with the regulations to have been paid in respect of old age (contributory) pension.

[1993 s29(2)]

(2)  (a) In the case of a person who attained the age of 56 years on or after 1 April 1975, subsection (1)(b) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 57 years.

(b) In the case of a person who attained the age of 55 years on or after 1 October 1977, subsection (1)(c) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 56 years and subsection (1)(b) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 57 years.

[1993 s29(3)]

(3) For the purposes of this section, the entry into insurance of an employed contributor or a voluntary contributor by virtue of section 24 (1)(a), subject to subsection (6), is deemed to have occurred after he or she had attained the appropriate age under subsection (1) where after the time of that attainment he or she became for the first time an employed contributor in respect of whom contributions reckonable for the purposes of the contribution conditions for an old age (contributory) pension are payable and he or she had not been an employed contributor under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 before attaining that age.

[1993 s29(4)]

(4) Regulations shall provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in the regulations, of so much of any self-employment contribution paid by a self-employed contributor or a voluntary contribution payable under section 26 by a voluntary contributor, who entered into insurance for the purposes of section 109 (1) after he or she had attained the age of 56 years, as is determined in accordance with regulations to have been paid in respect of old age (contributory) pension.

[1993 s29(5)]

(5) Regulations shall provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in the regulations, of so much of any employment contribution paid by an employed contributor or voluntary contribution payable under section 25 by a voluntary contributor who entered into insurance for the purposes of section 115 (1) after he or she had attained the age of 55 years as is determined in accordance with the regulations to have been paid in respect of retirement pension.

[1993 s29(6)]

(6) For the purposes of this section, in the case of a relevant person within the meaning of section 108 (4), “entry into insurance” has the meaning given to it by section 108 (5) or (6).

[1997 s33(2)]

(7) Regulations shall provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in regulations, of so much of any self-employment contribution paid by a self-employed contributor or a voluntary contribution paid under section 26 by a voluntary contributor, who—

(a) had attained the age of 56 years on 6 April 1988, and

(b) became a self-employed contributor within the meaning of section 20 on or after 6 April 1988,

as may be determined in accordance with the regulations to have been paid in respect of old age (contributory) pension.

Return of employment contributions - master or seaman.

[1997 s33(3)]

36.—Regulations shall provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions and deductions specified in the regulations, of so much of any employment contribution, as may be prescribed, paid by virtue of section 13 (2)(d), in respect of a master or a seaman (within the meaning of section 742 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1894 ), in respect of his or her employment on the class or classes of vessel that may be prescribed.

Return of contributions - maintenance arrangements.

[2000 s23(1)]

37.—Regulations may provide for the return of so much, if any, as may be prescribed subject to any conditions that may be prescribed, of any employment contribution, self-employment contribution, voluntary contribution or optional contribution paid by a contributor, in respect of any payment made by him or her under or pursuant to a maintenance arrangement within the meaning of section 1025 of the Act of 1997, relating to a marriage for the benefit of the other party to the marriage, unless section 1026 of that Act applies in respect of that payment.

Return of contributions - payments to personal pensions.

[2002 (MP) s11]

38.—(1) Regulations may provide for the return, subject to any conditions, restrictions or deductions that may be prescribed, of so much, if any, as may be prescribed of any employment contribution under section 13 (2)(d) paid by, or in respect of, an employed contributor, or of any self-employment contribution paid by a self-employed contributor under section 21 (1)(c), in respect of the amount that may be prescribed of—

(a) any payment made by the person to a Personal Retirement Savings Account,

(b) any payment made by the person which is a qualifying premium under an annuity contract for the time being approved by the Revenue Commissioners under Chapter 2 of Part 30 of the Act of 1997, or

(c) any payment made by the person which is a contribution allowable under section 774 or 776 of the Act of 1997 as a deduction from emoluments in assessing those emoluments to income tax under Schedule E of that Act.

[2002 (MP) s11; 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) In this section “Personal Retirement Savings Account” has the meaning given to it by section 91 of the Pensions Act 1990 .

Chapter 7

Description of Benefits

Description of benefits.

[1993 s30(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

39.—(1) Benefits under this Part shall be of the following descriptions and are so described in this Act—

(a) disability benefit,

(b) maternity benefit,

(c) health and safety benefit,

(d) adoptive benefit,

(e) unemployment benefit,

(f) occupational injuries benefit,

(g) carer's benefit,

(h) old age (contributory) pension,

(i) retirement pension,

(j) invalidity pension,

(k) widow's (contributory) pension and widower's (contributory) pension,

(l) orphan's (contributory) allowance,

(m) bereavement grant,

(n) widowed parent grant (paid by virtue of receipt of a benefit under Part 2).

[1993 s30(2)]

(2) Subject to section 138 and so long as that section remains in force, benefit shall, in addition to including the benefits referred to in subsection (1), also include treatment benefit under that section.

Chapter 8

Disability Benefit

Entitlement to benefit.

[1993 s31(1)]

40.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to disability benefit in respect of any day of incapacity for work (in this Act referred to as “a day of incapacity for work”) which forms part of a period of interruption of employment, where—

(a) the person is under pensionable age on the day for which the benefit is claimed, and

(b) he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 41 .

[1993 s31(2)]

(2) A person shall not be entitled to disability benefit for the first 3 days of any period of incapacity for work.

[1993 s31(3); 2003 s8]

(3) For the purposes of any provision of this Act relating to disability benefit—

(a) a day shall not be treated in relation to an insured person as a day of incapacity for work unless on that day the person is incapable of work,

(b) “day of interruption of employment” means a day which is a day of incapacity for work or of unemployment,

(c) any 3 days of interruption of employment, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 6 consecutive days shall be treated as a period of interruption of employment and any 2 such periods not separated by a period of more than 26 weeks shall be treated as one period of interruption of employment,

(d) any 3 days of incapacity for work, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 6 consecutive days shall be treated as a period of incapacity for work and any two such periods not separated by more than 3 days shall be treated as one period of incapacity for work and a period of incapacity for work is deemed to include any day or days of unemployment in the period of 3 consecutive days before the first day of incapacity for work,

(e) notwithstanding paragraph (d), in the case of a person who, on or after 1 April 2002, has been in receipt of disability benefit for not less than 1,560 days in respect of a period of incapacity for work and who, within the same period of interruption of employment, has subsequent periods of incapacity for work, any 2 such subsequent periods of incapacity for work within that period of interruption of employment not separated by a period of more than 13 weeks shall be treated as one period of incapacity for work,

(f) Sunday or any other day in each week that may be prescribed shall not be treated as a day of incapacity for work or of unemployment and shall be disregarded in computing any period of consecutive days,

(g) a day shall not be treated in relation to an insured person as a day of incapacity for work where, in respect of that day, the insured person is being paid by his or her employer in respect of holiday leave,

(h) any 2 periods of incapacity for work separated by a period in respect of which an insured person is being paid by his or her employer in respect of holiday leave shall be treated as one period of incapacity for work.

[1993 s31(4)]

(4) Subject to subsection (3), regulations may make provision as to the days which are or are not to be treated for the purposes of disability benefit as days of incapacity for work or of unemployment.

[1993 s31(5); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(5) The amount payable by way of benefit for any day of incapacity for work shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

[1993 s31(6)]

(6) A person who was in receipt of maternity benefit under section 47 on any of the 3 days before the day in respect of which a claim for disability benefit is made shall not be entitled to disability benefit for the first 3 days of incapacity for work in respect of that claim.

Conditions for receipt.

[1993 s32(1); 2003 s9(1)]

41.—(1) The contribution conditions for disability benefit are—

(a) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 52 contribution weeks in the period between his or her entry into insurance and the day for which the benefit is claimed, and

[2005 (SW&P) s11(a)]

(b) that the claimant—

(i) has qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks, of which at least 13 must be qualifying contributions, in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the day for which the benefit is claimed, or

(ii) has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 26 contribution weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the day for which the benefit is claimed,

and

[1993 (No. 2) s7]

(c) that the claimant has—

(i) prescribed reckonable weekly earnings, or

(ii) in the case of a person who qualifies for disability benefit by virtue of having paid optional contributions, prescribed reckonable weekly income,

in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period.

[1993 s32(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) In the case of a claim for disability benefit where the period of interruption of employment began before 6 April 1987, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “26” were substituted for “52”.

[2003 s9(1)(b)]

(3) In the case of a claim for disability benefit where the period of interruption of employment began on or after 6 April 1987 and before 5 April 2004, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “39” were substituted for “52”.

[1993 s32(3); 2005 (SW&P) s11(a)]

(4) Regulations may provide for entitling to disability benefit, subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, the class or classes of persons who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the requirement in subsection (1)(b) that there must be qualifying contributions in respect of at least 13 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the day for which the benefit is claimed is not satisfied.

[1993 s32(4)]

(5) Where a person has been entitled to payment of disability benefit in respect of any day which is on or after 3 January 1981, or would but for section 40 (2) or 46(1) have been so entitled, then, in relation to disability benefit, the benefit year which includes the first such day in every period of incapacity for work which is, or is deemed to be, a separate period of incapacity shall, for the purpose of the condition contained in subsection (1)(b), be regarded as continuing for each day of incapacity for work in that period in respect of which the person's right to that benefit has not been exhausted up to and including the 312th day in that period in respect of which the benefit has been paid.

[1993 s32(5)]

(6) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution conditions set out in subsection (1).

[1993 s32(6)]

(7) Subject to subsection (8), regulations may provide for entitling to disability benefit persons who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the condition in subsection (1)(c) is not satisfied.

[1993 s32(7)]

(8) Regulations under subsection (7) shall provide that benefit payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2 and the rate specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which either of the conditions set out in subsection (1)(c) is satisfied.

[1993 s32(8)]

(9) The requirement contained in subsection (1)(b)(i) that there must be qualifying contributions in respect of at least 13 contribution weeks in the relevant contribution year shall not apply to any period of incapacity for work beginning before 1 July 1992.

[1993 (No. 2) s12; 1999 s24(1)]

(10) The requirement contained in subsection (1)(c) that the claimant must have prescribed reckonable weekly earnings in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period shall not apply in the case of a claim for disability benefit made by a person in the benefit year in which that person, having been a volunteer development worker, returns to the State from a developing country or in the next 2 succeeding benefit years.

[2005 (SW&P) s4(1)]

(11) In the case of any claim for disability benefit, where, at the time of application for that benefit, the claimant—

(a) is in receipt of or entitled to unemployment assistance under section 142 (1)(a), and

(b) has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 weeks,

subsection (1)(b)(i) shall be read as if “39 contribution weeks” were substituted for “39 contribution weeks, of which at least 13 must be qualifying contributions” and subsection (1)(c) shall not apply.

[2005 (SW&P) s4(1)]

(12) In the case of any claim for disability benefit where, on the date immediately before the claim, a person was in receipt of or entitled to occupational injury benefit, subsection (1)(b)(i) shall be read as if “in the second last or third last complete contribution year” were substituted for “in the second last complete contribution year”.

Rate of benefit.

[1993 s33]

42.—Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of disability benefit shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

[1993 s34(1); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

43.—(1) The weekly rate of disability benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of benefit under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s34(2); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(2) The weekly rate of disability benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s34(3); 2003 s10(1)(a)]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any increase of disability benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[2003 s10(1)(a)]

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply and no increase of disability benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable where the weekly income of that spouse, calculated or estimated in the manner that may be prescribed, exceeds the amount that may be prescribed.

Duration of payment.

[1993 s35(1)]

44.—(1) Where a person—

(a) has qualifying contributions in respect of less than 260 contribution weeks in the period between his or her entry into insurance and any day of incapacity for work, and

(b) before that day has been entitled, in respect of any period of interruption of employment (whether including that day or not) during the period beginning on the date one year immediately before that day, to disability benefit for 312 days,

the person shall not be entitled to disability benefit for that day unless since the last of those 312 days and before that day he or she has requalified for benefit.

[1993 s35(2)]

(2) In the case of a claim for disability benefit which was made before 5 April 1993 subsection (1)(b) shall be read as if “3 years” were substituted for “one year”.

[1993 s35(3)]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where in any period a person has exhausted entitlement to disability benefit he or she shall not requalify for that benefit unless he or she satisfies the conditions set out in subsection (4).

[1993 s35(4)]

(4) Where a person has exhausted his or her right to disability benefit—

(a) he or she shall requalify for that benefit when he or she has qualifying contributions in respect of 13 contribution weeks begun or ended since the last day for which he or she was entitled to benefit, and

(b) on his or her requalifying for that benefit, subsection (1) shall again apply to the person but, in a case where the period of interruption of employment in which the person exhausted his or her right to benefit continues after his or her requalification, as if the part before and the part after his or her requalification were distinct periods of interruption of employment.

[1993 s35(5)]

(5) For the purposes of this section, any period in respect of which a person is disqualified for receiving disability benefit by virtue of section 46 (1) shall be treated as though it were a period in respect of which disability benefit was paid.

[1993 s35(6)]

(6) Regulations may provide for treating a person for the purposes of this section as having been entitled to benefit for any day where he or she would have been so entitled but for any delay or failure on his or her part to make or prosecute a claim but a person shall not be so treated where he or she shows that he or she did not intend, by failing to acquire or establish a right to benefit for that day, to avoid the necessity of requalifying for benefit under this section.

[1993 s35(7)]

(7) Where a person has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks on the 312th day on which benefit is paid in respect of a period of incapacity for work, and the person would be entitled to disability benefit but for the fact that the contribution condition in section 41 (1)(b)(i) or (ii) is not satisfied, the person is deemed to satisfy that contribution condition in respect of every subsequent day of incapacity in that period of incapacity for work.

[1993 s35(8)]

(8) In the case of a claim for disability benefit where the period of interruption of employment in respect of incapacity for work beyond 312 days began before 6 April 1987, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “156” were substituted for “260”.

[1993 s35(9)]

(9) In the case of a claim for disability benefit where the period of interruption of employment in respect of incapacity for work beyond 312 days began on or after 6 April 1987 and before 4 January 1988, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “208” were substituted for “260”.

[1993 s35(10)]

(10) Subsections (8) and (9) shall not apply to any claim for disability benefit where the period of incapacity for work began on or after 4 July 1988.

Duration of payment (optional contributors).

[1993 (No.2) s7]

45.—(1) Notwithstanding section 44 , where in any period of interruption of employment a person, having satisfied the contribution conditions contained in section 41 by virtue of having paid optional contributions, has been entitled to disability benefit for 312 days, he or she shall not be entitled to that benefit for any subsequent day of incapacity for work unless before that day the person has requalified for benefit in accordance with subsection (2).

[1993 (No.2) s7]

(2) Where a person to whom subsection (1) applies has paid optional contributions in the contribution year following the benefit year which includes that 312th day, he or she shall requalify for disability benefit in the benefit year after the contribution year in respect of which those optional contributions have been paid.

Disqualifications.

[1993 s36(1)]

46.—(1) Regulations may provide for disqualifying a person for receiving disability benefit for such period not exceeding 9 weeks as may be determined under this Part where—

(a) the person has become incapable of work through his or her own misconduct, or

(b) the person fails without good cause to attend for or to submit himself or herself to any medical or other examination or treatment that may be required in accordance with the regulations, or to observe any prescribed rules of behaviour.

[1993 s36(2)]

(2) Regulations may also provide for imposing in the case of any class of persons additional conditions in relation to the receipt of disability benefit and restrictions on the rate and duration of that benefit where, having regard to special circumstances, it appears to the Minister necessary so to do for the purpose of preventing inequalities or injustice.

[1993 s36(3)]

(3) Regulations may also provide for disqualifying a person for the receipt of disability benefit where he or she fails, on becoming or again becoming incapable of work, to make a claim within the prescribed time, but those regulations may provide for extending, subject to any prescribed conditions, the time within which the claim may be made.

Chapter 9

Maternity Benefit

Entitlement to and duration of benefit.

[1997 s10(1)]

47.—(1) Subject to this Act, a woman shall be entitled to maternity benefit where—

(a) it is certified by a registered medical practitioner or otherwise to the satisfaction of the Minister that it is to be expected that the woman will be confined in a week specified in the certificate (hereafter in this section referred to as “the expected week of confinement”) not being more than the prescribed number of weeks after that in which the certificate is given,

(b) in the case of an employed contributor, it is certified by the woman's employer that she is entitled to maternity leave under section 8 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994, and

(c) subject to subsection (2), she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 48 .

[1997 s10(1)]

(2) The requirement in subsection (1)(c) shall not apply in the case of a claim for maternity benefit made by a woman who was in receipt of health and safety benefit under section 52 at any time during the pregnancy as a result of which it is expected that she will be confined.

[1997 s10(1)]

(3) Regulations may provide for entitling to maternity benefit, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, the class or classes of women who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the contribution conditions in section 48 are not satisfied.

[1997 s10(1); 2001 s12(1)(a)]

(4)  (a) Subject to this Act and paragraph (b), where a woman, who has been delivered of a living child, dies at any time before the expiry of the twenty-second week following the week of her confinement, the father of the child shall, subject to satisfying the contribution conditions in section 48 , be entitled to benefit under this Chapter as if he were a woman and the provisions of this Chapter (other than section 50 (b)) apply in all respects in the case of that man.

(b) Paragraph (a) applies in the case of an employed contributor where it is certified by his employer that he is entitled to leave under section 16 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994.

(c) In this Act, a reference to maternity benefit shall be read as including a reference to benefit payable to a man under this subsection.

[1997 s10(1); 2004 (MP) s8(1)]

(5) Subject to this Chapter, maternity benefit shall be payable to—

(a) a woman, who is an employed contributor, for the period of maternity leave to which she is entitled under section 8 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 (including any extension of that period by virtue of section 12 of that Act),

(b) a woman, who is in insurable self-employment, for 18 weeks—

(i) beginning not later than 2 weeks before the end of the expected week of confinement, and

(ii) ending not earlier than 4 weeks after the end of the expected week of confinement,

but if the date of confinement occurs in a week after the expected week of confinement, the period in respect of which benefit shall be payable shall be extended by the number of consecutive weeks, subject to a maximum of 4 consecutive weeks, after the week in which the date of confinement occurs as ensures compliance with subparagraph (ii),

(c) a man, who—

(i) is an employed contributor, for the period of leave to which he is entitled under section 16 of the Maternity Protection Act 1994, or

(ii) is in insurable self-employment, for a period beginning on the day after the day on which the death of the mother occurs—

(I) where the mother dies before the expiry of the sixteenth week following the week of her confinement, to the end of the sixteenth week following the week of her confinement, or

(II) where the mother dies after the expiry of the sixteenth week but before the expiry of the twenty-fourth week following the week of her confinement, to the end of the twenty-fourth week following the week of her confinement,

but if the beneficiary dies, the benefit shall not be payable for any subsequent day.

[1997 s10(1)]

(6) Regulations may modify subsections (1) and (5) in relation to cases where—

(a) it is certified by a registered medical practitioner or otherwise to the satisfaction of the Minister that a woman has been confined, and

(b) a certificate referred to in subsection (1)(a) has not been given.

[2004 (MP) s8]

(7) Regulations may provide for the postponement of the payment of maternity benefit in the event of the hospitalisation of the child in respect of whose birth the person is entitled to that benefit, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed.

[1997 s10(1); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(8) For the purposes of this section, a Sunday shall not in any week be treated as a day of entitlement to maternity benefit and, accordingly, the amount payable by way of that benefit for any other day of a week shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent, and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

[1997 s10(1)]

(9) In the case of an employed contributor, where the employment ceases (whether due to the death of the employer or otherwise) during the period for which maternity benefit is payable under subsection (5), the beneficiary shall continue to be treated as if the event which caused the cesser of employment had not occurred.

[1997 s10(1)]

(10) Regulations may provide for requiring an employer or any other person to furnish any information that may be required for the purposes of determining a claim for maternity benefit.

Conditions for receipt.

48.—The contribution conditions for maternity benefit are—

[1997 s10(1); 2005 (SW&P) s11(b)]

(a) in the case of an employed contributor—

(i)  (I) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the period beginning with her entry into insurance and ending immediately before the relevant day, and

(II) (A) that the claimant has qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs or in a subsequent complete contribution year before the relevant day, or

(B) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 26 contribution weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs,

or

(ii) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the relevant day, or having been in insurable self-employment, she satisfies the contribution conditions in paragraph (b),

[1997 s10(1)]

(b) in the case of a person in insurable self-employment—

(i) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 52 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year or in the third last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs, or in a subsequent complete contribution year before the relevant day, or

(ii) where the claimant was previously an employed contributor, that she satisfies the contribution conditions in paragraph (a)(i) or that she has employment contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the relevant day.

Rate of benefit.

[1997 s10(1); 2004 SWA s7]

49.—(1) Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of maternity benefit shall be an amount equal to the greater of—

(a) 75 per cent of the reckonable weekly earnings, reckonable weekly emoluments or reckonable weekly income, as the case may be, of the woman to whom the benefit is payable in the income tax year prescribed for the purposes of this section, or

(b) the amount of disability benefit, including any increases of that benefit, which the woman would otherwise receive if she was entitled to that benefit, or

(c) any amount that shall be prescribed.

[1997 s10(1)]

(2) In this section “reckonable weekly earnings”, “reckonable weekly emoluments” and “reckonable weekly income” mean the average amount, calculated in accordance with regulations, of reckonable earnings, reckonable emoluments, reckonable income and any other income that may be prescribed, received in a week up to that limit that may be prescribed.

Disqualifications.

[1997 s10(1)]

50.—Regulations may provide for disqualifying a woman for receiving maternity benefit where—

(a) during the period for which the benefit is payable, she engages in any occupation other than domestic activities in her own household, or

(b) she fails, without good cause, to attend for or to submit herself to any medical examination that may be required in accordance with regulations made under this section.

Supplementary provisions.

[1997 s10(1)]

51.—(1) In this Chapter—

(a) “confinement” means labour resulting in the issue of a living child, or labour after 24 weeks of pregnancy resulting in the issue of a child whether alive or dead, and “confined” shall be read accordingly;

“registered medical practitioner” means a person registered in the General Register of Medical Practitioners established under section 26 of the Medical Practitioners Act 1978 ;

“relevant day” means the first day for which maternity benefit is claimed;

(b) references to the date of the confinement shall be taken as referring, where labour begun on one day results in the issue of a child on another day, to the date of the issue of the child or, where a woman is confined with twins or a greater number of children, to the date of the issue of the last child.

[1997 s10(1)]

(2) In deciding whether or not to make an order under section 21A (inserted by the Status of Children Act 1987 ) of the Family Law (Maintenance of Spouses and Children) Act 1976 , in so far as any such order relates to the payment of expenses incidental to the birth of a child, the Circuit Court or the District Court, as the case may be, shall not take into consideration the fact that the mother of the child is entitled to maternity benefit.

Chapter 10

Health and Safety Benefit

Entitlement to benefit.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

52.—(1) In this Chapter—

“confined” and “confinement” have the meanings given to them by section 51 ;

“relevant period” has the meaning given to it by section 18 (6) of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 .

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(2) Subject to this Act, a woman shall be entitled to health and safety benefit, where—

(a) it is certified by a registered medical practitioner or otherwise to the satisfaction of the Minister that it is to be expected that she will be confined or that she has been confined, as the case may be, in a week specified in the certificate,

(b) it is certified by her employer, in accordance with section 18 (2) of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 , that she has been granted leave under section 18 of that Act (hereafter in this Chapter referred to as “health and safety leave”), and

(c) she satisfies the conditions in section 53 .

[SI 25/96 Art 6; 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(3) For the purposes of this Chapter—

(a) any 2 periods of health and safety leave arising in a relevant period shall be treated as one period of health and safety leave, and

(b) a Sunday shall not in any week be treated as a day of entitlement to health and safety benefit and, accordingly, the amount payable by way of that benefit for any other day of a week shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent, and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

Conditions for receipt.

[SI 25/96 Art 6; 2005 (SW&P) s11(c)]

53.—(1) The conditions for health and safety benefit are—

(a) (i) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 13 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the expected date of confinement or the actual date of confinement, as the case may be, or

(ii)  (I) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 52 contribution weeks in the period beginning with her entry into insurance and ending immediately before the first day for which health and safety benefit is claimed, and

(II) (A) that the claimant has qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year or in a subsequent complete contribution year which includes the first day for which health and safety benefit is claimed, or

(B) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 26 contribution weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the first day for which health and safety benefit is claimed,

and

(b) that the claimant has prescribed reckonable weekly earnings in excess of a prescribed amount in a prescribed period.

[2003 s9(2)(b)]

(2) In the case of a claim for health and safety benefit where the period of health and safety leave began before 5 April 2004, subsection (1)(a)(ii)(I) shall be read as if “39” were substituted for “52”.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(3) The requirement in subsection (1)(a) shall not apply in the case of a claim for health and safety benefit which is made in a relevant period where the claimant was previously in receipt of maternity benefit under section 47 in that relevant period.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(4) Subject to subsection (5), regulations may provide for entitling to health and safety benefit a woman who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the condition in subsection (1)(b) is not satisfied.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(5) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (4) shall provide that benefit payable by virtue of that subsection shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2, and the rate specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the condition in subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

[1999 s24(3)]

(6) The requirement contained in subsection (1)(b) that the claimant must have prescribed reckonable weekly earnings in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period shall not apply in the case of a claim for health and safety benefit made by a person in the benefit year in which that person, having been a volunteer development worker, returns to the State from a developing country or in the next 2 succeeding benefit years.

Duration of payment.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

54.—(1) Subject to this Chapter, health and safety benefit shall be payable from the day immediately following the last of the 21 days of health and safety leave in respect of which the claimant is entitled to receive remuneration from her employer under section 18(4) of the Maternity Protection Act 1994 and regulations made under that subsection and shall continue to be payable for the period of health and safety leave granted to the claimant under Part III of the Maternity Protection Act 1994.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(2) Health and safety benefit shall not be payable for any day in respect of which maternity benefit under section 47 is payable.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(3) Where the woman who is entitled to health and safety benefit dies, the benefit shall not be payable for any subsequent day.

Rate of benefit.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

55.—Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of health and safety benefit shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

[SI 25/95 Art 6; 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

56.—(1) The weekly rate of health and safety benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of benefit under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

(2) The weekly rate of health and safety benefit shall be increased by the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[SI 25/95 Art 6; 2003 s10(1)(b)]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any increase of health and safety benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[2003 s10(1)(b)]

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply and no increase of health and safety benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable where the weekly income of that spouse, calculated or estimated in the manner that may be prescribed, exceeds the amount that may be prescribed.

Disqualifications.

[SI 25/95 Art 6]

57.—A woman shall be disqualified for receiving health and safety benefit during any period in which she engages in any occupation other than domestic activities in her own household.

Chapter 11

Adoptive Benefit

Entitlement to and duration of adoptive benefit.

[1997 s11(1)]

58.—(1) In this Chapter—

“adopting parent”—

(a) in the case of an employed contributor, has the meaning given to it by section 2(1) of the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 , and

(b) in the case of a person in insurable self-employment means—

(i) a woman in whose care a child (of whom she is not the natural mother) has been placed or is to be placed with a view to the making of an adoption order, or to the effecting of a foreign adoption or following any such adoption,

(ii) a man, in whose care a child has been placed or is to be placed with a view to the making of an adoption order, or to the effecting of a foreign adoption or following any such adoption, where the woman in whose care the child (of whom she is not the natural mother) has been placed or is to be placed has died, and

(iii) a man, other than a man to whom subparagraph (ii) applies, in whose sole care a child has been placed or is to be placed with a view to making an adoption order, or to the effecting of a foreign adoption or following any such adoption;

“certificate of placement” has the meaning given to it by section 13 of the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 ;

“day of placement” has the meaning given to it by section 2(1) of the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 ;

“foreign adoption” has the meaning given to it by the Adoption Act 1991 (as amended by section 10 of the Adoption Act 1998 ).

[1997 s11(1)]

(2) Subject to this Act, an adopting parent shall be entitled to adoptive benefit where—

(a) (i) in the case of an employed contributor, it is certified by the adopting parent's employer that the adopting parent is entitled to adoptive leave under the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 , or

(ii) in the case of a person in insurable self-employment, a certificate of placement is issued to the adopting parent,

and

(b) the adopting parent satisfies the contribution conditions in section 59 .

[1997 s11(1)]

(3) Regulations may provide for entitling to adoptive benefit, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, the class or classes of adopting parents who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the contribution conditions in section 59 are not satisfied.

[1997 s11(1); 2004 (MP) s9]

(4) Subject to this Chapter, adoptive benefit shall be payable—

(a) in the case of an employed contributor, for the period of adoptive leave to which the adopting parent is entitled under section 6 or 9, as the case may be, of the Adoptive Leave Act 1995 ,

(b) in the case of a person in insurable self-employment, being—

(i) an adopting parent within the meaning of subsection (1)(b)(i) or (iii), for 16 consecutive weeks beginning on the day of placement, or

(ii) an adopting parent within the meaning of subsection (1)(b)(ii), where the adopting mother dies before the day of placement, 16 consecutive weeks beginning on the day of placement or where the adopting mother dies on or after the day of placement, for a period of 16 weeks less a period equivalent to the period beginning on the day of placement and ending on the date of her death,

but where the beneficiary dies, the benefit shall not be payable for any subsequent day.

[1997 s11(1); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(5) For the purposes of this section, a Sunday shall not in any week be treated as a day of entitlement to adoptive benefit and, accordingly, the amount payable by way of that benefit for any other day of a week shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent, and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

[1997 s11(1)]

(6) In the case of an employed contributor, where the employment ceases (whether due to the death of the employer or otherwise) during the period for which adoptive benefit is payable in accordance with subsection (4), the beneficiary shall continue to be treated as if the event which caused the cesser of employment had not occurred.

[1997 s11(1)]

(7) Regulations may provide for requiring an employer or any other person to furnish any information that may be required for the purposes of determining a claim for adoptive benefit.

Conditions for receipt.

[1997 s11(1); 2005 (SW&P) s11(d)]

59.—(1) The contribution conditions for adoptive benefit are—

(a) in the case of an employed contributor—

(i)  (I) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the period beginning with the claimant's entry into insurance and ending immediately before the relevant day, and

(II) (A) that the claimant has qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs or in a subsequent complete contribution year before the relevant day, or

(B) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 26 contribution weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs,

or

(ii) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the relevant day, or having been in insurable self-employment satisfies the contribution conditions in paragraph (1)(b),

(b) in the case of a person in insurable self-employment—

(i) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 52 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year or in the third last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant day occurs, or in a subsequent complete contribution year before the relevant day, or

(ii) where the claimant was previously an employed contributor, that he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in paragraph (a)(i) or that he or she has employment contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the relevant day.

[1997 s11(1)]

(2) In subsection (1) “relevant day” means the first day for which adoptive benefit is claimed.

Rates of adoptive benefit.

[1997 s11(1); 2004 SWA s7]

60.—(1) Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of adoptive benefit shall be an amount equal to the greater of—

(a) 75 per cent of the reckonable weekly earnings, reckonable weekly emoluments or reckonable weekly income, as the case may be, of the adopting parent to whom the benefit is payable in the income tax year prescribed for the purposes of this section, or

(b) the amount of disability benefit, including any increases of that benefit, which the adopting parent would otherwise receive if entitled to that benefit, or

(c) any amount that shall be prescribed.

[1997 s11(1)]

(2) In this section “reckonable weekly earnings”, “reckonable weekly emoluments” and “reckonable weekly income” mean the average amount, calculated in accordance with regulations, of reckonable earnings, reckonable emoluments, reckonable income and any other income received in a week that may be prescribed up to the limit that may be prescribed.

Disqualification.

[1997 s11(1)]

61.—Regulations may provide for disqualifying an adopting parent for receiving adoptive benefit where, during the period for which the benefit is payable, the adopting parent engages in any occupation other than domestic activities in that parent's own household.

Chapter 12

Unemployment Benefit

Entitlement to benefit.

[1993 s42(1); 1994 s19(1)(a)]

62.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to unemployment benefit in respect of any day of unemployment (in this Part referred to as “a day of unemployment”) which forms part of a period of interruption of employment, where—

(a) he or she is under pensionable age on the day for which the benefit is claimed,

(b) he or she proves unemployment in the prescribed manner,

(c) he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 64 , and

(d) other than in the case of a person engaged in casual employment, he or she has sustained a substantial loss of employment in any period of 6 consecutive days.

[1994 s19(1)(b)]

(2) The circumstances in which a person is to be regarded, for the purposes of subsection (1), as being engaged in casual employment shall be specified in regulations.

[1993 s42(2)]

(3) The circumstances in which a person is to be regarded, for the purposes of this Chapter, as having sustained a substantial loss of employment shall be specified in regulations, and different circumstances may be specified for different provisions of this Chapter.

[1993 s42(3)]

(4) A person shall not be entitled to unemployment benefit for the first 3 days of any period of interruption of employment.

[1993 s42(4); 2003 s8]

(5) For the purposes of any provision of this Act relating to unemployment benefit—

(a) a day shall not be treated in relation to an insured person as a day of unemployment unless on that day—

(i) he or she is capable of work,

(ii) he or she is, or by reason of his or her participation in an activity prescribed for the purposes of this subsection and subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, is deemed to be, or is exempted from being required to be, available for employment, and

(iii) he or she is genuinely seeking, but is unable to obtain, employment suitable for him or her having regard to his or her age, physique, education, normal occupation, place of residence and family circumstances,

(b) “day of interruption of employment” means a day which is a day of unemployment or of incapacity for work,

(c) any 3 days of interruption of employment, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 6 consecutive days shall be treated as a period of interruption of employment and any 2 such periods not separated by a period of more than 26 weeks shall be treated as one period of interruption of employment,

(d) Sunday or such other day in each week as may be prescribed shall not be treated as a day of unemployment or of incapacity for work and shall be disregarded in computing any period of consecutive days.

[1994 s19; 1997 s30(1)(a)]

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5)(c), where in respect of any day of unemployment (referred to in this subsection as “the relevant day of unemployment”) which forms part of a period of interruption of employment a person has not, before the relevant day of unemployment, been entitled, in that period of interruption of employment, to unemployment benefit in respect of a day of unemployment within the 2 years before the relevant day of unemployment, that day shall be treated as the first day of unemployment in a separate period of interruption of employment subject to subsection (4) not applying in relation to that separate period of interruption of employment.

[1997 s30(1)(a)]

(7) For the purposes of this Chapter and Chapter 2 of Part 3, the Minister shall make regulations specifying the circumstances in which a person is or is not to be regarded as being available for or genuinely seeking employment and these circumstances may vary in relation to—

(a) the person's previous work experience,

(b) the period for which he or she has been unemployed, and

(c) the prevailing employment conditions.

[1993 s42(5); 2005 (SW&P) s12(a)]

(8) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (5), any period, not exceeding 1 year in duration, of—

(a) employment under a scheme administered by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as Community Employment,

(b) employment under a scheme administered under the aegis of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and known as the Rural Social Scheme,

(c) participation in a scheme administered by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme,

(d) participation in a scheme administered by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as the Alternance Scheme,

(e) attendance at a training course provided or approved of by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair,

(f) participation in a scheme administered by the Commission of the European Union and known as the European Voluntary Service Initiative,

(g) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister and known as the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme, or

(h) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Education and Science and known as the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme,

shall be disregarded in treating, under subsection (5)(c), any 2 periods of interruption of employment not separated by more than 26 weeks as one period of interruption of employment.

[1993 s42(6)]

(9) Regulations may make provision (subject to subsection (5)) as to the days which are or are not to be treated for the purposes of unemployment benefit as days of unemployment or of incapacity for work.

[1993 s42(7); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(10) The amount payable by way of benefit for any day of unemployment shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

[1993 s42(8); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(11) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the number of days of unemployment in respect of which a person engaged in short-time employment shall be entitled to unemployment benefit in any week shall be limited so that the total of the number of days in respect of which that benefit is paid and the number of days worked shall not exceed 5, and in that case the amount payable by way of that benefit for any day of unemployment in that week shall, notwithstanding subsection (10), be one-fifth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

Condition for receipt (optional contributors).

[1993 (No. 2) s8(a)]

63.—(1) It shall be a condition for the receipt of unemployment benefit in respect of any day by a person engaged in share fishing that—

(a) it is not a day on which he or she is engaged in share fishing and it is a day in respect of which he or she makes reasonable efforts to obtain such work, and

(b) there was no work on, or in connection with, the fishing vessel of which he or she is a member of the crew available for him or her on that day because—

(i) as a consequence of weather conditions, the fishing vessel could not reasonably have put to sea for the purposes of fishing, or

(ii) the fishing vessel was undergoing repairs or maintenance, not being repairs or maintenance constituting work within the meaning of subsection (2).

[1993 (No. 2) s8(a)]

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), work includes any work done to the fishing vessel or its nets or gear by way of repairs (including running repairs) or maintenance, or in connection with the laying up of nets and gear or their preparation for fishing which at the time of its performance is necessary for the safety or reasonable efficiency of the fishing vessel, or is likely to become so necessary in the near future, and which it is the duty of a person engaged in share fishing (whether by agreement, custom, practice or otherwise) to undertake without remuneration other than by way of a share in the profits or the gross earnings of the working of the fishing vessel, but any other work done to the fishing vessel or its nets or gear, shall be disregarded.

Conditions for receipt.

[1993 s43(1); 2005 (SW&P) s11(e)]

64.—(1) The contribution conditions for unemployment benefit are that the claimant—

(a) has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 52 contribution weeks in the period between his or her entry into insurance and the day for which the benefit is claimed,

(b)  (i) has qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the day for which the benefit is claimed, or

(ii) has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 26 contribution weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the day for which the benefit is claimed,

and

(c) has—

(i) prescribed reckonable weekly earnings, or

(ii) in the case of a person who qualifies for unemployment benefit by virtue of having paid optional contributions, prescribed reckonable weekly income,

in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period.

[1993 s43(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) In the case of any claim for unemployment benefit where the period of interruption of employment began before 6 April 1987, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “26” were substituted for “52”.

[2003 s9(3)(b)]

(3) In the case of any claim for unemployment benefit where the period of interruption of employment began on or after 6 April 1987 and before 5 April 2004 subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “39” were substituted for “52”.

[1993 s43(3)]

(4) Where a person under 65 years of age has been entitled to payment of unemployment benefit in respect of any day or would but for section 62 (4), 68(1) or 68(6) have been so entitled then, in relation to unemployment benefit, the benefit year which includes the first such day in every period of interruption of employment, which is, or is deemed to be, a separate period of interruption of employment, shall, for the purpose of the condition contained in subsection (1)(b)(i) or (ii), be regarded as continuing so long as the period of interruption of employment continues.

[1993 s43(4)]

(5) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution conditions set out in subsection (1).

[1993 s43(5)]

(6) Subject to subsection (7), regulations may provide for entitling to unemployment benefit persons who would be entitled to that benefit but for the fact that the condition in subsection (1)(c) is not satisfied.

[1993 s43(6)]

(7) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (6) shall provide that benefit payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2, and the rate specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the condition in subsection (1)(c) is satisfied.

[1993 (No. 2) s13; 1999 s24(2)]

(8) The condition in subsection (1)(c) that the claimant must have prescribed reckonable weekly earnings in excess of a prescribed amount in the prescribed period shall not apply in the case of a claim for unemployment benefit made by a person in the benefit year in which that person, having been a volunteer development worker, returns to the State from a developing country or in the next 2 succeeding benefit years.

Rate of benefit.

[1993 s44]

65.—Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of unemployment benefit shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2.

Increases for qualified adult and qualified children.

[1993 s45(1); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

66.—(1) The weekly rate of unemployment benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of benefit under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s45(2); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(2) The weekly rate of unemployment benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s45(3); 2003 s10(1)(c)]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any increase of unemployment benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[2003 s10(1)(c)]

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply and no increase of unemployment benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable where the weekly income of that spouse, calculated or estimated in the manner that may be prescribed, exceeds the amount that may be prescribed.

Duration of payment.

[1993 s46(1); 2003 s11(1)(a)]

67.—(1) A person who, in respect of any period of interruption of employment, has been entitled to unemployment benefit for 156 days shall not thereafter, subject to subsection (3) or (4), be entitled to that benefit for any day of unemployment (whether in the same or a subsequent period of interruption of employment) unless before that day he or she has requalified for benefit or unless, in the case of a person over 65 years of age, he or she has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 156 contribution weeks in the period between his or her entry into insurance and the day for which unemployment benefit is claimed.

[1993 s46(2)]

(2) Where a person entitled to unemployment benefit for 156 days has exhausted his or her right to unemployment benefit—

(a) he or she shall requalify for that benefit when he or she has qualifying contributions in respect of 13 contribution weeks begun or ended since the last day for which he or she was entitled to that benefit, and

(b) on his or her requalifying for that benefit, subsection (1) shall again apply to the person, but, in a case where the period of interruption of employment in which the person exhausted his or her right to that benefit continues after his or her requalification, as if the part before and the part after his or her requalification were distinct periods of interruption of employment.

[1993 s46(3); 2003 s11(1)(b)]

(3) Subsection (1) shall, in respect of a person who is over the age of 18 years and who has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks, have effect as if “390 days” were substituted for “156 days”.

[2003 s11(1)(b)]

(4) Subsection (1) shall, in respect of a person who is over the age of 18 years and who has qualifying contributions in respect of less than 260 contribution weeks, have effect as if “312 days” were substituted for “156 days”.

[1993 s46(4); 2003 s11(1)]

(5) Where a person entitled to unemployment benefit for 312 days or 390 days has exhausted his or her right to that benefit—

(a) the person shall requalify for that benefit when he or she has qualifying contributions (other than optional contributions) in respect of 13 contribution weeks begun or ended since the 156th day for which he or she was entitled to that benefit, and

(b) on his or her requalifying for that benefit, subsections (1), (3) and (4) as the case may be, shall again apply to him or her, but, in a case where the period of interruption of employment in which the person exhausted his or her right to benefit continues after his or her requalification, as if the part before and the part after the exhaustion were distinct periods of interruption of employment.

[1993 (No.2) s8(c)]

(6) Notwithstanding this Chapter, in the case of a person who satisfies the contribution conditions contained in section 64 by virtue of having paid optional contributions—

(a) where he or she has been entitled to unemployment benefit for 78 days in any benefit year he or she shall not thereafter be entitled to that benefit in respect of any day of unemployment in that benefit year, and

(b) the first day of unemployment in any benefit year shall be treated as the beginning of a separate period of interruption of employment.

[1993 s46(5)]

(7) Regulations may provide for treating a person for the purposes of this section as having been entitled to benefit for any day where the person would have been so entitled but for any delay or failure on his or her part to make or prosecute a claim but a person shall not be so treated where he or she shows that he or she did not intend, by failing to acquire or establish a right to benefit for that day, to avoid the necessity of requalifying for benefit under this section.

[1993 s46(6); 1996 s22(4)]

(8) For the purpose of this section, where a person receives unemployment assistance in respect of any week of unemployment, within the meaning of section 141 (3), which includes any day in respect of which that person is entitled to unemployment benefit, any day of unemployment in that week shall be treated as though it were a day in respect of which unemployment benefit was paid.

[1993 s46(7)]

(9) For the purposes of this section, any period in respect of which a person is disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit by virtue of section 68 (6) shall be treated as though it were a period in respect of which unemployment benefit was paid.

Disqualifications.

[1993 s47(1)]

68.—(1) Subject to subsection (2), a person who has lost employment by reason of a stoppage of work which was due to a trade dispute at the factory, workshop, farm or other premises or place at which he or she was employed shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit so long as the stoppage of work continues, except in a case where the person has, during the stoppage of work, become bona fide employed elsewhere in the occupation which he or she usually follows or has become regularly engaged in some other occupation.

[1993 s47(1)]

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who is not participating in or directly interested in the trade dispute which caused the stoppage of work.

[1993 s47(2)]

(3) Where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate businesses in separate premises or at separate places are in any case carried on in separate departments on the same premises or at the same place, each of those departments, for the purposes of subsection (1), is deemed to be a separate factory, workshop or farm or separate premises or a separate place, as the case may be.

[1993 s47(3); 1995 s18(a)]

(4) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit during any week in which he or she is employed under a scheme administered by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as Community Employment.

[2005 (SW&P) s13(a)]

(5) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit during any week in which he or she is employed under a scheme administered under the aegis of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and known as the Rural Social Scheme.

[1993 s47(4)]

(6) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment benefit for a period not exceeding 9 weeks as may be determined under this Act where he or she—

(a) has lost his or her employment through his or her own misconduct or has voluntarily left his or her employment without just cause,

(b) has refused an offer of suitable employment,

(c) has without good cause refused or failed to avail himself or herself of any reasonable opportunity of receiving training provided or approved of by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair as suitable in his or her case,

(d) has failed or neglected to avail himself or herself of any reasonable opportunity of obtaining suitable employment, or

(e) being a person under the age of 55 years who, in accordance with the Redundancy Payments Acts 1967 to 2003, has been dismissed by his or her employer by reason of redundancy, has received or is entitled to receive any moneys, in excess of a prescribed amount, in respect of that redundancy under those Acts or under an agreement with his or her employer,

and the period of disqualification shall begin on the day on which the loss or leaving of employment, refusal, failure, neglect or redundancy, as the case may be, occurred.

[1993 s47(5)]

(7) Regulations may also provide for imposing in the case of any class of persons additional conditions with respect to the receipt of unemployment benefit and restrictions on the rate and duration of that benefit, where, having regard to special circumstances, it appears to the Minister necessary so to do for the purpose of preventing inequalities or preventing injustice.

[1993 s47(6)]

(8) For the purpose of this section, employment shall not be deemed to be suitable employment in the case of any person where it is—

(a) employment in a situation vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute,

(b) employment in the district where the person was last ordinarily employed at a rate of remuneration lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those which he or she habitually obtained in his or her usual employment in that district, or would have obtained had he or she continued to be so employed, or

(c) employment in any other district at a rate of remuneration lower, or on conditions less favourable, than those generally observed in that district by agreement between associations of employers and of employees or, failing such agreement, than those generally recognised in that district by good employers.

Chapter 13

Occupational Injuries Benefits

Interpretation.

[1993 s48(1)]

69.—(1) In this Chapter, save where the context otherwise requires—

“apprentice” means a person undergoing full-time training for any trade, business, profession, office, employment or vocation;

“claimant” means a person claiming occupational injuries benefit and also includes an applicant for a declaration that an accident was or was not an occupational accident, and reference to a claim shall be read accordingly;

“the deceased” means, in relation to death benefit, the person in respect of whose death the benefit is claimed or payable;

“disablement gratuity” has the meaning given to it by section 75 (8);

“disablement pension” has the meaning given to it by section 75 (9) or (10);

“injury benefit period” means, in relation to any accident, the period of 156 days (Sundays being disregarded) beginning with the day of the accident, or the part of that period for which, under section 75 (3), disablement benefit in respect of the accident is not available to the insured person;

“medical examination” includes bacteriological and radiographical tests and similar investigations, and references to being medically examined shall be read accordingly;

“medical treatment” has the meaning given to it by section 93 (1);

“occupational accident” shall be read in accordance with section 90 ;

“relevant accident” and “relevant injury” mean respectively, in relation to any benefit, the accident and injury in respect of which the benefit is claimed or payable;

“relevant loss of faculty” means the loss of faculty resulting from the relevant injury;

“unemployability supplement” has the meaning given to it by section 77 (3).

[1993 s48(2)]

(2) References in this Chapter to loss of physical faculty shall be read as including references to disfigurement, whether or not accompanied by any actual loss of faculty.

Occupational injuries insurance.

[1993 s49(1)]

70.—(1) Subject to this Part, every person, irrespective of age, who is employed in insurable (occupational injuries) employment shall be insured under this Part against personal injury caused by accident arising out of and in the course of that employment.

[1993 s49(2)]

(2) Any reference in this Act to occupational injuries insurance shall be read as a reference to the insurance provided for by this section.

[1994 s31(1)]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), regulations may provide for entitling to such and so many of the benefits which comprise occupational injuries benefits, that may be prescribed, subject to the conditions and circumstances that may be prescribed, the class or classes of persons that may be prescribed.

Insurable (occupational injuries) employment.

[1993 s50(1)]

71.—(1) Any reference in this Act to insurable (occupational injuries) employment shall, subject to subsections (2) to (11), be read as a reference to any employment for the time being specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1 , not being an employment specified in Part 2 of that Schedule.

[1993 s50(2)]

(2)  (a) For the purposes of this section, the following employments shall be taken as being added to the employments specified in Part 1 of Schedule 1

(i) employment in the State in plying for hire with any vehicle, vessel, aircraft, machine or animal, the use of which is obtained under any contract of bailment (other than a hire purchase agreement) in consideration of the payment of a fixed sum or a share in the earnings or otherwise,

(ii) employment under any contract of service or apprenticeship entered into in the State (otherwise than as captain, master or a member of the crew) on board a ship or aircraft, being employment for the purpose of the ship or aircraft or of any passengers or cargo or mails carried by the ship or aircraft, and

(iii) employment in the State as a member or as a person training to become a member of any fire brigade, rescue brigade, first-aid party or salvage party at a factory, mine or works, that may be prescribed, or of any similar organisation that may be prescribed.

(b) In paragraph (a)(ii)

“ship” means—

(i) any ship registered in the State, or

(ii) any other ship or vessel of which the owner or, where there is more than one owner, the managing owner or manager, resides or has his or her principal place of business in the State;

“aircraft” means—

(i) any aircraft registered in the State, or

(ii) any other aircraft of which the owner or, where there is more than one owner, the managing owner or manager, resides or has his or her principal place of business in the State.

[1993 s50(3)]

(3) For the purposes of this section, the following employments shall be taken as being added to the employments specified in Part 2 of Schedule 1

(a) employment as a member of the Defence Forces,

(b) employment, which is neither wholetime as may be defined in regulations nor under contract of service, as a member of the crew of a fishing vessel where the employed person is wholly remunerated by a share in the profits or the gross earnings of the working of the vessel,

(c) employment under any local or other public authority in the execution of any contract for services,

(d) employment, otherwise than under contract of service, specified in paragraph 10 of Part 1 of Schedule 1.

[1993 s50(4)]

(4) For the purposes of this section, paragraph 2 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 shall be taken as not including employment of a casual nature for the purposes of any work in or about the residence of the employer.

[1993 s50(5)]

(5) For the purposes of this section, a pilot to whom the Pilotage Act 1913 applies, when employed on any ship (within the meaning of subsection (2)(b)), is deemed to be a member of the crew of that ship.

[1993 s50(6)]

(6) The Minister may, in relation to paragraphs 4 and 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 1 , by regulations provide that an employment specified as being subsidiary employment or an employment specified as being of inconsiderable extent shall be taken for the purposes of this section as not being so specified.

[1993 s50(7)]

(7) The Minister may by regulations provide that any specified employment under any local or other public authority shall be taken for the purposes of this section as being added to Part 2 of Schedule 1.

[1993 s50(8)]

(8) Where it appears to the Minister—

(a) that the nature or other circumstances of the service rendered or the work performed in any employment which, apart from this subsection, is insurable (occupational injuries) employment and in any employment which, apart from this subsection, is not such employment (whether by reason of the fact that it is an excepted employment or otherwise) are so similar as to result in anomalies in the operation of this Part, and

(b) that either—

(i) the first-mentioned employment can conveniently be included among the excepted employments, or

(ii) the second-mentioned employment can conveniently be included among the insurable (occupational injuries) employments,

the Minister may by regulations provide that the employment shall be so included.

[1993 s50(9)]

(9) The Minister may by regulations modify this Part in its application in the case of persons employed in employments specified in subsection (2)(a)(ii).

[1993 s50(10)]

(10) A person who is unemployed, while in attendance at any course that may be prescribed and provided by any person who may be prescribed, is deemed, for the purposes of this Part, to be in insurable (occupational injuries) employment and to be employed by the person by whom the course is being provided.

[1993 s50(11); 1996 s12(1)(c)]

(11) A person employed under a scheme administered by An Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as Community Employment is deemed, for the purposes of this Part, to be in insurable (occupational injuries) employment, where the person's employment under that scheme began before 6 April 1996.

Extension of meaning of references to accidents arising out of and in course of employment.

[1993 s51(1)]

72.—(1) An accident arising in the course of an insured person's employment is deemed for the purposes of this Part, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, also to have arisen out of that employment.

[1993 s51(2)]

(2) An accident shall be treated for the purposes of this Part, where it would not apart from this section be so treated, as arising out of an insured person's employment where—

(a) the accident arises in the course of the employment,

(b) the accident—

(i) either is caused by another person's misconduct, negligence or misbehaviour, or by steps taken in consequence of any such misconduct, negligence or misbehaviour or by the behaviour or presence of an animal (including a bird, fish or insect), or

(ii) is caused by or consists in the insured person's being struck by any object or by lightning,

and

(c) the insured person did not directly or indirectly cause or contribute to the happening of the accident by his or her conduct outside the employment or by any act not incidental to the employment.

[1993 s51(3)]

(3) An accident is deemed for the purposes of this Part to arise out of and in the course of an insured person's employment, notwithstanding that the person is at the time of the accident acting in contravention of any statutory or other regulations applicable to his or her employment, or of any orders given by or on behalf of his or her employer, or that the person is acting without instructions from his or her employer, where—

(a) the accident would have been deemed for the purposes of this Part so to have arisen had the act not been done in contravention of any statutory or other regulations applicable to the person's employment, or of any orders given by or on behalf of his or her employer or without instructions from his or her employer, as the case may be, and

(b) the act is done for the purposes of and in connection with the employer's trade or business.

[1993 s51(4)]

(4) An accident happening to an insured person while travelling to or from his or her place of work, subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, is deemed for the purposes of this Part to arise out of and in the course of his or her employment.

[1993 s51(5)]

(5) An accident happening to an insured person in or about any premises at which the person is for the time being employed for the purposes of his or her employer's trade or business is deemed for the purposes of this Part to arise out of and in the course of his or her employment where it happens while the person is taking steps, in an actual or supposed emergency at those premises, to rescue, succour or protect persons who are, or are thought to be or possibly to be, injured or imperilled, or to avert or minimise serious damage to property.

[1993 s51(6)]

(6) An accident happening to an insured person who is an apprentice, while he or she is in attendance at a technical school or other place for training or instruction (whether during ordinary hours of employment or otherwise), is deemed for the purposes of this Part, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, to have arisen out of and in the course of his or her employment where his or her attendance at that school or place is with his or her employer's consent or is required by direction of his or her employer or under his or her contract of apprenticeship.

Accidents in illegal employment and accidents outside State.

[1993 s52(1)]

73.—(1) Where a claim for occupational injuries benefit is made under this Part in respect of any accident or of any disease or injury prescribed for the purposes of section 87 , or an application is made thereunder for a declaration that any accident was an occupational accident or for a corresponding declaration as to any such disease or injury, the Minister may direct that for the purposes of this Part the relevant employment shall, in relation to that accident, disease or injury, be treated as having been insurable (occupational injuries) employment, notwithstanding that, by reason of a contravention of or non-compliance with some provision contained in or having effect under any enactment passed for the protection of employed persons or of any class of employed persons—

(a) the contract purporting to govern the employment was void, or

(b) the employed person was not lawfully employed in that employment at the time when or in the place where the accident happened or the disease or injury was contracted or received.

[1993 s52(1)]

(2) In subsection (1) “relevant employment” means—

(a) in relation to an accident, the employment out of and in the course of which the accident arises, and

(b) in relation to a disease or injury, the employment to the nature of which the disease or injury is due.

[1993 s52(3)]

(3) Except where regulations otherwise provide, an occupational injuries benefit is not payable in respect of an accident happening while the insured person is outside of the State.

Injury benefit.

[1993 s53(1)]

74.—(1) Subject to this Act, an insured person who suffers personal injury caused on or after 1 May 1967 by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, being insurable (occupational injuries) employment, shall be entitled to injury benefit in respect of any day on which, as the result of the injury, the person is incapable of work during the injury benefit period.

[1993 s53(1)]

(2) An insured person shall not be entitled to injury benefit in respect of the first 3 days on which, as a result of the injury, he or she is incapable of work.

[1993 s53(2)]

(3) For the purposes of this section, a day shall not be treated in relation to an insured person as a day of incapacity for work where, in respect of that day, the insured person is being paid by his or her employer in respect of holiday leave.

[1993 s53(3)]

(4) In determining whether the insured person is incapable of work on the day of the accident, any part of that day before the happening of the accident shall be disregarded.

[1993 s53(4)]

(5) Subject to this Part, injury benefit shall be an allowance payable at the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2.

[1993 s53(5); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(6) The amount payable by way of injury benefit for any day of incapacity shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate, subject to the total amount being paid at any time by virtue of this subsection being rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent and being rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

[1993 s53(6)]

(7) A person under the age of 16 years shall not be entitled to injury benefit except in so far as may be provided by regulations.

Disablement benefit.

[1993 s54(1)]

75.—(1) Subject to this Act, an insured person who suffers personal injury caused on or after 1 May 1967 by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, being insurable (occupational injuries) employment, shall be entitled to disablement benefit where he or she suffers as a result of the accident from loss of physical or mental faculty such that the extent of the resulting disablement assessed in accordance with subsections (3) to (11) amounts to not less than 1 per cent.

[1993 s54(1)]

(2) For the purposes of subsections (3) to (11), there is deemed not to be any relevant loss of faculty when the extent of the resulting disablement, if assessed in accordance with those provisions, would not amount to 1 per cent.

[1993 s54(2)]

(3) Disablement benefit shall not be available to an insured person until after the 3rd day of the period of 156 days (Sundays being disregarded) beginning with the day of the relevant accident, nor until after the last day, if any, of that period on which he or she is incapable of work as a result of the relevant accident but where the person is not so incapable on any day, being the 4th or a later day after the relevant accident, before the end of that period, he or she may claim, and if otherwise entitled, be awarded, disablement benefit as from that day, but in that event the fact that the person is or may be so incapable on a subsequent day of the period shall be disregarded for the purposes of this subsection.

[1993 s54(3)]

(4) For the purposes of this section, the extent of disablement shall be assessed, by reference to the disabilities incurred by the claimant as a result of the relevant loss of faculty, in accordance with the following general principles:

(a) save as provided in this subsection, the disabilities to be taken into account shall be all disabilities (whether or not involving a loss of earning power or additional expense) to which the claimant may be expected, having regard to his or her physical and mental condition at the date of the assessment, to be subject during the period taken into account by the assessment as compared with a person of the same age and sex whose physical and mental condition is normal;

(b) any such disability shall be treated as having been incurred as a result of the relevant loss of faculty except that, subject to any regulations made under subsection (5), it shall not be so treated in so far as the claimant either—

(i) would in any case have been subject to that disability as the result of a congenital defect or of an injury or disease received or contracted before the relevant accident, or

(ii) would not have been subject to that disability but for some injury or disease received or contracted after, and not directly attributable to, that accident;

(c) the assessment shall be made without reference to the particular circumstances of the claimant other than age, sex and physical and mental condition;

(d) the disabilities resulting from any loss of faculty that may be prescribed shall be taken as amounting to 100 per cent disablement and other disabilities shall be assessed accordingly.

[1993 s54(4)]

(5)  (a) Provision may be made by regulations for further defining the principles on which the extent of disablement is to be assessed, and those regulations may in particular direct that a prescribed loss of faculty shall be treated as resulting in a prescribed degree of disablement.

(b) In relation to any direction in regulations made under paragraph (a), nothing in subsection (4)(c) shall be taken as preventing the making of different provision, in the case of loss of faculty in or affecting hand or arm, for right-handed and for left-handed persons.

[1993 s54(5)]

(6)  (a) Subject to paragraph (b), the period to be taken into account by an assessment of the extent of a claimant's disablement shall be the period (beginning not earlier than the end of the injury benefit period, and limited by reference either to the claimant's life or to a definite date) during which the claimant has suffered and may be expected to continue to suffer from the relevant loss of faculty.

(b) If on any assessment the condition of the claimant is not such, having regard to the possibility of changes in that condition (whether predictable or not), as to allow of a final assessment being made up to the end of the period referred to in paragraph (a)

(i) a provisional assessment shall be made, taking into account such shorter period only as seems reasonable having regard to his or her condition and that possibility, and

(ii) on the next assessment the period to be taken into account shall begin with the end of the period taken into account by the provisional assessment.

[1993 s54(6)]

(7)  (a) Subject to paragraph (b), an assessment shall state the degree of disablement in the form of a percentage and shall specify the period taken into account by the assessment and, where that is limited by reference to a definite date, whether the assessment is provisional or final.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a)

(i) the percentage and period referred to in that paragraph shall not be specified more particularly than is necessary for the purpose of determining in accordance with this section the claimant's rights as to disablement benefit, and

(ii) a percentage between 20 and 100 which is not a multiple of 10 shall be treated—

(I) where it is a multiple of 5, as being the next higher percentage which is a multiple of 10, and

(II) where it is not a multiple of 5, as being the nearest percentage which is a multiple of 10.

[1993 s54(7)]

(8)  (a) Where the extent of the disablement is assessed for the period taken into account as amounting to less than 20 per cent, disablement benefit shall be a gratuity (in this Chapter referred to as “a disablement gratuity”)—

(i) of an amount fixed, in accordance with the length of that period and the degree of disablement, by a prescribed scale, but not in any case exceeding the amount set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2,

(ii) payable, if and in the cases provided by regulations, by instalments.

(b) The scale prescribed for the purposes of paragraph (a) shall be the same for all persons.

[1993 s54(8)]

(9)  (a) Subject to paragraph (b), where the extent of the disablement is assessed for the period taken into account as amounting to 20 per cent or more, disablement benefit shall be a pension (in this Chapter referred to as “a disablement pension”) for that period at the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 3 of Schedule 2 appropriate to the degree of disablement.

(b) Where the period referred to in paragraph (a) is limited by reference to a definite date, the pension shall cease on the death of the beneficiary before that date.

[1993 s54(9)]

(10)  (a) Where, apart from this subsection, a gratuity would be paid under subsection (8) in a case in which the period taken into account by the assessment of disablement is the period of the claimant's life or a period exceeding 7 years and the extent of disablement is assessed as amounting to not less than 10 per cent and not more than 19 per cent, subparagraphs (i) to (iii) apply where the claimant opts, before the gratuity is paid, for the substitution of a pension for the gratuity:

(i) the gratuity shall not be paid;

(ii) the disablement benefit shall be a pension (in this Chapter also referred to as “a disablement pension”) at the weekly rate appropriate in accordance with a prescribed scale;

(iii) the disablement pension shall be for the period taken into account by the assessment of disablement but where that period is limited by reference to a definite date, the pension shall cease on the death of the beneficiary before that date.

(b) The following provisions apply in relation to the scale prescribed for the purposes of this subsection:

(i) the scale shall be the same for all persons;

(ii) different amounts may be specified in relation to the different percentages under 20 per cent, but each such amount shall not be less than the amount which bears to the appropriate amount of disablement pension (set out in Part 3 of Schedule 2 ) for a degree of disablement of 20 per cent, the same proportion as the percentage with respect to which it is specified bears to 20 per cent.

[1993 s54(10)]

(11) In the case of any assessment of disablement where the period to be taken into account by the assessment began before 1 May 1990, subsection (10)(a) shall be read as if the reference to “and the extent of disablement is assessed as amounting to not less than 10 per cent and not more than 19 per cent” were deleted.

Increase of injury benefit and disablement pension for qualified adult and qualified children.

[1993 s55(1); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

76.—(1) The weekly rate of injury benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of injury benefit under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s55(2); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(2) The weekly rate of injury benefit shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s55(3); 2003 s10(1)(d)]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), any increase of injury benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[2003 s10(1)(d)]

(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply and no increase of injury benefit payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable where the weekly income of that spouse, calculated or estimated in the manner that may be prescribed, exceeds any amount that may be prescribed.

[2003 s10(1)(d)]

(5) Subsections (1) and (2) shall, for any period for which the beneficiary is entitled to unemployability supplement, apply to a disablement pension as they apply to injury benefit and any increase under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

Increase of disablement pension on account of unemployability.

77.—(1) Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of disablement pension shall be increased—

[1993 s56(1)]

(a) by the amount set out in column (2) of Part 4 of Schedule 2 where, as a result of the relevant loss of faculty, the beneficiary is incapable of work and likely to remain permanently so incapable, and

[1993 s56(1); 2005 (SW&P) s10(a)]

(b) by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 4 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is living alone and by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 4 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

[1993 s56(2)]

(2)  (a) For the purposes of this section, a person may be treated as being incapable of work, and likely to remain permanently incapable of work, notwithstanding that the loss of faculty is not such as to prevent the person being capable of work, where it is likely to restrict him or her to earning not more than the amount that may be prescribed.

(b) In paragraph (a) the reference to “earning” includes a reference to receiving any remuneration or profit derived from gainful occupation.

[1993 s56(3)]

(3) An increase of pension under this section (in this Chapter referred to as “an unemployability supplement”) shall be payable for the period that may be determined at the time it is granted, but may be renewed from time to time.

Increase of disablement pension where constant attendance needed.

[1993 s57(1); 2001 s19(1)]

78.—(1) Where a disablement pension is payable in respect of an assessment of 50 per cent or more, then, where as a result of the relevant loss of faculty the beneficiary requires constant attendance, the weekly rate of the pension shall be increased by the amount set out in Part 4 of Schedule 2 .

[1993 s57(2); 2001 s19(1)]

(2) An increase of pension under this section shall be payable for the period that may be determined at the time it is granted, but may be renewed from time to time but no increase shall be payable in respect of any period during which the beneficiary is receiving medical treatment as an in-patient in a hospital or similar institution.

Adjustments for successive accidents.

[1993 s58(1); 2005 (SW&P) s5]

79.—(1) Where a person suffers 2 or more successive accidents against which he or she is insured by occupational injuries insurance, regulations may provide for adjusting—

(a) injury benefit or disablement benefit, or the conditions for the receipt of injury benefit or disablement benefit, in any case where the person has received, or may be entitled to, a disablement gratuity,

(b) any increase of benefit referred to in subsection (2), or the conditions for the receipt of any such increase.

[1993 s58(2); 2005 (SW&P) s5(1)]

(2) An increase of benefit referred to in subsection (1) is an increase in the rate of injury benefit or of disablement pension under sections 76 , 77 and 78 .

Entitlement to death benefit.

[1993 s59; 1997 s14(1)]

80.—Subject to this Act, death benefit shall be payable as provided for in sections 81 to 84 where—

(a) an insured person dies as a result of personal injury caused on or after 1 May 1967 by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment, being insurable (occupational injuries) employment, or

(b) an insured person dies and where immediately before the date of death he or she was entitled to a disablement pension in respect of disablement assessed at 50 per cent or more.

Death benefit for widows and widowers and increases for qualified children, etc.

[1993 s60; 1997 s14(1)]

81.—(1) Death benefit shall be payable to the widow or widower of the deceased.

[1997 s14(1)]

(2) Death benefit shall be a pension at the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 , and where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is living alone, that rate shall be increased by the amount set out in column (6) of that Part.

[1997 s14(1)]

(3) A pension under subsection (2) shall not be payable for any period after the remarriage of the beneficiary.

[1997 s14(1)]

(4) A beneficiary shall be disqualified for receiving a pension under this section if and so long as he or she and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife.

[1997 s14(1)]

(5) The weekly rate of pension under subsection (2) shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[2004 (MP) s6(1)(a)]

(6) The weekly rate of pension under subsection (2) shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(b)]

(7) The weekly rate of pension under subsection (2) shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

Death benefit — parents.

[1993 s61(1)]

82.—(1) A parent of the deceased shall be entitled to death benefit where, at the deceased's death, the parent was being wholly or mainly maintained by the deceased, or would but for the relevant accident have been so maintained.

[1993 s61(2); 2001 s15(1)(c)]

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the death benefit shall be a pension at the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 , increased, in the case of a person who has attained pensionable age—

(a) by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is living alone, and

(b) by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

[1993 s61(3)]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), the weekly rate of pension payable to a parent shall be—

(a) at the reduced weekly rate, where the deceased was at death a married person,

(b) at the maximum weekly rate, where the deceased was at death a widower, a widow or a single person—

(i) in any case where the parent is the father and was, at the death of the deceased, incapable of self-support by reason of some physical or mental infirmity and likely to remain permanently so incapable,

(ii) in any case where the parent is the mother, having been, at the death of the deceased, a widow or having thereafter become a widow, or

(iii) in any case where the parent is the mother, not being a widow, and a pension at the maximum weekly rate is not payable to her husband,

(c) at the reduced weekly rate in any other case.

[1993 s61(4)]

(4) Where a person, to whom subsection (3)(b)(i) applies, ceases at any time to be incapable of self-support by reason of some physical or mental infirmity, the pension shall thereafter be payable at the reduced weekly rate and, where at that time subsection (3)(b) applies to his wife, that pension shall thereafter be payable at the maximum weekly rate.

[1993 s61(5)]

(5) In this section—

“reduced weekly rate” means the reduced weekly rate of death benefit by way of parent's pension as set out in column (2) at reference 2(b)(i) in Part 1 of Schedule 2 ;

“maximum weekly rate” means the maximum weekly rate of death benefit by way of parent's pension as set out in column (2) at reference 2(b)(ii) in Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

[1993 s61(6)]

(6) Where a parent was partly maintained by each of 2 or more insured persons who have died as a result of accidents arising out of and in the course of their employments, being insurable (occupational injuries) employments, the parent may be treated for the purposes of this section—

(a) as having received from the last of those insured persons to die contributions to the maintenance of the parent equal to the aggregate amount which those insured persons were together contributing before the first of the accidents happened, and

(b) as having received nothing from the other or others.

[1993 s61(7)]

(7) A pension under this section payable to a woman who, at the deceased's death, was a widow or an unmarried woman shall not be payable for any period after her remarriage or marriage.

[1993 s61(8)]

(8) A widow or an unmarried woman shall be disqualified for receiving a pension under this section if and so long as she and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife.

[1993 s61(9)]

(9) For the purposes of subsections (1) and (6) “parent”, where the deceased was adopted under the Adoption Acts 1952 to 1998, shall be taken as referring to the adopters or the adopter, and includes a step-parent.

Death benefit — orphans.

[1993 s62(1)]

83.—(1) Death benefit shall be payable in respect of an orphan who is a child or step-child of the deceased and in respect of an orphan who was wholly or mainly maintained by the deceased at the date of his or her death.

[1993 s62(2)]

(2) In the case of an orphan death benefit shall be a pension at the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

[1993 s62(3)]

(3) Section 133 applies to a pension under this section as it applies to an orphan's (contributory) allowance.

Death benefit — funeral expenses.

[1993 s63(1)]

84.—(1) Death benefit by way of a grant in respect of funeral expenses shall be payable in respect of the death of the deceased.

[1993 s63(2)]

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the grant shall be the amount set out in Part 2 of Schedule 2 .

[1993 s63(3)]

(3) In any case that may be specified by regulations, the grant shall be any lesser amount that may be specified by the regulations for that case.

[1993 s63(4)]

(4) Except where regulations otherwise provide, a grant under this section shall not be payable in respect of a death occurring outside the State.

Supplements to workmen's compensation payments.

[1993 s64(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

85.—(1) Regulations shall provide for conferring on persons who—

(a) are or have been on or after 1 October 1965 entitled in respect of any injury or disease to weekly payments by way of compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Acts, and

(b) as the result of the injury or disease are, or could for the purpose of the provisions of this Chapter relating to unemployability supplement be treated as being, incapable of work and likely to remain permanently so incapable,

the like right to payments under this Chapter by way of unemployability supplement and the like right to payments under this Chapter in respect of a qualified child or qualified adult as if the injury or disease were one in respect of which a disablement pension were for the time being payable.

[1993 s64(2)]

(2) Regulations shall also provide for conferring on persons who—

(a) are or have been on or after 1 October 1965 entitled in respect of any injury or disease to weekly payments by way of compensation under the Workmen's Compensation Acts, and

(b) as the result of that injury or disease require constant attendance,

the like right to payments under this Chapter in respect of the need of constant attendance as if the injury or disease were one in respect of which a disablement pension were for the time being payable in respect of an assessment of 100 per cent.

[1993 s64(3); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(3) Regulations referred to in subsections (1) and (2) may further provide for applying, in relation to payments under this section, the provisions of this Part relating to benefit and to the making of claims and the determination of claims and questions in so far as those provisions apply in relation to an unemployability supplement, to an increase of a disablement pension in respect of a qualified child or qualified adult, or to an increase of a disablement pension in respect of the need of constant attendance, as the case may be, subject to any additions or modifications.

[1993 s64(4)]

(4) All payments under this section shall be paid out of the Social Insurance Fund.

Cost of medical care.

[1993 s65(1); 2005 (SW&P) s23, 26 & Sch 1, 4]

86.—(1) Subject to this section, the cost of medical care which, in the opinion of the Minister, is reasonably and necessarily incurred by an insured person as a result of an injury or disease against which, when it was sustained or contracted, he or she was insured under this Part, shall be payable out of the Social Insurance Fund to the extent that the cost is not met under—

(a) the Health Acts 1947 to 2005, or

(b) the Mental Health Acts 1945 to 2001, or

(c) regulations made under section 138 .

[1993 s65(2); 2005 (SW&P) s23, 26 & Sch 1, 4]

(2) Where an insured person is eligible to avail himself or herself of services provided under the Health Acts 1947 to 2005 or the Mental Health Acts 1945 to 2001 or treatment benefit under regulations made under section 138 but does not do so, the amount payable under this section shall not exceed that which would have been payable had he or she availed himself or herself of those services or that benefit.

[1993 s65(3)]

(3) Where an insured person receives medical care during any period in which he or she is an in-patient in a hospital or similar institution, the amount payable under this section in respect of that care shall not exceed—

(a) the maximum amount which would be chargeable under section 53 of the Health Act 1970 to an insured person to whom the institutional services provided under that section are made available for that period, or

(b) the maximum amount which would be chargeable under section 231A of the Mental Treatment Act 1945 (inserted by section 71 of the Health Act 1953 ) to an insured person to whom mental hospital assistance is made available for that period,

as may be appropriate.

[1993 s65(4)]

(4) The amount payable under this section in respect of medical care provided otherwise than during a period in which the insured person is an in-patient in a hospital or similar institution shall be the sum that is, in the opinion of the Minister, reasonably appropriate to the care afforded, having regard to the reasonable necessity for that care and the customary charge for that care.

[1993 s65(5)]

(5)  (a) Where an insured person requires medical care as a result of an injury or disease against which, when it was sustained or contracted, the person was insured under this Part, he or she or any other person who may be prescribed shall, within the period that may be prescribed, give written notice to the Minister of the care required by him or her, and shall give any particulars that may be required of that care.

(b) No payment under this section shall be made unless the notice referred to in paragraph (a) is given and, where any particulars are required under that paragraph, those particulars are given.

[1993 s65(6)]

(6) Where notice is given under subsection (5), the insured person may be required to submit himself or herself to medical examination for the purpose of establishing that the medical care is necessary as a result of the relevant accident or disease and that it is reasonable in his or her case, and no payment shall be made under this section where the person fails to comply with the requirement.

[1993 s65(7); 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

(7) Payments under this section shall be made to those persons that the Minister thinks fit and, in particular, where the cost of the medical care payable under this section is due to the Executive, payment may be made to the Executive.

[1993 s65(8)]

(8) Regulations may provide for applying in relation to payments under this section any of the provisions of this Part relating to benefit and to the making of claims, subject to any additions or modifications.

[1993 s65(9)]

(9) For the purposes of this section medical care shall comprise, subject to any additions which may be made by regulations—

(a) general practitioner and specialist care, including domiciliary visiting,

(b) nursing care at home except where the cost is met by an increase under section 78 in respect of constant attendance, and nursing care and maintenance in hospitals, convalescent homes, sanatoria or other medical institutions,

(c) pharmaceutical and other medical or surgical supplies, including prosthetic and aural appliances, prescribed by a registered medical practitioner, kept in repair and replaced where necessary,

(d) dental and optical treatment and appliances,

(e) the care given, on the prescription of a registered medical practitioner, by members of professions allied to the medical profession, including physiotherapists and chiropodists, and

(f) conveyance to and from the place where medical care as specified in this subsection is provided.

Insurance against prescribed diseases and injuries not caused by accident.

[1993 s66(1)]

87.—(1) Subject to this section, a person who is insured under this Part against personal injury caused by accident arising out of and in the course of his or her employment shall be insured also against any prescribed disease and against any prescribed personal injury not so caused, being a disease or injury due to the nature of that employment and developed on or after 1 May 1967.

[1993 s66(2)]

(2) A disease or injury shall be prescribed for the purposes of this section in relation to any insured persons, where the Minister is satisfied that—

(a) it ought to be treated, having regard to its causes and any other relevant considerations, as a risk of their occupations and not as a risk common to all persons, and

(b) it is such that, in the absence of special circumstances, the attribution of particular cases to the nature of the employment can be established or presumed with reasonable certainty.

[1993 s66(3)]

(3) Regulations prescribing any disease or injury for the purposes of this section may provide that a person who developed the disease or injury on or at any time after a date specified in the regulations, being a date before the regulations came into force but not before 1 May 1967, shall be treated for the purposes of this section, subject to any prescribed modifications, as if the regulations had been in force when the person developed the disease or injury.

[1993 s66(4)]

(4) Provision may be made by regulations for determining—

(a) the time at which a person is to be treated for the purposes of this Part as having developed any disease or injury prescribed for the purposes of this section, and

(b) the circumstances in which any such disease or injury is, where the person in question has previously suffered from that disease or injury, to be treated as having recrudesced or as having been contracted or received afresh.

[1993 s66(5)]

(5) The benefit payable under this section in respect of a prescribed disease or injury, and the conditions for the receipt of that benefit, shall be the same as in the case of personal injury by accident arising out of and in the course of a person's employment, subject, however, to the power to make different provision by regulations in relation to any matter which is to be prescribed and to subsections (6) to (8).

[1993 s66(6)]

(6) Regulations may provide, in relation to prescribed diseases and injuries—

(a) for modifying the provisions of this Chapter relating to injury benefit and disablement benefit and for adapting references in this Chapter to accidents, and

(b) for modifying the provisions of this Part in their application in relation to claims for benefit and in relation to questions arising in connection with those claims or with an award of benefit on any such claim.

[1993 s66(7)]

(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (6), regulations under that subsection may in particular include provision—

(a) for presuming any prescribed disease or injury—

(i) to be due, unless the contrary is proved, to the nature of a person's employment where he or she was employed in any prescribed occupation at the time when, or within a prescribed period or for a prescribed length of time (whether continuous or not) before, the person developed the disease or injury,

(ii) not to be due to the nature of a person's employment unless he or she was employed in some prescribed employment at the time when, or within a prescribed period or for a prescribed length of time (whether continuous or not) before, the person developed the disease or injury,

and

(b) for any matters that appear to the Minister to be incidental to or consequential on provisions included in the regulations by virtue of this section.

[1993 s66(8)]

(8) Nothing in this section affects the right of any person to benefit in respect of a disease which is a personal injury by accident within the meaning of this Chapter except that a person shall not be entitled to benefit in respect of a disease as being an injury by accident arising out of and in the course of any employment where at the time of the accident the disease is in relation to the person a prescribed disease by virtue of the occupation in which he or she is engaged in that employment.

Notice of accidents.

[1993 s67(1)]

88.—(1) Regulations may provide for requiring the prescribed notice of any accident in respect of which occupational injuries benefit or any amount under section 86 may be payable to be given within the prescribed time by the insured person or, where within that time his or her death results from the accident, by any other person who may be prescribed, to the insured person's employer or another prescribed person.

[1993 s67(2)]

(2) In a case of failure without good cause to give the prescribed notice referred to in subsection (1) (including, in the case of a claim for death benefit, a failure on the part of some other person to give the prescribed notice of the relevant accident), regulations may provide for disqualification for receipt of occupational injuries benefit or any amount under section 86 for the period that may be determined in accordance with the regulations.

Reporting of accidents by employers.

[1993 s68]

89.—Regulations may provide for requiring employers—

(a) to make reports, to the person and in the form and within the time that may be prescribed, of accidents in respect of which occupational injuries benefit or any amount under section 86 may be payable,

(b) to give to the prescribed person any information required for the determination of claims for occupational injuries benefit or of questions arising in connection with claims for or awards of that benefit, and

(c) to take such other steps as may be prescribed to facilitate the giving of notices of accidents in respect of which occupational injuries benefit or any amount under section 86 may be payable, the making of claims for that benefit and the determination of claims for that benefit and of questions arising in connection with claims for or awards of that benefit.

Declaration that accident is an occupational accident.

[1993 s69(1)]

90.—(1) Where, in relation to any claim for occupational injuries benefit, it is decided that the relevant accident was or was not an occupational accident, an express declaration of that fact shall be made and recorded and, subject to subsection (3), a claimant shall be entitled to have the question whether the relevant accident was an occupational accident decided notwithstanding that his or her claim is disallowed on other grounds.

[1993 s69(2)]

(2) Subject to subsection (3), any person suffering personal injury by accident shall be entitled, where he or she claims that the accident was an occupational accident, to have that question decided, and a declaration made and recorded accordingly, notwithstanding that no claim for occupational injuries benefit has been made in connection with which the question arises, and this Act applies for that purpose as if the question had arisen in relation to a claim for occupational injuries benefit.

[1993 s69(3)]

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsections (1) and (2), the deciding officer or appeals officer, as the case may be, may refuse to determine the question whether an accident was an occupational accident where satisfied that it is unlikely that it will be necessary to decide the question for the purposes of any claim for occupational injuries benefit, but any such refusal of a deciding officer shall, on notice of appeal being given to the Chief Appeals Officer within the prescribed time, be referred to an appeals officer.

[1993 s69(4)]

(4) Subject to this Act as to appeal and revision, any declaration under this section that an accident was or was not an occupational accident shall be conclusive for the purposes of any claim for occupational injuries benefit in respect of that accident, whether or not the claimant is the person at whose instance the declaration was made.

[1993 s69(5)]

(5) For the purposes of this section, an accident whereby a person suffers personal injury is deemed, in relation to him or her, to be an occupational accident where—

(a) it arises out of and in the course of his or her employment,

(b) that employment is insurable (occupational injuries) employment, and

(c) payment of occupational injuries benefit is not precluded because the accident happened while the person was outside the State,

and reference in other sections of this Chapter to an occupational accident shall be read accordingly.

Disqualifications for injury benefit or disablement benefit and suspension of proceedings.

[1993 s70(1)]

91.—(1) Regulations may provide for disqualifying a person for receiving injury benefit or disablement benefit for any period not exceeding 9 weeks, or for suspending proceedings on any claim for, or on any payment of, injury benefit or disablement benefit, where the person fails without good cause—

(a) to submit himself or herself from time to time to medical examination for the purpose of determining—

(i) the effect of the relevant accident,

(ii) whether the accident has resulted in a loss of faculty,

(iii) at what degree the extent of disablement resulting from a loss of faculty is to be assessed and what period is to be taken into account by the assessment, or

(iv) the treatment appropriate to the relevant injury or loss of faculty,

(b) to submit himself or herself from time to time to appropriate medical treatment for the relevant injury or loss of faculty,

(c) to attend at the places and times that may be required for the purposes of that medical examination or treatment, or

(d) to observe any prescribed rules of behaviour.

[1993 s70(2)]

(2) Regulations under this section shall provide for payment to any person attending for medical examination or treatment referred to in subsection (1) of the amount that may be determined by the Minister as the amount of the reasonable and necessary travelling and other expenses (including any expense consisting of loss of remunerative time) incurred by the person in respect of the attendance.

Treating person as incapable of work, etc.

[1993 s71]

92.—Regulations may provide for treating a person for the purposes of this Chapter as incapable of work as the result of an accident or injury when he or she would not be so treated apart from the regulations, and may also make provision—

(a) as to the days which, in the case of a person who at any time is, or is to be treated as, incapable of work as the result of an accident or injury, are or are not to be treated for the purpose of occupational injuries benefit as days of incapacity for work, and

(b) as to the day which, in the case of night workers and other special cases, is to be treated for the purpose of occupational injuries benefit as the day of the accident.

Medical treatment.

[1993 s72(1)]

93.—(1) For the purposes of this Chapter “medical treatment” means medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment (including any course of diet or other regimen), and references in this Chapter to “a person receiving or submitting himself or herself to medical treatment” shall be read accordingly.

[1993 s72(2)]

(2) Regulations may provide that where a person receives medical treatment as an in-patient for 2 or more distinct periods separated by an interval or intervals of less than a specified duration, he or she shall be treated for the purposes of this Chapter as receiving it continuously from the beginning of the first period until the end of the last period.

Rehabilitation.

[1993 s73(1)]

94.—(1) The Minister may make any contributions that he or she may determine, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, towards the cost of rehabilitation services (including rehabilitation services provided under section 68 of the Health Act 1970 ) for persons entitled to disablement benefit.

[1993 s73(2)]

(2) The amounts required for any contributions under this section shall be paid out of the Social Insurance Fund.

Research.

[1993 s74(1)]

95.—(1) The Minister may promote research into the causes, incidence and methods of prevention of—

(a) accidents and injuries against which occupational injuries insurance is provided, or

(b) diseases against which that insurance is provided or which it is contemplated may be prescribed for the purposes of section 87 ,

either by the Minister employing persons to conduct the research or by contributing to the expenses of, or otherwise assisting, other persons engaged in the research.

[1993 s74(2)]

(2) The Minister may pay to persons employed for the purposes of subsection (1) the salaries or other remuneration, and travelling or other allowances, that he or she may, with the consent of the Minister for Finance, determine.

[1993 s74(3)]

(3) The amounts required for any payments under this section shall be paid out of the Social Insurance Fund.

Taking account of benefit in assessing damages.

[1993 s75(1)]

96.—(1) Notwithstanding section 2 of the Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1964 and section 285 , in an action for damages for personal injuries (including any such action arising out of a contract) there shall in assessing those damages be taken into account, against any loss of earnings or profits which has accrued or probably will accrue to the injured person from the injuries, the value of any rights which have accrued or will probably accrue to him or her therefrom in respect of injury benefit (disregarding any right in respect of injury benefit payable by virtue of section 248 , after the death of the injured person) or disablement benefit (disregarding any increase of that benefit under section 78 in respect of constant attendance) for 5 years beginning with the time when the cause of action accrued.

[1993 s75(2)]

(2) The reference in subsection (1) to assessing the damages for personal injuries shall, in cases where the damages otherwise recoverable are subject to reduction under the law relating to contributory negligence or are limited by or under any Act or by contract, be taken as referring to the total damages which would have been recoverable apart from the deduction or limitation.

[1993 s75(3)]

(3) Notwithstanding section 50 of the Civil Liability Act 1961 , in assessing damages in respect of a person's death under Part IV of that Act, account may be taken of any death benefit, by way of grant under section 84 in respect of funeral expenses, resulting from that person's death.

[1993 s75(4)]

(4) Notwithstanding the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941 to 2003, there shall in assessing compensation be taken into account, against—

(a) any loss of earnings or profits which has accrued or probably will accrue to the injured person from the injuries,

(b) the detrimental effect which the injuries might reasonably be expected to have on the future earning power generally of the injured person and in particular (where the injuries do not preclude the injured person from continuing to be a member of the Garda Síochána), on his or her future career in that force, and

(c) the pain and suffering occasioned by the injuries to the injured person and also to any disease or tendency to disease caused by the injuries,

the value of any rights which have accrued or will probably accrue to him or her therefrom in respect of disablement benefit (disregarding any increase of that benefit under section 78 in respect of constant attendance) for 5 years beginning with the time when the cause of action accrued.

[1993 s75(5)]

(5) Notwithstanding the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941 to 2003, in assessing compensation under those Acts in respect of—

(a) a person's death, account may be taken of any death benefit by way of grant under section 84 in respect of funeral expenses, resulting from that person's death, and

(b) any medical or surgical expenses incurred or likely to be incurred by the injured person in respect or in consequence of the injuries, account may be taken of any medical care payment under section 86 , resulting from those injuries for 5 years beginning with the time when the cause of action accrued.

[1993 s75(6)]

(6) Subsections (4) and (5) shall not apply to any proceedings instituted for compensation under the Garda Síochána (Compensation) Acts 1941 and 1945 before 6 April 1989.

Saver for repeal of Workmen's Compensation Acts.

[1993 s76]

97.—The Workmen's Compensation Acts, as amended by Part V of the Civil Liability Act 1961 , shall continue to apply to cases to which they would have applied if the Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act 1966 had not been passed, being cases where a right to compensation arose in respect of employment before 1 May 1967, except where, in the case of a disease or injury prescribed for the purposes of section 87 , the right did not arise before that date and the workman, before it arose, has been insured under this Chapter against that disease or injury.

Construction of certain references in Local Government (Superannuation) Act 1956.

[1993 s77]

98.—The references to the Social Welfare (Occupational Injuries) Act 1966 in—

(a) the definitions of “service day” and “wages” in section 2 of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act 1956 as amended by section 42 of the first-mentioned Act, and

(b) section 43 of the Local Government (Superannuation) Act 1956 , as so amended,

shall be read as references to this Chapter.

Chapter 14

Carer's Benefit

Interpretation.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s6(a)]

99.—(1) Subject to this Act, in this Chapter—

“carer” means a person who has attained the age of 16 years and who—

(a) resides with and provides full-time care and attention to a relevant person, or

(b) subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, does not reside with but provides full-time care and attention to a relevant person;

“relevant period” means the period of 26 weeks immediately before the first day in respect of which a claim to carer's benefit is made;

“relevant person” means a person who has such a disability that he or she requires full-time care and attention.

[2000 s10]

(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), a relevant person shall be regarded as requiring full-time care and attention where—

(a) the person has such a disability that he or she requires from another person—

(i) continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions, or

(ii) continual supervision in order to avoid danger to himself or herself,

and

(b) the nature and extent of his or her disability has been certified in the prescribed manner by a medical practitioner.

[2000 s10]

(3) The Minister may make regulations specifying the circumstances and conditions under which a person is to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention to a relevant person.

Entitlement to benefit.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s6(b)]

100.—(1) Subject to this Act, a benefit (in this Act referred to as “carer's benefit”) shall be payable to a carer where he or she—

(a) was engaged in remunerative full-time employment as an employed contributor for not less than 8 weeks, whether consecutive or not, within the relevant period,

(b) does not engage in employment or self-employment, and

(c) satisfies the contribution conditions in section 101 .

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s6(b)]

(2) Subsection (1)(a) shall not apply in respect of a claimant who was in receipt of carer's benefit within the relevant period.

[2000 s10]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1)(b), the Minister may make regulations to provide that a carer may engage in employment or self-employment subject to the limitations in relation to hours or remuneration that may be prescribed and subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed.

[2000 s10]

(4) Subsection (1)(c) shall not apply in the case of a claimant who was previously in receipt of carer's benefit.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s6(b)]

(5) In this section “remunerative full-time employment” means remunerative employment for not less than 16 hours a week within the 8 weeks referred to in subsection (1)(a) or any period that may be prescribed under subsection (6), provided that where any 2 of those weeks are consecutive, the requirement in relation to those 2 weeks may be satisfied by an aggregate of not less than 32 hours in that fortnight.

[2001 s26(1)(b)(ii); 2005 (SW&P) s6(b)]

(6) Regulations may provide that, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, in the case of a person who was absent from his or her employment within the relevant period referred to in subsection (1)(a), by reason of being on such leave from that employment as may be prescribed, the condition specified in subsection (1)(a) shall be regarded as being satisfied in respect of that person if he or she was engaged in remunerative full-time employment as an employed contributor for 8 weeks, whether consecutive or not, within the relevant period (other than the relevant period referred to in that subsection) that may be prescribed (and the period that may be so prescribed may comprise 2 or more periods which, taken together, amount to a period of 26 weeks).

Conditions for receipt.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s11(f)]

101.—(1) The contribution conditions for carer's benefit are that the carer has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 156 contribution weeks in the period between his or her entry into insurance and the first day for which the benefit is claimed, and qualifying contributions in respect of not less than—

(a) 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the first day for which the benefit is claimed, or

(b) 39 contribution weeks in the 12 months immediately before the first day for which the benefit is claimed, or

(c) 26 weeks in each of the second last and third last complete contribution years before the beginning of the benefit year which includes the first day for which the benefit is claimed.

[2000 s10]

(2) Regulations may provide for modification of the contribution conditions set out in subsection (1).

Rate of benefit.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

102.—(1) Subject to this Act, the rate (in this Chapter referred to as the “scheduled rate”) of carer's benefit shall be—

(a) in the case of a person who is a carer of more than one relevant person, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 7(b) in Part 1 of Schedule 2 , and

(b) in any other case, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 7(a) in Part 1 of Schedule 2 ,

increased by the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part opposite that reference in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[2000 s10]

(2) Any increase in carer's benefit payable under subsection (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary and with the spouse of the claimant or beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount and subsection (1) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

Duration of payment.

[2000 s10]

103.—A carer who has been in receipt of carer's benefit for 65 weeks, whether consecutive or not, in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person, shall not thereafter be entitled to that benefit in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to the same relevant person.

Medical examination.

[2000 s10]

104.—(1) A relevant person, in respect of whose full-time care and attention a carer is entitled to or in receipt of carer's benefit, shall attend for or submit to any medical or other examination that may be required in accordance with regulations.

[2000 s10]

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may also provide for disqualifying a person for receiving carer's benefit where the relevant person, in respect of whose full-time care and attention the benefit is payable, fails without good cause to attend for or to submit to any medical or other examination that may be required in accordance with those regulations.

Payment of benefit.

[2000 s10; 2005 (SW&P) s14(a)]

105.—Notwithstanding this Chapter—

(a) only one carer's benefit shall be payable to a carer, and only one carer's benefit shall be payable in any week in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person,

[2001 s26(1)]

(b) carer's benefit shall not be payable in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person in any case where the relevant person is in receipt of an increase of disablement pension under section 78 in respect of constant attendance,

(c) carer's benefit shall not be payable in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person in any case where a carer's allowance under Part 3 is being paid to any person in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to the same relevant person, and

(d) a prescribed relative allowance under Chapter 8 of Part 3 shall cease to be payable to a relevant person or prescribed relative, as the case may be, where the prescribed relative or any other person becomes entitled to and receives a carer's benefit in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to that relevant person.

Disqualification.

[2000 s10]

106.—A person who, having been in receipt of carer's benefit for less than 6 weeks in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person, ceases to be entitled to that benefit, shall be disqualified for receipt of carer's benefit in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to the same relevant person for 6 weeks from the last day for which he or she was entitled to the benefit.

Regulations.

[2000 s10]

107.—Regulations may provide for requiring an employer or any other person to give any information that may be required for the purpose of determining a claim to carer's benefit.

Chapter 15

Old Age (Contributory) Pension

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s83(1)]

108.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to old age (contributory) pension where he or she has attained pensionable age and satisfies the contribution conditions in section 109 .

[1993 s83(2); 2005 (SW&P) s22]

(2) In this Chapter—

“homemaker” means a person who—

(a) is resident in the State and is under pensionable age,

(b) is not engaged in remunerative employment, other than employment specified in paragraph 5 of Part 2 of Schedule 1,

(c) either—

(i) resides with and cares for a child under 12 years of age on a full-time basis, or

(ii) resides with and provides full-time care and attention to a person who is so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention within the meaning of section 179 (4), or

(iii) subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, does not reside with but provides full-time care and attention to a person who is so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention within the meaning of section 179 (4),

and

(d) other than in the case of the class or classes of person that may be prescribed, makes application to be regarded as a homemaker in the prescribed manner and within the prescribed time;

“yearly average” means, subject to subsection (3), in relation to any claimant, the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which that claimant has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the period beginning—

(a) on 5 January 1953 in case the claimant is a man, or on 6 July 1953 in case the claimant is a woman, or

(b) at the beginning of the contribution year in which the claimant's entry into insurance occurred (where after 5 January 1953 in the case of a man, or 6 July 1953 in the case of a woman),

(whichever is the later) and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the date of his or her attaining pensionable age;

“alternative yearly average” means, in relation to any claimant, the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which that claimant has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the period beginning on 6 April 1979 and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the date of his or her attaining pensionable age.

[1996 s24]

(3) In the case of a claimant who was a homemaker for the duration of any complete contribution year, beginning on or after 6 April 1994, in which the claimant does not have any credited contributions or voluntary contributions, that contribution year shall be disregarded for the purposes of determining the yearly average of that claimant subject to the total number of contribution years so disregarded not exceeding 20.

[1993 s83(3); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

(4) In this Chapter, “relevant person” means—

(a) a person who first becomes—

(i) an insured person by virtue of section 12 (1) insured for old age (contributory) pension purposes, or

(ii) an insured person by virtue of section 20 ,

on or after 6 April 1991, or

(b) a person who fails to satisfy the contribution condition in section 109 (1)(c) and had periods in which he or she had been—

(i) employed mainly in one or more of the employments in respect of which employment contributions at the rate specified in Article 81(2)(a), 82(2)(a) or 83(2)(a) of the Regulations of 1996 were paid, and

(ii) an employed contributor, a self-employed contributor or a voluntary contributor in respect of whom contributions, reckonable for the purposes of the contribution conditions for entitlement to old age (contributory) pension were paid in respect of or credited to him or her.

[1993 s83(4)]

(5) For the purposes of this Chapter, in the case of a relevant person—

“entry into insurance” means, subject to subsection (8), in relation to any person whichever occurs first—

(a) the date on which the person first becomes an insured person by virtue of section 12 (1), except where he or she becomes an insured person by virtue of paragraph (b) of section 12 (1) only, or

(b) the date on which he or she first becomes an insured person by virtue of section 20 ,

and that date shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance for the purposes of section 109 (1)(a) and (c).

[1993 s83(5)]

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5), regulations may provide that the date on which a relevant person first becomes an employed person or a self-employed person, insurable for old age (contributory) pension purposes under the legislation of another Member State, or under the legislation of any other State with which the Minister has made a reciprocal arrangement under section 287 , may be regarded as the date of entry into insurance.

[1993 s83(6)]

(7) Notwithstanding subsections (5) and (6), regulations may provide that where a date of entry into insurance occurs before a date to be prescribed, that day may be regarded as the date of entry into insurance.

[1993 s83(7)]

(8) For the purposes of this Chapter, in the case of a person who became a self-employed contributor on 6 April 1988 and who at any time before that date was an employed contributor, the date on which the person first entered into insurance or 6 April 1988, whichever is the more favourable to him or her, shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance but where a date other than that on which the claimant first entered into insurance is so regarded, that date shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance for the purposes of section 109 (1)(a) and (c).

Conditions for receipt.

[1993 s84(1)]

109.—(1) The contribution conditions for old age (contributory) pension are—

(a) subject to subsection (3), that the claimant has entered into insurance before attaining the age of 56 years,

(b) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 156 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance, and

(c) that the claimant has a yearly average or, in the case of a person who attains pensionable age on or after 6 April 1992, an alternative yearly average of not less than 48.

[1997 s12(1)(a)]

(2) In the case of a person, other than a person who on or before 6 April 1997 is a voluntary contributor paying contributions under Chapter 4 of Part 2 , who attained pensionable age on or after 6 April 2002, but before 6 April 2012, subsection (1)(b) shall be read as if “260” were substituted for “156”.

[1993 s84(2)]

(3) (a) In the case of a person who attained the age of 57 years before 1 July 1974, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “60” were substituted for “56”.

(b) In the case of a person who attained the age of 57 years on or after 1 July 1974, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “58” were substituted for “56”.

(c) In the case of a person who attained the age of 56 years on or after 1 April 1975, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “57” were substituted for “56” and paragraph (b) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 57 years.

(d) In the case of a person who attained the age of 55 years on or after 1 October 1977, paragraph (c) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 56 years and paragraph (b) shall not apply on his or her attaining the age of 57 years.

[1999 s21(a)]

(e) In the case of a person who became a self-employed contributor for the first time on or after 6 April 1988 and was not previously an employed contributor under this Act or the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 before becoming so insured, and who on or before 6 April 1988 had attained the age of 56 years but had not attained the age of 62 years, subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “62” were substituted for “56” for the purposes of qualifying for a pension under subsections (18) and (19).

[1993 s84(3)]

(4) (a) A person who attained the age of 69 years on or after 1 July 1974 but before 5 January 1976 may have his or her entitlement to old age (contributory) pension determined under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 July 1974 where that would be to the person's advantage.

(b) A person who attained the age of 69 years before 1 July 1974 and has been awarded an old age (contributory) pension under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before that date shall on and after that date have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in his or her case under those Acts.

[1993 s84(4)]

(5) (a) A person who attained the age of 68 years on or after 1 April 1975 but before 3 January 1977 may have his or her entitlement to old age (contributory) pension determined under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 April 1975 where that would be to the person's advantage.

(b) A person who attained the age of 68 years before 1 April 1975 and has been awarded an old age (contributory) pension under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before that date shall on and after that date have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in his or her case under those Acts.

[1993 s84(5)]

(6) (a) A person who attained the age of 67 years on or after 1 October 1977 but before 1 January 1979 may have his or her entitlement to old age (contributory) pension determined under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 October 1977 where that would be to the person's advantage.

(b) A person who attained the age of 67 years before 1 October 1977 and has been awarded an old age (contributory) pension under the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before that date shall, on and after that date, have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in his or her case under those Acts.

[1993 s84(6)]

(7) Regulations may provide for modifications of the meaning of yearly average contained in section 108 (2) or of the contribution conditions set out in this section.

[1993 s84(7); 1997 s12(1)(b)]

(8) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) and subsection (9), regulations may provide for entitling to old age (contributory) pension a claimant who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that he or she has a yearly average of less than 48.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a), in the case of a claimant who has a yearly average of less than 20, he or she is required to have qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance.

[1993 s84(8); 2001 s27(1)]

(9) Regulations under subsection (8) shall provide, subject to subsection (10), that old age (contributory) pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2 , and the rate specified by the regulations may vary by reference to the yearly average so calculated, but any increase of that pension payable under section 112 (2) shall be the same as if the claimant had a yearly average of not less than 48.

[2001 s27(1)]

(10) In the case of person who, on 5 April 2001, is entitled to or in receipt of a pension by virtue of regulations under subsection (8) which includes an increase under section 112 (1), subsection (9) shall not operate so as to reduce the rate of the increase payable under section 112 (1) below the rate that may be prescribed.

[1993 s84(9); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

(11) Contributions paid or credited under this Part, or paid, excused or deemed to be or treated as paid under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 (other than, in the case of a person who is not a relevant person, contributions paid by or in respect of a person at the rate specified in Article 81(2)(a), 82(2)(a) or 83(2)(a) of the Regulations of 1996), shall be taken into account in the manner and subject to the conditions and limitations that may be prescribed for the purpose of the satisfaction of the contribution conditions for old age (contributory) pension.

[1993 s84(10)]

(12) Regulations under subsection (11) may also provide for modifications, in the case of persons who were insured under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 or who were absent from the State before 3 October 1960, of any of the contribution conditions for old age (contributory) pension.

[1993 s84(11)]

(13) Where a person, other than in the case of a relevant person, becomes an employed contributor by virtue of paragraph (b) of section 12 (1) and would not, apart from that paragraph, be an employed contributor, his or her entry into insurance by virtue of that paragraph is deemed not to be an entry into insurance for the purposes of subsection (1) and for those purposes the person's entry into insurance is deemed to occur when he or she first becomes an employed contributor by virtue of paragraph (a) of section 12 (1).

[1993 s84(12)]

(14) Subject to subsection (15), regulations may provide for entitling to old age (contributory) pension a person who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that the contribution condition in subsection (1)(c) is not satisfied where that person, having earlier ceased to be an employed contributor became, as a consequence and at the time of the coming into operation of section 12 of the Social Welfare Act 1973 , an employed contributor in respect of whom contributions reckonable for the purposes of the contribution conditions for entitlement to old age (contributory) pension were payable.

[1993 s84(13)]

(15) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (14) shall provide that old age (contributory) pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2 , and the rate specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the contribution condition in subsection (1)(c) is satisfied.

[1993 s84(14); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

(16) Regulations may provide, subject to subsection (17), for entitling to old age (contributory) pension a relevant person who would be entitled thereto but for the fact that the contribution condition set out in subsection (1)(c) is not satisfied and who does not have an entitlement to an old age (contributory) pension by virtue of Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/711 of the Council of the European Communities or by virtue of a reciprocal arrangement under the provisions of section 287 and who in respect of any period has been employed mainly in one or more of the employments in respect of which employment contributions at the rate specified in Article 81(2)(a), 82(2)(a) or 83(2)(a) of the Regulations of 1996 were paid.

[1993 s84(15); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(17) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (16) shall provide that old age (contributory) pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall—

(a) be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2, and the rate specified by the regulations may vary in relation to the proportion to which the number of—

(i) employment contributions paid in respect of or credited to the insured person, and

(ii) self-employment contributions paid by him or her, and

(iii) voluntary contributions paid by him or her,

reckonable for old age (contributory) pension purposes bears to the total number of those employment contributions, self-employment contributions and voluntary contributions, but any increase of pension in respect of a qualified child shall be paid at the rate specified in Schedule 2 ,

and

(b) where the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (a) is not a multiple of €2.50, be increased to the next multiple of €2.50.

[1999 s21(b)]

(18) Subject to subsection (19), a pension shall be payable in the case of a person who—

(a) became a self-employed contributor for the first time on or after 6 April 1988 and who on or before that date had attained the age of 56 years and who fails to satisfy the contribution conditions in subsection (1)(c) or (8), or

(b) satisfies the contribution condition in section 109 (1)(a) by virtue of subsection (3)(e) and who, but for subsection (3)(e) fails to satisfy the contribution conditions in subsection (1) or (8),

and who has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 weeks since becoming a self-employed contributor.

[1999 s21(b)]

(19) The rate of pension payable in accordance with subsection (18) shall be payable at half the rate specified in column (2) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 and any increases payable under section 112 (1) or (2) shall be payable at half the rate specified in columns (3) and (4) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

[1999 s21(b); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(20) The total amount payable by way of pension in accordance with subsections (18) and (19) shall be rounded up to the nearest 10 cent where it is a multiple of 5 cent but not also a multiple of 10 cent and shall be rounded to the nearest 10 cent where it is not a multiple of 5 cent or 10 cent.

Disregard of self-employment contributions in certain cases.

[1993 s85(1); 1995 s19(2)]

110.—(1) In the case of a person who, having been a self-employed contributor, makes a claim for old age (contributory) pension on or after 6 April 1995, the contribution conditions contained in section 109 shall not be regarded as having been satisfied unless, in accordance with section 21

(a) the person has paid self-employment contributions in respect of at least one contribution year before attaining pensionable age, and

(b) all self-employment contributions payable by him or her have been paid.

[1993 s85(2); 1995 s19(2)]

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Minister may, where he or she is satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case it would be appropriate to do so, direct that subsection (1) shall not be applied in that case.

Rate of pension.

[1993 s86]

111.—Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

[1993 s87(1); 1999 s21(c)]

112.—(1) Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of pension under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s87(2); 1999 s21(c)]

(2) Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s87(3); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

(3) Any increase of old age (contributory) pension payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with a beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult, and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[1993 s87(4); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(4) The weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is living alone.

[1993 s87(5); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(5) The weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(d)]

(6) The weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

Pre-1953 pension.

[2000 s16]

113.—(1) Notwithstanding this Chapter and regulations made under this Chapter and subject to subsection (2), a pension shall be payable in accordance with this section in the case of a person who—

(a) has attained pensionable age,

(b) was an employed contributor under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952, and

(c) has paid—

(i) contributions as an employed contributor under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952, or

(ii) a combination of those contributions and qualifying contributions,

in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks since the person first became insured under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952.

[2000 s16]

(2) Only one pension shall be payable to or in respect of a person under this Chapter.

[2000 s16]

(3) In taking into account under this section contributions paid by or in respect of an employed contributor under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952, every 2 such contributions under those Acts shall be reckoned as 3 contributions paid in respect of 3 contribution weeks, with any odd contribution being reckoned as 2 contributions paid in respect of 2 contribution weeks.

[2000 s16]

(4) A pension payable in accordance with this section shall be payable at half the rate specified in column (2) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

[2000 s16; 2001 s15(1)(e)(ii)]

(5) The weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension payable in accordance with this section shall be increased by—

(a) half the amount set out in column (3) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of pension under this subsection in respect of more than one person,

(b) half the amount set out in column (4) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary,

(c) the amount set out in column (6) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is living alone,

(d) the amount set out in column (7) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years, and

(e) the amount set out in column (8) at reference 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

Chapter 16

Retirement Pension

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s88(1)]

114.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person who has attained the age of 65 years shall be entitled to retirement pension for any period of retirement where he or she satisfies the contribution conditions in section 115 .

[1993 s88(2)]

(2) The periods which shall be regarded for the purposes of this section as periods of retirement shall be specified by regulations.

[1993 s88(3)]

(3) In this Chapter—

“yearly average” means, in relation to any claimant, the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which that claimant has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the period beginning either—

(a) on 5 January 1953 in case the claimant is a man, or on 6 July 1953 in case the claimant is a woman, or

(b) at the beginning of the contribution year in which the claimant's entry into insurance occurred (where after 5 January 1953 in the case of a man, or 6 July 1953 in the case of a woman),

(whichever is the later) and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the date of the claimant attaining the age of 65 years;

“alternative yearly average” means, in relation to any claimant, the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which that claimant has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the period beginning on 6 April 1979 and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the date of the claimant attaining the age of 65 years.

[1993 s88(4); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

(4) In this Chapter, “relevant person” means—

(a) a person who first becomes—

(i) an insured person by virtue of section 12 (1) insured for old age (contributory) pension purposes, or

(ii) an insured person by virtue of section 20 ,

on or after 6 April 1991,

or

(b) a person who fails to satisfy the contribution condition in section 115 (1)(c) and had periods in which he or she had been—

(i) employed mainly in one or more of the employments in respect of which employment contributions at the rate specified in Article 81(2)(a), 82(2)(a) or 83(2)(a) of the Regulations of 1996, and

(ii) an employed contributor, a self-employed contributor or a voluntary contributor, in respect of whom contributions, reckonable for the purposes of the contribution conditions for entitlement to old age (contributory) pension were paid in respect of or credited to him or her.

[1993 s88(5)]

(5) For the purposes of this Chapter, in the case of a relevant person “entry into insurance” means in relation to any person the earlier of the following 2 dates—

(a) the date on which the person first becomes an insured person by virtue of section 12 (1), except where he or she becomes an insured person by virtue of paragraph (b) of section 12 (1) only, or

(b) the date on which he or she first becomes an insured person by virtue of section 20 ,

and that that date shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance for the purposes of section 115 (1)(a) and (c).

[1993 s88(6)]

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (5), regulations may provide that the date on which a relevant person first becomes an employed person or a self-employed person, insurable for retirement pension purposes under the legislation of another Member State, or under the legislation of any other state with which the Minister has made a reciprocal arrangement under section 287 , may be regarded as the date of entry into insurance.

[1993 s88(7)]

(7) Notwithstanding subsections (5) and (6), regulations may provide that where a date of entry into insurance occurs before a date to be prescribed, that day may be regarded as the date of entry into insurance.

Conditions for receipt.

[1993 s89(1)]

115.—(1) The contribution conditions for retirement pension are—

(a) that the claimant has entered into insurance before attaining the age of 55 years,

(b) that the claimant has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 156 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance, and

(c) that the claimant has a yearly average or in the case of a person who attains the age of 65 years on or after 6 April 1992 an alternative yearly average of not less than 48.

[1997 s12(3)(a)]

(2) In the case of a person, other than a person who on or before 6 April 1997 is a voluntary contributor paying contributions under Chapter 4 of Part 2 , who attained the age of 65 years on or after 6 April 2002 but before 6 April 2012, subsection (1)(b) shall be read as if “260” were substituted for “156”.

[1993 s89(2)]

(3) Regulations may provide for modifications of the meaning of “yearly average” contained in section 114 (3) or of the contribution conditions set out in this section.

[1993 s89(3)]

(4) Contributions paid under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 by or in respect of an employed contributor may be taken into account in the manner and subject to the conditions and limitations that may be prescribed for the purpose of the satisfaction by the employed contributor of the contribution conditions for retirement pension.

[1993 s89(4)]

(5) Subject to subsection (6), regulations may provide for entitling to retirement pension a claimant who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that he or she has a yearly average of less than 48.

[1993 s89(5)]

(6) Regulations under subsection (5) shall provide that retirement pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2, and the rate specified by the regulations may vary by reference to the yearly average so calculated, but any increase of that pension payable under section 117 (1) or (2) shall be the same as if the claimant had a yearly average of not less than 48.

[1993 s89(6); 1997 s35 & Sch G]

(7) Regulations may provide, subject to subsection (8), for entitling to retirement pension a relevant person who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that the contribution condition set out in subsection (1)(c) is not satisfied and who in respect of any period, has been employed mainly in one or more of the employments in respect of which employment contributions at the rate specified in Article 81(2)(a), 82(2)(a) or 83(2)(a) of the Regulations of 1996 were paid.

[1993 s89(7); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(8) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (7) shall provide that retirement pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall—

(a) be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2, and the rate specified by the regulations may vary in relation to the proportion to which the number of—

(i) employment contributions paid in respect of or credited to the insured person, and

(ii) voluntary contributions paid by the insured person,

reckonable for retirement pension purposes bears to the total number of those employment contributions, self-employment contributions and voluntary contributions, but any increase of pension in respect of a qualified child shall be paid at the rate specified in Schedule 2,

and

(b) where the amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (a) is not a multiple of €2.50, be increased to the next multiple of €2.50.

Rate of pension.

[1993 s90]

116.—Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of retirement pension shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

[1993 s91(1); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

117.—(1) The weekly rate of retirement pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that the beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of pension under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s91(2); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(2) The weekly rate of retirement pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s91(3); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F)]

(3) Any increase of retirement pension payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with a beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult, and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[1993 s91(4); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(4) The weekly rate of retirement pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is living alone.

[1993 s91(5); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(5) The weekly rate of retirement pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(f)]

(6) The weekly rate of retirement pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

Chapter 17

Invalidity Pension

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s95(1)]

118.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to invalidity pension where he or she—

(a) is permanently incapable of work, and

(b) satisfies the contribution conditions in section 119 .

[1993 s95(2)]

(2) The conditions under which a person shall be regarded for the purposes of this section as being permanently incapable of work shall be specified by regulations.

[1993 s95(3)]

(3) Regulations may provide for disqualifying a person for receiving invalidity pension where he or she fails without good cause to observe any prescribed rules of behaviour.

Conditions for receipt.

[1993 s96(1)]

119.—(1) The contribution conditions for invalidity pension are that before the relevant date the claimant has—

(a) qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 260 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance, and

(b) qualifying contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 48 contribution weeks in the last complete contribution year before that date.

[1993 s96(2)]

(2) In this section “relevant date” means—

(a) any date after the completion of one year of continuous incapacity for work, or

(b) any lesser period that may be prescribed, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed,

where the insured person has entered into a continuous period of incapacity for work and he or she is subsequently proved to be permanently incapable of work.

[1993 s96(3)]

(3) In the case of a person who is in receipt of invalidity pension where—

(a) the period of entitlement to invalidity pension began before 6 April 1987, or

(b) the period of entitlement to invalidity pension began on or after 6 April 1987 but before 4 January 1988 and who, immediately before that date, had been in receipt of disability benefit for a period greater than 312 days,

subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “156” were substituted for “260”.

[1993 s96(4)]

(4) In the case of a person who is in receipt of invalidity pension where—

(a) the period of entitlement to invalidity pension began on or after 6 April 1987 and before 4 January 1988, or

(b) the period of entitlement to invalidity pension began on or after 4 January 1988 and who, immediately before that date, had been in receipt of disability benefit for a period greater than 312 days,

subsection (1)(a) shall be read as if “208” were substituted for “260”.

[1993 s96(5)]

(5) Subsections (3) and (4) shall not apply to any claim for invalidity pension where the period of incapacity for work begins on or after 7 July 1988.

[1993 s96(6)]

(6) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution conditions set out in subsection (1).

Contributions paid under the National Health Insurance Acts.

[1993 s97]

120.—Contributions paid under the National Health Insurance Acts 1911 to 1952 by or in respect of an employed contributor may be taken into account in the manner and subject to the conditions and limitations that may be prescribed for the purpose of the satisfaction by the employed contributor of the contribution conditions for invalidity pension.

Rate of pension.

[1993 s98]

121.—Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

Increases (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

[1993 s99(1); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

122.—(1) The weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (3) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 for any period during which the beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that a beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of pension under this subsection in respect of more than one person.

[1993 s99(2); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(2) The weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1993 s99(3); 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

(3) Any increase of invalidity pension payable under subsection (2) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with a beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is not a qualified adult, and subsection (2) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

[1993 s99(4); 2001 s17(1)(b)]

(4) The weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is living alone.

[1993 s99(5); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

(5) The weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(g); 2003 (MP) s6(1)(a)]

(6) The weekly rate of invalidity pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

Chapter 18

Widow's (Contributory) Pension or Widower's (Contributory) Pension

Interpretation.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2), 28(1) & Sch G]

123.—In this Chapter—

“pension” means a widow's (contributory) pension in the case of a widow and a widower's (contributory) pension in the case of a widower;

“relevant time” means—

(a) where the contribution conditions are being satisfied on the widow's or widower's insurance record—

(i) the date of the spouse's death, or

(ii) where the widow or widower attained pensionable age before the date of the spouse's death, the date on which he or she attained that age,

or

(b) where the contribution conditions are being satisfied on the deceased spouse's insurance record—

(i) the date on which the spouse attained pensionable age, or

(ii) where the spouse died before attaining pensionable age, the date of his or her death;

“spouse”, in relation to a widow or widower who has been married more than once, refers only to the widow's or widower's last spouse and for this purpose that last spouse shall be read as including a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State;

“widow” means a widow or a woman who would otherwise be a widow but for the fact that her marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State;

“widower” means a widower or a man who would otherwise be a widower but for the fact that his marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State;

“yearly average” means the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which the widow, widower or deceased spouse (as the case may be) has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the appropriate period specified in section 125 (1)(b).

Entitlement to pension.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

124.—(1) Subject to this Act, a widow or widower shall be entitled to pension—

(a) where the contribution conditions set out in section 125 are satisfied on either the insurance record of the widow or widower or that of his or her deceased spouse,

(b) where the widow's or widower's spouse was entitled to an old age (contributory) pension or a retirement pension which included an increase in respect of him or her by virtue of section 112 (1) or 117 (1) in respect of a period ending on the spouse's death, or

(c) where his or her spouse would have been entitled to an old age (contributory) pension or a retirement pension at an increased weekly rate by virtue of section 112 (1) or 117 (1), but for the receipt by that widow or widower of an old age (non-contributory) pension, a blind pension or a carer's allowance in his or her own right, in respect of a period ending on his or her death.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(2) A pension shall not be payable to a widow or widower for any period after his or her remarriage.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(3) A widow or widower shall be disqualified for receiving a pension if and so long as he or she and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(1) & Sch G]

(4) A person who, having ceased to be entitled to a pension by virtue of that person's remarriage, shall, on again becoming a widow or widower, be entitled to a pension at the rate which would have been payable had the person not remarried where the person—

(a) fails to satisfy the conditions set out in subsection (1), or

(b) on satisfying the conditions set out in subsection (1), is entitled to a pension at a rate below that which would have been payable had the person not remarried.

Conditions for receipt.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

125.—(1) The contribution conditions for pension are—

(a) that the widow or widower has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than 156 contribution weeks in the period beginning with his or her entry into insurance and ending immediately before the relevant time, and

(b) that, where at the relevant time, 4 years or longer has elapsed since the widow's or widower's entry into insurance—

(i) the yearly average for the 3 contribution years, or (where warranted by his or her insurance record) 5 contribution years, ending with the end of the last complete contribution year before the relevant time is not less than 39, or

(ii) the yearly average in respect of the period commencing at the beginning of the contribution year in which his or her entry into insurance occurred and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the relevant time is not less than 48,

but, where those conditions are not satisfied on the widow's or widower's insurance record, they may be satisfied on his or her deceased spouse's insurance record (the widow's or widower's insurance record being disregarded).

[1994 s11]

(2) Regulations may provide for modifications of the meaning of yearly average contained in section 123 or of the contribution conditions set out in this section.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(3) Subject to subsection (4), regulations may provide for entitling to pension a person who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that the contribution condition in subsection (1)(b) is not satisfied.

[1994 s11]

(4) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (3) shall provide that pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2 , and the rates specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the contribution condition in subsection (1)(b) is satisfied, but any increase of pension payable under section 127 (1) shall be the same as if that condition had been fully satisfied.

[1994 s11]

(5) Subject to subsection (6), regulations may provide for entitling to pension a person who would be entitled to that pension but for the fact that the contribution condition in subsection (1)(b) is not satisfied by reference to the insurance record of a person where that person, having earlier ceased to be an employed contributor, became an employed contributor as a consequence of the coming into operation of section 12 of the Social Welfare Act 1973 .

[1994 s11]

(6) Regulations for the purposes of subsection (5) shall provide that pension payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 2 , and the rates specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the contribution condition in subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

[1994 s11]

(7) Where a person becomes an employed contributor by virtue of paragraph (b) of section 12 (1) and would not, apart from that paragraph, be an employed contributor, his or her entry into insurance by virtue of that paragraph is deemed not to be an entry into insurance for the purposes of subsection (1) and for those purposes the person's entry into insurance is deemed to occur when he or she first becomes an employed contributor by virtue of paragraph (a) of section 12 (1).

[1994 s11]

(8) In the case of a person who became a self-employed contributor on 6 April 1988 and who at any time before that date was an employed contributor, the date on which the person first entered into insurance or 6 April 1988, whichever is more favourable, shall be regarded as the date of entry into insurance for the purposes of subsection (1)(b).

Rate of pension.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

126.—Subject to this Act, the weekly rate of pension shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

Increases (including increases for qualified children).

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

127.—(1) The weekly rate of pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (4) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(2) The weekly rate of pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is living alone.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(3) The weekly rate of pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(h)]

(4) The weekly rate of pension shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

Disregard of self-employment contributions in certain cases.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

128.—(1) In the case of any claim for pension made on or after 6 April 1995, where the insurance record of a person who, having been a self-employed contributor, is being used to establish entitlement to pension, the contribution conditions contained in section 125 shall not be regarded as having been satisfied unless, in accordance with section 21

(a) the person has paid self-employment contributions in respect of at least 1 contribution year before the relevant time, and

(b) all self-employment contributions payable by the person have been paid.

[1994 s11; 1995 s19(1)]

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), where the Minister is satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case it would be appropriate to do so, he or she may direct that subsection (1) shall not be applied in that case.

Certain claims.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

129.—(1) (a) Entitlement to pension which is due to be determined by reference to the insurance record of a person who attained the age of 69 years before 5 January 1976 may be determined under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 July 1974 where this would be to the advantage of the widow.

[1994 s11]

(b) A widow who, under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 July 1974, has been awarded a pension on the basis of her own or her spouse's insurance record at the date on which she or her spouse attained the then pensionable age shall on and after 1 July 1974 have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in her case under those provisions.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27 & Sch G]

(2) (a) Entitlement to pension which is due to be determined by reference to the insurance record of a person who attained the age of 68 years before 3 January 1977, may be determined under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 April 1975 where this would be to the advantage of the widow.

[1994 s11]

(b) A widow who, under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 April 1975, has been awarded a pension on the basis of her own or her spouse's insurance record at the date on which she or her spouse attained the then pensionable age shall on and after 1 April 1975 have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in her case under those provisions.

[1994 s11; 1996 s27 & Sch G]

(3) (a) Entitlement to pension which is due to be determined by reference to the insurance record of a person who attained the age of 67 years before 1 January 1979 may be determined under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 October 1977 where this would be to the advantage of the widow.

[1994 s11]

(b) A widow who, under the provisions of the Acts relating to social welfare in operation before 1 October 1977, has been awarded a pension on the basis of her own or her spouse's insurance record at the date on which she or her spouse attained the then pensionable age shall on and after 1 October 1977 have a right to that pension at the rate for the time being payable by reference to a yearly average equal to the yearly average calculated in her case under those provisions.

Chapter 19

Orphan's (Contributory) Allowance

Entitlement to allowance.

[1993 s106; 2003 (MP) s9(1)(a)]

130.—(1) Subject to this Act, orphan's (contributory) allowance shall be payable in respect of an orphan where the contribution condition in section 131 is satisfied.

[2003 (MP) s9(1)(a)]

(2) Orphan's (contributory) allowance shall not be payable for any period during which a payment is made under Article 14 of the Child Care (Placement of Children in Foster Care) Regulations 1995 ( S.I. No. 260 of 1995 ) or Article 14 of the Child Care (Placement of Children with Relatives) Regulations 1995 ( S.I. No. 261 of 1995 ).

Condition for receipt.

[1993 s107(1)]

131.—(1) The contribution condition for orphan's (contributory) allowance is that one of the following persons has qualifying contributions for not less than 26 contribution weeks—

(a) a parent of the orphan,

(b) a step-parent of the orphan.

[1993 s107(2)]

(2) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution condition set out in this section.

Rate of allowance.

[1993 s108]

132.—Subject to this Part, the weekly rate of orphan's (contributory) allowance shall be as set out in Part 1 of Schedule 2 .

Payment of allowance.

[1993 s109(1)]

133.—(1) Subject to subsection (3), orphan's (contributory) allowance shall be paid to the guardian of the orphan in respect of whom the allowance is payable.

[2005 (SW&P) s19(a)]

(2) In this Chapter “guardian” means the person in whose care an orphan normally resides.

[1993 s109(2); 2005 (SW&P) s19(a)]

(3) The Minister may, where he or she thinks fit, direct that a payment under this Chapter, payable to the guardian of an orphan, be paid to some other person for the benefit of the orphan or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, directly to an orphan who has attained the age of 18 years where that orphan is not normally residing with a guardian.

Chapter 20

Bereavement Grant

Entitlement to grant.

[1999 s19(1)]

134.—(1) Subject to this Act, a bereavement grant shall be payable, to the person or persons that may be prescribed, on the death of—

(a) (i) a pensioner,

(ii) a qualified adult,

(iii) a spouse of a pensioner,

(iv) a qualified child in respect of whom an increase of pension specified in paragraphs (a) to (f) in the definition of “pensioner” in subsection (3) was being paid at the time of death,

(v) an orphan, or

(vi) a person to whom an orphan's (contributory) allowance is payable under section 133 ,

or

(b) (i) an insured person,

(ii) the spouse of an insured person,

(iii) the widow or widower of a deceased insured person, or

(iv) a qualified child other than a qualified child referred to in paragraph (a)(iv),

where the contribution conditions in section 135 are satisfied.

[1999 s19(1)]

(2) Only one bereavement grant shall be paid by virtue of this section on any one death.

[1999 s19(1)]

(3) In this Chapter—

“orphan” means a person in respect of whom an orphan's (contributory) allowance is payable under Chapter 19;

“pensioner” means a person who, at the time of his or her death, was in receipt of one of the following payments—

(a) old age (contributory) pension,

(b) retirement pension,

(c) invalidity pension,

(d) widow's (contributory) pension,

(e) widower's (contributory) pension, or

(f) deserted wife's benefit,

or would have been in receipt of one of those payments but for receipt by the person of an old age (non-contributory) pension, a blind pension, a widow's (non-contributory) pension or widower's (non-contributory) pension or a carer's allowance at a higher rate;

“qualified adult” means a person in respect of whom an increase of benefit specified in paragraphs (a) to (c) in the definition of “pensioner” was being paid at the time of death, or in respect of whom that increase would have been payable but for the receipt by the qualified adult of an old age (non-contributory) pension, a blind pension or a carer's allowance in his or her own right;

“qualified child”, in section 134 (1)(b), means a person—

(a) who, at the date of death, is under the age of 18 years or over the age of 18 years and under the age of 22 years, and is receiving full-time education, the circumstances of which will be specified in regulations,

(b) who is ordinarily resident in the State on that date, and

(c) in respect of whose death the relevant contribution conditions for bereavement grant are not satisfied by the person's insurance or the insurance of that person's spouse;

“relevant date” means the date of death of the deceased person or the date of death of the relevant insured person or the date of attainment of pensionable age of the relevant insured person, whichever occurs first, whether the deceased is the relevant insured person or not;

“relevant insured person” means—

(a) in case the deceased person was a qualified child—

(i) the father or mother of the deceased person,

(ii) the person with whom the deceased person at the date of death is determined, in accordance with regulations made under section 3 (5), to have been normally residing or with whom he or she would have been normally so residing if he or she had not been committed to a reformatory or an industrial school, or

(iii) the spouse of the person referred to in subparagraph (ii),

or

(b) in any other case, the deceased person or the spouse of the deceased person;

“yearly average” means the average per contribution year of contribution weeks in respect of which the relevant insured person has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in the appropriate period specified in section 135 (1)(b)(ii).

Conditions for receipt.

[1999 s19(1); 2005 (SW&P) s11(g)]

135.—(1) The contribution conditions for a bereavement grant are that before the relevant date the relevant insured person has qualifying contributions in respect of not less than—

(a) 156 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance, or

(b) 26 contribution weeks since his or her entry into insurance, and

(i) has qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the second last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant date occurs, or

(ii) has a yearly average of 39 qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions for the 3 or 5 complete contribution years immediately before the last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant date occurs, or

(iii) has a yearly average of 26 qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions since his or her entry into insurance or the beginning of the contribution year beginning on 6 April 1979 (whichever is the later) and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant date occurs, or

(iv) has a yearly average of 26 qualifying contributions, voluntary contributions or credited contributions since his or her entry into insurance or the beginning of the contribution year next following 1 October 1970 (whichever is the later) and ending at the end of the last complete contribution year before the beginning of the benefit year in which the relevant date occurs.

[1999 s19(1)]

(2) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution conditions for receipt of bereavement grant.

[1999 s19(1)]

(3) Regulations may provide for modifications of the contribution conditions for bereavement grant in the case of a person who was an insured person on 1 October 1970 and who, during the year after that date, was absent from the State for any period or was credited with contributions in respect of any period of unemployment, incapacity for work or retirement or is or becomes a voluntary contributor paying contributions at the rate specified in section 25 (1)(b)(ii).

Amount of grant.

[1999 s19(1)]

136.—Subject to this Act, the amount of bereavement grant shall be as set out in column (2) of Part 5 of Schedule 2 .

Chapter 21

Widowed Parent Grant

Entitlement to grant.

[2000 s13; 2003 s7]

137.—(1) Subject to this Act, a grant (in this section referred to as a “widowed parent grant”) of €2,700, or any higher amount that may be prescribed, shall be paid to a widowed parent on the death of his or her spouse.

[2000 s13]

(2) In this Chapter—

“spouse” includes a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State and in relation to a widow or widower who has been married more than once, refers only to the widow's or widower's last spouse;

“widow” includes a woman who would otherwise be a widow but for the fact that her marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State;

“widowed parent” means a widow or widower who—

(a) has at least one qualified child who normally resides with him or her, and

(b) (i) is entitled to or in receipt of bereavement grant, or

(ii) is entitled to or in receipt of—

(I) death benefit under section 81 , or

(II) widow's (contributory) pension, or

(III) widower's (contributory) pension, or

(IV) widow's or widower's (contributory) pension by virtue of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1408/71 of the Council of 14 June 19712 or by virtue of a reciprocal agreement under section 287 , or

(V) one-parent family payment,

which includes an increase in respect of a qualified child;

“widower” includes a man who would otherwise be a widower but for the fact that his marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State.

Chapter 22

Treatment Benefit

General provisions as to benefit.

[1993 s117(1)]

138.—(1) A person shall, subject to satisfaction of the prescribed conditions, be entitled to such treatment benefit as may be specified by regulations.

[1993 s117(2)]

(2) The regulations for the purposes of this section may specify the payment of the whole or any part of the cost of any of the following—

(a) dental treatment,

(b) optical treatment and appliances,

(c) hearing aids,

(d) any other benefits of the same character as any of those mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (c).

[1993 s117(3)]

(3) The payments referred to in subsection (2) shall not exceed in the aggregate such sums as may from time to time be agreed on between the Minister and the Minister for Finance.

[1993 s117(4)]

(4) This section shall remain in force until the day appointed under subsection (5) and shall then expire.

[1993 s117(5)]

(5) The Minister may by order appoint a day to be the day on which this section expires.

PART 3

Social Assistance

Chapter 1

Description of Social Assistance

Description of assistance.

[1993 s118(1); 2000 s14 & Sch D]

139.—(1) Assistance under this Part shall be of the following descriptions and is, in each case, so described in this Act—

(a) unemployment assistance,

(b) pre-retirement allowance,

(c) old age (non-contributory) pension,

(d) blind pension,

(e) widow's (non-contributory) pension, widower's (non-contributory) pension and orphan's (non-contributory) pension,

(f) widowed parent grant (paid by virtue of receipt of one-parent family payment under this Part),

(g) one-parent family payment,

(h) carer's allowance,

(i) supplementary welfare allowance,

(j) disability allowance, and

(k) farm assist.

[1993 s118(2)]

(2) Assistance shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Chapter 2

Unemployment Assistance

Interpretation.

[1993 s119(1); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

140.—(1) In this Chapter—

“beneficiary” means a person entitled to unemployment assistance;

“weekly means”, subject to subsection (2) and Rule 1(1), (5), (6) or (7), as the case may be, of Part 2 of Schedule 3 shall be the yearly means divided by 52 but the amount so calculated shall be rounded up to the nearest €1 where it is a multiple of 50 cent but not also a multiple of €1 and shall be rounded to the nearest €1 where it is not a multiple of 50 cent or €1.

[1993 s119(2); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(2) In this Chapter references to means shall be read as references to means as calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 2 of Schedule 3 .

[1993 s119(3)]

(3) Where, immediately before 29 July 1992, a person was entitled to or in receipt of unemployment assistance, any decision by a deciding officer or an appeals officer in relation to the means of that person for the purposes of that person qualifying for a qualification certificate is deemed to be a decision under section 141 (1)(c).

Entitlement to assistance.

[1993 s120(1); 1996 s22(1)]

141.—(1) Subject to this Act, a person shall be entitled to unemployment assistance in respect of any week of unemployment where—

(a) the person has attained the age of 18 years and has not attained pensionable age,

(b) the person proves unemployment in the prescribed manner, and

(c) the person's weekly means, subject to subsection (2)(d), do not exceed the amount of unemployment assistance (including any increases of unemployment assistance) that would be payable to the person under this Chapter if that person had no means.

[1993 s120(2); 1997 s30(2)(a)]

(2) (a) Otherwise than as provided for in regulations, a person shall not be entitled to unemployment assistance in respect of the first 3 days of unemployment in any continuous period of unemployment.

(b) For the purpose of this section, any period before the relevant date of application for unemployment assistance shall not be reckoned as, or as part of, a continuous period of unemployment.

(c) Any period during which a person is disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance shall not be reckoned in the computation of any continuous period of unemployment of that person.

[1997 s28(1)]

(d) Where the spouse of a claimant for unemployment assistance is not the claimant's qualified adult, or is a spouse in respect of whom an increase is payable by virtue of regulations made under section 297 , the means of the claimant shall be taken to be one-half the means.

[1993 s120(3); 1996 s22(1)]

(3) In this Chapter, any 3 days of unemployment, whether consecutive or not, within a period of 6 consecutive days shall be treated as a week of unemployment and any 2 such weeks not separated by more than 52 weeks shall be treated as one continuous period of unemployment, and references in this Chapter to being continuously unemployed or to continuous unemployment shall be read accordingly.

[1996 s22(1)]

(4) For the purposes of this Chapter, a day shall not be treated in relation to any person as a day of unemployment unless on that day, the person—

(a) is capable of work,

(b) is, or by reason of the person's participation in an activity prescribed for the purposes of this subsection and subject to any conditions that may be prescribed, is deemed to be, or is exempted from being required to be, available for employment, and

(c) is genuinely seeking, but is unable to obtain, suitable employment having regard to the person's age, physique, education, normal occupation, place of residence and family circumstances.

[1993 s120(4)]

(5) Sunday shall not be treated as a day of unemployment and shall be disregarded in computing any period of consecutive days.

[1993 s120(5); 2005 (SW&P) s12(b)]

(6) Notwithstanding subsection (3), any period of continuous—

(a) employment under a scheme administered by an Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as Community Employment,

(b) employment under a scheme administered under the aegis of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and known as the Rural Social Scheme,

(c) participation in a scheme administered by an Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as the Enterprise Allowance Scheme,

(d) participation in a scheme administered by an Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as the Alternance Scheme,

(e) attendance at a training course provided or approved by an Foras Áiseanna Saothair,

(f) participation in a scheme administered by the Commission of the European Union and known as the European Voluntary Service Initiative,

(g) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister and known as the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme,

(h) participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Education and Science and known as the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme,

(i) participation in, employment under or attendance at a prescribed scheme or course, or

(j) receipt of or entitlement to pre-retirement allowance,

shall be disregarded in treating, under subsection (3), any 2 continuous periods of unemployment not separated by more than 52 weeks as one continuous period of unemployment.

[1993 s120(6)]

(7) Regulations may make provision as to the days which are or are not to be treated for the purposes of unemployment assistance as days of unemployment.

[1993 s120(7)]

(8) Subsection (2)(a) shall not apply in relation to the payment of unemployment assistance to a person who ceased, not earlier than 52 weeks before the day in respect of which his or her application for unemployment assistance is made, to be entitled to unemployment benefit—

(a) by reason of having, by virtue of section 67 , exhausted his or her entitlement to that benefit, or

(b) where the person is of or over 65 years of age, by reason of having failed to satisfy the contribution condition in section 64 (1)(b).

[2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1; 2005 (SW& P) s26 & Sch 4]

(9) A person shall not be entitled to unemployment assistance under this section unless he or she is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for unemployment assistance.

Rates of assistance and effect of means on rates.

[1993 s121(1)]

142.—(1) Subject to this section and to sections 144 and 146, the rate (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of unemployment assistance shall be—

[1995 s16]

(a) in the case of a person who—

(i) in any continuous period of unemployment, as read in accordance with section 141 (3), has been in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance in respect of not less than 390 days of unemployment, or

(ii) immediately before the week of unemployment for which unemployment assistance is claimed, was in receipt of—

(I) one-parent family payment, but has ceased to be entitled to that allowance by virtue of no longer being regarded as a qualified parent within the meaning of section 172 (1), or

(II) carer's allowance, but has ceased to be entitled to that allowance by virtue of no longer being regarded as a carer within the meaning of section 179 (1),

the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 1(a) in Part 1 of Schedule 4 ,

(b) in any other case, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 1(b) in Part 1 of Schedule 4 , increased by—

(i) the amount set out in column (3) of that Part opposite that reference for any period during which the claimant or beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that the claimant or beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of assistance under this subparagraph in respect of more than one person, and

(ii) the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part opposite that reference in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary.

[1993 s121(2); 2001 s37(3)(a)]

(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), unemployment assistance shall be payable where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary—

(i) are less than €1, at the scheduled rate,

(ii) are equal to €1, at the scheduled rate reduced by €1, and

(iii) exceed €1, at the scheduled rate, reduced by €1 for each amount (if any) of €1 by which those weekly means exceed €1.

(b) Where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary are equal to or exceed the scheduled rate, no unemployment assistance shall be payable.

[1993 s121(3); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2)(a)(iii), where the sole means of a claimant for unemployment assistance, who is not one of a couple, are assessed under Rule 1(10) of Part 2 of Schedule 3 and where the rate of assistance payable to or in respect of the claimant, as calculated in accordance with subsection (2)(a)(iii), would be a weekly amount which is 10 cent or more, but less than €40, the claimant shall be entitled to payment of unemployment assistance at the weekly rate of €40.

[1993 s121(4)]

(4) (a) In subsection (3) “couple” means a married couple who are living together or a man and a woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife.

[1993 s121(4); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(b) For the purposes of Rule 1(10) of Part 2 of Schedule 3 when applied to subsection (3), “spouse” means each person of a couple in relation to the other.

[1993 s121(5); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(5) In the application of subsection (2) in the case of the persons or classes of persons that may be prescribed, regulations may provide for disregarding, in the manner that may be prescribed, any part of the weekly means of a claimant or beneficiary up to an amount not exceeding €2.50.

[1993 s121(6); 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(6) The Minister may, notwithstanding regulations made under subsection (5) providing for weekly means of up to €2.50 in the case of certain persons or classes of persons to be disregarded, apply subsection (2) to those persons or classes of persons at any time.

[1993 s121(7)]

(7) Regulations made under subsection (5) may apply to the whole State or to a specified part or parts of the State.

Regulations.

[1996 s22(3)]

143.—Regulations may entitle a person to unemployment assistance in respect of a day of unemployment and the amount of unemployment assistance so payable for any such day shall be one-sixth of the appropriate weekly rate.

Total amount payable to a couple.

[1993 s122(1); 1999 s32(1)(a)]

144.—(1) In the case of a couple, where each of the couple is entitled to unemployment assistance or pre-retirement allowance, the total amount payable to them under this Chapter shall not exceed the amount which would be payable if only one of them was entitled to be paid unemployment assistance or pre-retirement allowance, as the case may be, (including any increases thereof, where appropriate) and each of them shall be entitled to be paid one-half of the amount (including any increases thereof, where appropriate) which would be payable to him or her if only one of them were in receipt of unemployment assistance or pre-retirement allowance as the case may be.

(2) (a) In this subsection “relevant benefit or pension” means disability benefit, unemployment benefit, injury benefit, disablement pension, old age (contributory) pension, old age (non-contributory) pension, retirement pension or invalidity pension.

[1993 s122(4); 1999 s32(1)(b)]

(b) Where one of a couple is entitled to a relevant benefit or pension and the other is entitled to unemployment assistance, the total of the amount payable to them by way of the relevant benefit or pension, as the case may be, and unemployment assistance (in this subsection referred to as “the relevant amount”), shall not exceed the total amount of the relevant benefit or pension, as the case may be, (including any increases thereof, where appropriate), or the total amount of unemployment assistance (including any increases thereof, where appropriate), whichever is the greater (in this subsection referred to as “the greater amount”), that would be payable if only one of the couple were in receipt of the relevant benefit or pension or unemployment assistance, as the case may be, and, if the relevant amount would but for this subsection exceed the greater amount, the amount of unemployment assistance payable to the spouse who is entitled to unemployment assistance shall be reduced by the amount of the excess.

[1995 s16(3)(a)]

(3) In this section—

[1993 s122(5)]

“couple” means a married couple who are living together or a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife;

[1993 s122(6)]

“spouse” means each person of a couple in relation to the other.

[1993 s122(7)]

(4) For the purposes of this section, a reference to “unemployment assistance” shall be read as including a reference to pre-retirement allowance.

[1994 s27]

(5) This section shall not apply in the case of a person who was entitled to or in receipt of pre-retirement allowance before 2 April 1993.

Certain claims.

[1993 s123(1)]

145.—(1) A person who, on or after 9 May 1989, claims or has claimed, in respect of a period before 7 June 1989, unemployment assistance of an amount to which the person would not be entitled if section 144 were applicable shall be entitled to be paid that assistance only in accordance with section 144 .

[1993 s123(2)]

(2) (a) A person who has not, before 9 May 1989, specifically claimed, in respect of a period before 7 June 1989, any additional amount for unemployment assistance being an amount to which the person would not be entitled if section 144 were applicable shall not be entitled to be paid the additional amount.

(b) In paragraph (a) “claimed” means claimed in writing from the Minister or claimed in proceedings instituted against the Minister in any court.

[1993 s123(3)]

(3) An amount properly paid to any person before 7 June 1989 by way of unemployment assistance which as a result of the Social Welfare (No. 2) Act 1989 would be recoverable by the Minister shall not be so recoverable.

Amount of increases payable in respect of qualified child in certain cases.

[1993 s124; 1997 s28(4) & Sch F]

146.—Any increase of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary and with the spouse of the claimant or beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the claimant or beneficiary is not a qualified adult, and section 142 (1) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

Disqualifications.

[1993 s125(1); 2005 (SW&P) s13(b)]

147.—(1) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance while he or she is—

(a) an inmate of an institution maintained wholly or partly out of public moneys or by a local authority,

(b) employed during any week under a scheme administered by an Foras Áiseanna Saothair and known as Community Employment, or

(c) employed during any week under a scheme administered under the aegis of the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and known as the Rural Social Scheme.

[1993 s125(3)]

(2) A person who has lost employment by reason of a stoppage of work which was due to a trade dispute at the factory, workshop, farm or other premises or place at which he or she was employed shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance so long as the stoppage of work continues, except in the case where the person has, during the stoppage of work, become bona fide employed elsewhere in the occupation which he or she usually follows or has become regularly engaged in some other occupation but this subsection shall not apply to a person who is not participating in or directly interested in the trade dispute which caused the stoppage of work.

[1993 s125(4)]

(3) Where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate businesses in separate premises or at separate places are in any case carried on in separate departments of the same premises or at the same place, each of those departments, for the purposes of subsection (2), is deemed to be a separate factory, workshop or farm or separate premises or a separate place, as the case may be.

[1993 s125(5)]

(4) A person shall be disqualified for receiving unemployment assistance for the period that may be determined by a deciding officer, but in any case not exceeding 9 weeks, where the person—

(a) has lost his or her employment through his or her own misconduct or has voluntarily left his or her employment without just cause,

(b) has refused an offer of suitable employment,

(c) has without good cause refused or failed to avail himself or herself of any reasonable opportunity of receiving training provided or approved of by an Foras Áiseanna Soathair as suitable in the person's case, or

(d) has failed or neglected to avail himself or herself of any reasonable opportunity of obtaining suitable employment,

and the period of disqualification shall begin on the day on which the loss or leaving of employment, refusal, failure or neglect, as the case may be, occurred.

[1993 s125(6)]

(5) For the purpose of this section, employment is not deemed to be suitable employment in the case of any person where it is employment in a situation vacant in consequence of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute.

[1993 s125(7)]

(6) Unemployment assistance and unemployment benefit shall not both be payable in respect of the same day or days.

Disqualifications —attending a course of study.

[1993 s126(1)]

148.—(1) A person shall not be entitled to receive unemployment assistance while attending a course of study, other than in the circumstances and subject to the conditions and for the periods that may be prescribed.

[1993 s126(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) In this section—

“academic year” means a period in which a course of study begins in one year and finishes in the following year and includes term vacations;

“a course of study” means, subject to subsection (3), a full-time day course of study, instruction or training at an institution of education;

“institution of education” means—

(a) a school,

(b) a university,

(c) a college of a university,

(d) any institution which the Minister for Education and Science has designated in regulations made under section 1 of the Higher Education Authority Act 1971 as an institution of higher education for the purposes of that Act,

(e) any institution to which the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act 1999 applies,

(f) any institution established under the Regional Technical Colleges Act 1992 ,

(g) any institution incorporated under the Dublin Institute of Technology Act 1992 ,

(h) any institution which is not an institution for the purposes of paragraphs (a) to (g) and to which the Local Authorities (Higher Education Grants) Acts 1968 to 1992 apply, or

(i) any other institution that may be prescribed.

[1993 s126(3)]

(3) For the purposes of this section, a person shall be regarded, subject to regulations made under subsection (1), as attending a course of study—

(a) for 3 months immediately following the completion or the leaving by that person of second level education or the completion by him or her of the leaving certificate examination of the Department of Education and Science, whichever is the later,

(b) for the duration of an academic year, or

(c) for the period immediately following the completion of one academic year, other than the final academic year of a course of study, up to the beginning of the following academic year.

Chapter 3

Pre-Retirement Allowance

Entitlement to allowance.

[1998 s18]

149.—(1) Subject to this Act, an allowance (in this Chapter referred to as “pre-retirement allowance”) shall be payable in respect of any period of retirement to a person—

(a) who has attained the age specified by regulations but has not attained pensionable age,

(b) whose weekly means, subject to subsection (4), do not exceed the amount of pre-retirement allowance (including any increases of that allowance) that would be payable to the person under this Chapter if that person had no means, and

(c) (i) who has been in receipt of unemployment benefit or unemployment assistance in respect of not less than 390 days of unemployment in any continuous period of unemployment in the immediately preceding period as read in accordance with section 141 (3),

(ii) being a separated spouse, has not engaged in remunerative employment or self-employment at any time in the preceding period that may be prescribed, or

(iii) immediately before the week in respect of which pre-retirement allowance is claimed, was in receipt of—

(I) one-parent family payment, but has ceased to be entitled to that payment by virtue of no longer being regarded as a qualified parent within the meaning of section 172 (1), or

(II) carer's allowance, but has ceased to be entitled to that allowance, by virtue of no longer being regarded as a carer within the meaning of section 179 (1).

[1998 s18]

(2) (a) For the purposes of subsection (1)(c)(ii) and subject to section 3 (10) a person who is separated from his or her spouse, shall continue to be regarded as a separated spouse where the marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State.

(b) Pre-retirement allowance shall, subject to this Chapter, continue to be payable to a person to whom subsection (1)(c)(ii) applies, unless that person remarries or cohabits as husband and wife, in which case the allowance shall cease.

[1998 s18; 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(3) (a) In this Chapter “weekly means” shall, subject to paragraph (b) and Rule 1(1) or (7) as the case may be of Part 2 of Schedule 3, be the yearly means divided by 52 and means shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 2 of Schedule 3.

(b) The amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (a) shall be rounded up to the nearest €1 where it is a multiple of 50 cent but not also a multiple of €1 and shall be rounded to the nearest €1 where it is not a multiple of 50 cent or €1.

[1998 s18]

(4) Where the spouse of a claimant for pre-retirement allowance is not the claimant's qualified adult, or is a spouse in respect of whom an increase is payable by virtue of regulations made under section 297 , the means of the claimant shall be taken to be one-half of the means.

[2002 (MP) s6(2)]

(5) For the purposes of subsection (6), any 2 periods of retirement not separated by more than 52 weeks shall be treated as one continuous period of retirement.

[2002 (MP) s6(2)]

(6) Subsection (1)(c) shall not apply in the case of a claim to pre-retirement allowance made by a person in respect of a period of retirement which is a continuous period of retirement as read in accordance with subsection (5).

Rate of allowance (including increases for qualified adult and qualified children).

[1998 s18]

150.—(1) Subject to this section and section 144 , the rate of pre-retirement allowance (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 increased by—

(a) the amount set out in column (3) of that Part for any period during which the claimant or beneficiary has a qualified adult, subject to the restriction that the claimant or beneficiary shall not be entitled to an increase under this paragraph in respect of more than one person, and

(b) the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary.

[1998 s18; 2001 s37 & Sch F]

(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), pre-retirement allowance shall be payable where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary—

(i) are less than €1, at the scheduled rate,

(ii) are equal to €1, at the scheduled rate reduced by €1, and

(iii) exceed €1, at the scheduled rate reduced by €1 for each amount (if any) of €1 by which those weekly means exceed €1.

(b) Where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary are equal to or exceed the scheduled rate, no pre-retirement allowance shall be payable.

[1998 s18]

(3) Any increase of pre-retirement allowance payable under subsection (1)(b) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary and with the spouse of the claimant or beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the claimant or beneficiary is not a qualified adult and subsection (1)(b) shall be read and have effect accordingly.

Regulations.

[1998 s18]

151.—The Minister may make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Chapter and those regulations may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing—

(a) specify the age for the purposes of section 149 (1)(a),

(b) specify the periods which shall be regarded as periods of retirement for the purposes of this Chapter,

(c) specify the circumstances in which a person is to be regarded as a separated spouse for the purposes of section 149 (1)(c)(ii), and

(d) vary the weekly rate of pre-retirement allowance under section 150 , but any such variation shall not reduce the weekly rates applicable immediately before the commencement of the regulations.

Chapter 4

Old Age (Non-Contributory) Pension

Interpretation.

[1993 s132]

152.—In this Chapter—

“spouse”, subject to section 3 (10), includes—

(a) a party to a marriage that has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State, or

[1995 (No. 2) s10]

(b) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife;

[2000 s17(2) & Sch E; 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

“weekly means” shall, subject to Rule 1(1) of Part 3 of Schedule 3 , be the yearly means divided by 52.

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s133]

153.—Subject to this Act, every person in whose case the conditions laid down by this Chapter for the receipt of an old age (non-contributory) pension (in this Chapter referred to as statutory conditions) are fulfilled, shall be entitled to receive that pension under this Chapter so long as those conditions continue to be fulfilled, and so long as he or she is not disqualified under this Chapter for the receipt of the pension.

Statutory conditions.

[1993 s134; 2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

154.—The statutory conditions for the receipt of an old age (non-contributory) pension by any person are—

(a) the person must have attained pensionable age,

(b) the means of the person as calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 3 of Schedule 3 do not exceed the appropriate highest amount of means at which pension may be paid to that person in accordance with section 156 , and

(c) the person must be habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for that pension.

Special conditions for receipt of pension.

[1993 s135; 1996 s19, 27 & Sch E, G]

155.—Where a person who has attained pensionable age is in receipt of or entitled to, a widow's (contributory) pension, widower's (contributory) pension or old age (contributory) pension or is a person in respect of whom an increase of old age (contributory) pension is payable by virtue of section 112 (1) and would but for section 160 be qualified for the receipt of an old age (non-contributory) pension—

(a) the person may, notwithstanding anything contained in section 160 , be paid the old age (non-contributory) pension for any period during which the rate of pension payable would be greater than the rate of widow's (contributory) pension, widower's (contributory) pension, old age (contributory) pension or the increase thereof, as the case may be, payable, and

[2000 s29(c)]

(b) in any case where the old age (non-contributory) pension is so paid, entitlement to widow's (contributory) pension, widower's (contributory) pension, old age (contributory) pension or the increase thereof, as the case may be, shall continue but the amount of any such pension or increase payable during any such period shall not be paid to or in respect of the person.

Rate of pension and increase for qualified child.

[1993 s136(1); 1999 s17(2) & Sch D]

156.—(1) Subject to section 159 , the rate (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of old age (non-contributory) pension shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 increased by the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the claimant or beneficiary.

[1993 s136(2); 2001 s37(1)]

(2) (a) The pension shall be payable where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary—

(i) do not exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate reduced by €2.50 for each amount (if any) of €2.50 by which those weekly means exceed €7.60, any fraction of €2.50 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as €2.50.

(b) Where the rate calculated under paragraph (a)(ii) at which, but for this paragraph, the pension would be payable is less than €2.50, the pension shall not be payable.

Increases (including increase for one of a couple).

[1993 s137]

157.—(1) Subject to subsection (2) and section 159 , the weekly rate of old age (non-contributory) pension payable in accordance with section 156 shall be increased—

(a) by the amount calculated in accordance with Part 2 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary is living with, or is wholly or mainly maintaining, his or her spouse, subject to the restriction that the beneficiary shall not be entitled for the same period to an increase of pension under this paragraph in respect of more than one person,

(b) by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary is living alone,

(c) by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years, and

(d) by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary is ordinarily resident on an island.

[2001 s24(2)(b)]

(2) An increase under subsection (1)(a) shall not be payable where the spouse is—

(a) in receipt of any benefit, pension, assistance or allowance under Part 2 or this Part, or

(b) entitled to or in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 or unemployment benefit payable under section 65 or 66 , in respect of participation in a scheme administered by the Minister for Education and Science and known as the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme, or

(c) entitled to or in receipt of an allowance the rate of which is related to the rates of unemployment assistance payable under section 142 or unemployment benefit payable under section 65 or 66 , in respect of participation in a scheme administered by the Minister and known as—

(i) Back to Education Allowance, or

(ii) Back to Work Allowance, or

(iii) Back to Work Enterprise Allowance, or

(iv) Part-Time Job Incentive.

Amount of increases payable in respect of qualified child normally resident with beneficiary.

[1993 s138; 1999 s17(2) & Sch D]

158.—Subject to section 159 , the increase payable under section 156 (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary and the spouse of the beneficiary shall be payable at the rate of one-half of the appropriate amount in any case where the spouse of the beneficiary is entitled to any benefit, assistance, allowance (other than supplementary welfare allowance) or any other pension under this Act.

Rate of pension for persons in receipt of farm assist.

[1999 s17(1)(b)]

159.—In the case of a person who was in receipt of farm assist under Chapter 11 of Part 3 immediately before becoming entitled to old age (non-contributory) pension, the weekly rate of pension payable shall be the greater of—

(a) the rate payable in accordance with sections 156 , 157 and 158 , or

(b) an amount equal to the rate of farm assist which was payable in accordance with sections 215 and 216 immediately before becoming entitled to old age (non-contributory) pension.

Disqualifications.

[1993 s139(1)]

160.—(1) Except as provided in section 155 , receipt of old age (contributory) pension by a person shall disqualify that person for old age (non-contributory) pension.

[1993 s139(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) A person in respect of whom the weekly rate of old age (contributory) pension payable to another person is increased by virtue of section 112 (1) shall, except as provided in section 155 , be disqualified, for any period in respect of which the weekly rate of that pension payable to that other person is so increased, for receiving old age (non-contributory) pension.

[1993 s139(3); 1996 s27(2) & Sch G]

(3) A person who has attained pensionable age and is in receipt of a widow's (contributory) pension or widower's (contributory) pension shall, except as provided in section 155 , be disqualified for receiving old age (non-contributory) pension for any period in respect of which the person is in receipt of the widow's (contributory) pension or widower's (contributory) pension.

Chapter 5

Blind Pension

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s141]

161.—(1) Subject to this Act—

(a) subject to paragraph (b), every blind person who has attained the age of 18 years shall be entitled to receive and to continue to receive such pension (in this Act referred to as a “blind pension”) as, under Chapter 4 of this Part, he or she would be entitled to receive if he or she had attained pensionable age, subject to the modification that—

(i) the rate of blind pension payable shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2), reference 5 in Part 1 of Schedule 4, and

(ii) the increase payable by virtue of section 157 (1)(a), shall be as set out—

(I) where the beneficiary and his or her spouse have attained pensionable age, in Part 2 of Schedule 4 ,

(II) where the beneficiary and his or her spouse have not attained pensionable age, in Part 3 of Schedule 4 ,

(III) where the beneficiary has not attained pensionable age and his or her spouse has attained that age, in Part 4 of Schedule 4 , and

[2000 s30(1)]

(IV) where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and his or her spouse has not attained that age, in Part 5 of Schedule 4 ,

and

(b) Chapter 4 of this Part applies in all respects in the case of such person, subject to the modifications that for the statutory conditions contained in section 154 (a) there shall be substituted the conditions that the person must—

(i) have attained the age of 18 years, and

[1993 s141(1); 1998 s19]

(ii) be so blind that he or she either cannot perform any work for which eyesight is essential or cannot continue his or her ordinary occupation.

[1993 s141(2)]

(2) A blind person in respect of whom a pension is payable under this section shall not be a qualified child for the purposes of this Act.

Chapter 6

Widow's (Non-Contributory) Pension, Widower's (Non-Contributory) Pension and Orphan's (Non-Contributory) Pension

Interpretation.

[1993 s142(1)]

162.—(1) In this Chapter, save where the context otherwise requires—

“pension” means a widow's (non-contributory) pension in the case of a widow and a widower's (non-contributory) pension in the case of a widower;

[2000 s17(2) & Sch E; 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

“weekly means” shall, subject to Rule 1(1) of Part 3 of Schedule 3 , be the yearly means divided by 52;

“widow” means a widow or a woman who would otherwise be a widow but for the fact that her marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State;

“widower” means a widower or a man who would otherwise be a widower but for the fact that his marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State.

[1993 s142(2); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter—

(a) means shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 3 of Schedule 3 , and

(b) a widow who has remarried shall not be regarded as the widow of her former husband and a widower who has remarried shall not be regarded as the widower of his former wife.

Entitlement to pension.

[1993 s143(1); 1997 s19]

163.—(1) Subject to this Act, a pension shall be payable to a widow or a widower.

[1993 s143(3); 1997 s19]

(2) A pension payable to a widow or widower shall, subject to this Chapter, continue to be payable unless the beneficiary remarries and in that case the pension shall cease as and from the beneficiary's remarriage.

[2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

(3) A person shall not be entitled to a pension under this section unless he or she is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for that pension.

Rate of pension.

[1993 s144(1); 1997 s19]

164.—(1) The rate (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of pension shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 .

[1993 s144(2); 2001 s37(1)]

(2) (a) A pension shall be payable—

(i) where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary do not exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate reduced by €2.50 for each amount (if any) of €2.50 by which those weekly means exceed €7.60, any fraction of €2.50 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as €2.50.

(b) Where the rate calculated under paragraph (a)(ii) at which, but for this paragraph, the pension would be payable is less than €2.50, the pension shall not be payable.

Increases.

[1993 s145; 2001 s15(1)(j)]

165.—The weekly rate of pension payable in accordance with section 164 shall be increased—

(a) by the amount set out in column (6) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is living alone,

(b) by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years, and

(c) by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

Disqualification.

[1993 s146; 1997 s19]

166.—A widow or widower, as the case may be, shall not, if and so long as she or he and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife, be entitled to and shall be disqualified for receiving payment of pension.

Avoidance of double pension.

[1993 s147; 1997 s19]

167.—Where a widow or widower would, but for this section, be entitled to both a widow's (contributory) pension or a widower's (contributory) pension, as the case may be, and a pension under this Chapter, the latter pension shall not be payable except insofar as is provided by regulations under section 247 .

Entitlement to orphan's (non-contributory) pension.

[1993 s148(1)]

168.—(1) Subject to this Act, an orphan's (non-contributory) pension shall be payable in respect of an orphan.

[1993 s148(2)]

(2) Not more than one pension shall be payable in respect of any one orphan.

[1993 s148(3)]

(3) A pension shall not be payable in respect of an orphan in respect of whom an increase under section 127 (1) or 174(1) is claimable.

[2003 (MP) s9(1)(b)]

(4) A pension shall not be payable in respect of any period during which a payment is made under Article 14 of the Child Care (Placement of Children in Foster Care) Regulations 1995 ( S.I. No. 260 of 1995 ) or Article 14 of the Child Care (Placement of Children with Relatives) Regulations 1995 ( S.I. No. 261 of 1995 ).

[2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

(5) A person shall not be entitled to a pension under this section unless he or she is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for that pension.

Rate of pension.

[1993 s149(1)]

169.—(1) The weekly rate (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of orphan's (non-contributory) pension shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 .

[1993 s149(2); 2001 s37(1)]

(2) (a) An orphan's (non-contributory) pension shall be payable where—

(i) the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary do not exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), those weekly means exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate reduced by €2.50 for each amount (if any) of €2.50 by which those weekly means exceed €7.60, any fraction of €2.50 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as €2.50.

(b) Where the rate calculated under paragraph (a)(ii) at which, but for this paragraph, the pension would be payable is less than €2.50, the pension shall not be payable.

Civil proceedings.

[1993 s150; 1997 s20(3)]

170.—(1) Where, in any civil proceedings in any court, it is shown to the satisfaction of the court that pursuant to a claim of or on behalf of a person a pension was allowed or awarded or that the amount of a pension payable to or in respect of a person was varied and that the pension as so allowed or awarded or as so varied was at any time in course of payment to the person to whom the pension was payable, that person shall, in each case, be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, to have been in receipt of a pension of the amount so allowed or awarded or as so varied, as the case may be, from the date on which the pension of the amount so allowed or awarded or as so varied, as the case may be, became payable until the date, if any, on which the amount of the pension is varied or further varied, as the case may be, or the date on which the pension ceases to be payable, whether by reason of the death of the person or otherwise, whichever should first occur.

[1997 s20(3)]

(2) In this section “pension” means a widow's (non-contributory) pension, a widower's (non-contributory) pension or an orphan's (non-contributory) pension, as the case may require.

Payment of pension.

[1993 S151(1)]

171.—(1) Subject to this section, orphan's (non-contributory) pension shall be paid to the guardian of the orphan in respect of whom that pension is payable.

[2005 (SW&P) s19(b)]

(2) In this Chapter “guardian” means the person in whose care the orphan normally resides.

[1993 s151(2); 2005 (SW&P) s19(b)]

(3) The Minister may, where he or she thinks fit, direct that a payment under this Chapter, payable to the guardian of an orphan, be paid to some other person for the benefit of the orphan or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, directly to an orphan who has attained the age of 18 years where that orphan is not normally residing with a guardian.

Chapter 7

One-Parent Family Payment

Interpretation.

[1996 s17(1)]

172.—(1) In this Chapter—

“qualified parent” means, subject to regulations under section 177

(a) a widow,

(b) a widower,

(c) a separated spouse,

(d) an unmarried person, or

(e) a person whose spouse has been committed in custody to a prison or place of detention for not less than 6 months,

who has at least one qualified child normally residing with that person;

[2000 s17(2) & Sch E; 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

“weekly means” means, subject to Rule 1(1) and (4) of Part 3 of Schedule 3 , the yearly means divided by 52.

[1996 s17(1); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(2) For the purposes of this Chapter—

(a) means shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 3 of Schedule 3 ,

(b) a widow who has remarried shall not be regarded as the widow of her former husband and a widower who has remarried shall not be regarded as the widower of his former wife, and

[1996 s20(1)]

(c) a reference to a qualified parent shall include a reference to a person who would otherwise be a qualified parent but for the fact that the person's marriage has been dissolved, being a dissolution that is recognised as valid in the State.

Entitlement to payment.

[1996 s17(1)]

173.—(1) Subject to this Act and to regulations made under this Act, a payment shall be payable to a qualified parent (“one-parent family payment”).

[1996 s17(1)]

(2) A one-parent family payment payable to a qualified parent shall, subject to this Act, continue to be payable unless the qualified parent marries or remarries, and in such a case the one-parent family payment shall cease as and from the date of marriage or remarriage.

[1996 s17(1); 1999 s31(a)]

(3) Subject to this Act, a one-parent family payment shall not be payable to a qualified parent whose gross weekly earnings (including wages and profit from any form of self-employment) exceed €293.

[1996 s17(1); 2001 s21(1)]

(4) Regulations may, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances and for the periods that may be prescribed, entitle to one-parent family payment a qualified parent who, having been in receipt of that payment for 52 consecutive weeks, ceases to be entitled to that payment by virtue of having earnings in excess of the amount specified in subsection (3).

[1996 s17(1)]

(5) Regulations under subsection (4) shall provide that one-parent family payment payable by virtue of those regulations shall be payable at a rate less than that specified in Schedule 4 and the rate specified by the regulations may vary with the extent to which the person's earnings exceed the amount specified in subsection (3).

[2004 (MP) s17(1) & Sch 1]

(6) A one-parent family payment shall not be payable to a qualified parent under this Chapter unless the qualified parent is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for that payment.

Rate of allowance and increases for qualified children.

[1996 s17(1)]

174.—(1) The rate (in this section referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of one-parent family payment shall be the weekly rate set out in column (2) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 increased by the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary.

[1996 s17(1); 2001 s37(1)]

(2) (a) A one-parent family payment shall be payable—

(i) where the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary do not exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), where the weekly means exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate reduced by €2.50 for each amount (if any) of €2.50 by which those weekly means exceed €7.60, any fraction of €2.50 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as €2.50.

(b) Where the rate calculated under paragraph (a)(ii) at which, but for this paragraph, the one-parent family payment would be payable is less than €2.50, the payment shall not be payable.

[1996 s17(1)]

(3) The weekly rate of one-parent family payment shall be increased by the amount set out in column (7) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained the age of 80 years.

[2001 s15(1)(k)]

(4) The weekly rate of one-parent family payment shall be increased by the amount set out in column (8) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

Disqualification.

[1996 s17(1)]

175.—A qualified parent shall not, if and so long as that parent and any person are cohabiting as husband and wife, be entitled to and shall be disqualified for receiving payment of one-parent family payment.

Continuation of payment.

[1996 s17(1)]

176.—In the case of a qualified parent to whom payment under section 172 (1)(e) applies, one-parent family payment shall continue to be paid for 4 weeks after the release of that parent's spouse from a prison or place of detention.

Regulations.

[1996 s17(1)]

177.—The Minister shall make regulations in relation to one-parent family payment and the regulations may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, specify the circumstances in which, for the purposes of this Chapter—

(a) a person is to be regarded as being a separated spouse,

(b) a person is to be regarded as being an unmarried person.

Transitional provisions — relevant payments.

[1996 s18]

178.—(1) In this section—

Act of 1993” means the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1993 ;

Act of 1996” means the Social Welfare Act 1996 ;

“relevant payment” means—

(a) deserted wife's benefit under Chapter 18 of Part II of the Act of 1993,

(b) deserted wife's allowance under Chapter 7 of Part III of the Act of 1993, or

(c) prisoner's wife's allowance under Chapter 8 of Part III of the Act of 1993,

as the case may require.

[1996 s18]

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of Part V (relating to one-parent family payment) of the Act of 1996, a woman who, immediately before the commencement of section 19 of that Act, is in receipt of a relevant payment, the said relevant payment shall be payable for the duration of the woman's continuous entitlement to the relevant payment in accordance with the provisions of the Act of 1993 and regulations made under the Act of 1993.

[1996 s18]

(3) Where, immediately before the commencement of section 19 (relating to repeals) of the Act of 1996, a woman whose claim for a relevant payment has not been finally determined, and who would, but for the commencement of the said section, have become entitled to the said relevant payment, the relevant payment shall be payable for the duration of the woman's continuous entitlement to the relevant payment in accordance with the provisions of the Act of 1993 and regulations made under the Act of 1993.

[1996 s18; 1999 s23]

(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of Part V of the Act of 1996, where a woman has ceased or ceases to be entitled to benefit under Chapter 18 of Part II of the Act of 1993 by virtue of no longer having at least one qualified child residing with her, she shall, on reaching the age of 40 years, where but for the said Part V she would be entitled to the said benefit, again become and continue to be entitled to the said benefit, for the duration of her continuous entitlement thereto, in accordance with the provisions of the Act of 1993 and regulations made under the Act of 1993.

[1999 s23]

(5) In the case of a person to whom subsection (2), (3) or (4) applies and who is disqualified for receipt of a relevant payment by virtue of section 249 (1)(a) or (14), where but for that disqualification she would be entitled to the said relevant payment, she shall again become entitled to the said relevant payment at the expiration of the disqualification in any case where the period of disqualification does not exceed 12 months.

[2000 s24]

(6) Notwithstanding the provisions of Part V of the Act of 1996, in the case of a woman who—

(a) was in receipt of deserted wife's allowance under Chapter 5 of Part III of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1981 and transferred from that scheme to the lone parent's allowance scheme under Chapter 5A (inserted by section 12 of the Social Welfare Act 1990 ) of Part III of the said Act following the commencement of that Chapter in 1990, and

(b) ceases or has ceased to be entitled to one-parent family payment under Chapter 9 of Part III of the Act of 1993 by virtue of no longer having at least one qualified child residing with her,

she shall, where but for Part V of the Act of 1996 she would be entitled to a relevant payment under subsection (1)(b), become and continue to be entitled to the said payment, for the duration of her continuous entitlement thereto, in accordance with the Act of 1993 and regulations made under the Act of 1993.

Chapter 8

Carer's Allowance

Interpretation.

[1993 s163(1)]

179.—(1) Subject to this Act, in this Chapter—

“carer” means—

(a) a person who resides with and provides full-time care and attention to a relevant person, or

[1999 s10(b)]

(b) a person who, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, does not reside with but who provides full-time care and attention to a relevant person.

“prescribed relative” means a prescribed relative within the meaning of the Social Welfare (Prescribed Relative Allowance) Regulations 1989 ( S.I. No. 361 of 1989 );

“prescribed relative allowance” means an increase for a prescribed relative under section 50 (11), 51 (2)(a), 81 (3), 86 (3), 91 (3), 95 (2), 103 (2), 162 (1)(a) or 179 (a) of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1981 or under regulations applying section 179(a) of that Act;

“relevant person” means a person (other than a person in receipt of an increase of disablement pension under section 78 in respect of constant attendance) who has such a disability that he or she requires full-time care and attention, and who—

(a) has attained the age of 16 years, or

[1999 s10(a); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(b) is under the age of 16 years and is a person in respect of whom an allowance is paid for domiciliary care of children under section 61 of the Health Act 1970 ;

[2000 s17 & Sch E; 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

“weekly means” means, subject to Rule 1(1) of Part 3 of Schedule 3, the yearly means divided by 52.

[1997 s23(1); 1999 s13 & Sch C]

(2) The Minister may make regulations specifying the circumstances and conditions under which a person is to be regarded as providing full-time care and attention to a relevant person.

[1993 s163(2); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(3) For the purposes of this Chapter, means shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 3 of Schedule 3 .

[1993 s163(3); 2000 s28(1)(b)]

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1), a relevant person shall be regarded as requiring full-time care and attention where—

(a) the person has such a disability that he or she requires from another person—

(i) continual supervision and frequent assistance throughout the day in connection with normal bodily functions, or

(ii) continual supervision in order to avoid danger to himself or herself,

(b) the person has such a disability that he or she is likely to require full-time care and attention for at least 12 consecutive months, and

(c) the nature and extent of the person's disability has been certified in the prescribed manner by a medical practitioner.

Entitlement to allowance.

[1993 s164; 2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

180.—(1) Subject to this Act, an allowance (in this Act referred to as “carer's allowance”) shall, in the circumstances and subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, be payable to a carer.

[2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

(2) A carer shall not be entitled to an allowance under this section unless he or she is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for the allowance.

Rate of allowance.

[1993 s165(1); 2001 s15(1)]

181.—(1) Subject to this Act, the rate (in this Chapter referred to as “the scheduled rate”) of carer's allowance shall be—

(a) in the case of a person who is a carer of more than one relevant person, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 8(a) in Part 1 of Schedule 4 , and

(b) in any other case, the weekly rate set out in column (2) at reference 8(b) in Part 1 of Schedule 4 ,

increased by—

(i) the appropriate amount set out in column (4) of that Part opposite that reference in respect of each qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary, and

(ii) the amount set out in column (8) of that Part opposite that reference where the beneficiary has attained pensionable age and is ordinarily resident on an island.

[1993 s165(2); 2001 s37(1)]

(2) (a) A carer's allowance shall be payable where—

(i) the weekly means of the claimant or beneficiary do not exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate, and

(ii) subject to paragraph (b), the weekly means exceed €7.60, at the scheduled rate reduced by €2.50 for each amount (if any) of €2.50 by which those weekly means exceed €7.60, any fraction of €2.50 in those weekly means being treated for this purpose as €2.50.

(b) Where the rate calculated under paragraph (a)(ii) at which, but for this paragraph, the carer's allowance would be payable is less than €2.50, the allowance shall not be payable.

[1993 s165(3)]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), where, immediately before 1 November 1990, a prescribed relative allowance was being paid to or in respect of a claimant for a carer's allowance, the carer's allowance shall be paid at a weekly rate corresponding to the rate of prescribed relative allowance specified in column (5) of Part 1 of Schedule 4 , unless the weekly rate of carer's allowance as calculated in accordance with subsection (2) payable to that claimant is greater than that specified rate, in which case the greater amount shall be paid.

[1993 s165(4)]

(4) Any increase in carer's allowance payable under subsection (1) in respect of a qualified child who normally resides with a beneficiary and with the spouse of a beneficiary shall be payable at one-half of the appropriate amount.

Payment of allowance.

[1993 s166; 2005 (SW&P) s14(b)]

182.—Notwithstanding this Chapter—

(a) only one carer's allowance shall be payable to a carer, and only one carer's allowance shall be payable in any week in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person, and

(b) carer's allowance shall not be payable in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to a relevant person in any case where a carer's benefit under Part 2 is being paid to any person in respect of the full-time care and attention being provided to the same relevant person.

Prescribed relative allowance.

[1993 s167(1); 1994 s32 & Sch F]

183.—(1) A prescribed relative allowance which, by virtue of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act 1981 , and regulations made under or applying that Act, is payable immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, subject to section 184 , continue to be paid at the rate set out in column (5) of Part 1 of Schedule 2 or column (5) of Part 1 of Schedule 4, as appropriate, for as long as—

(a) the beneficiary remains so incapacitated as to require full-time care and attention,

(b) a prescribed relative of the beneficiary is residing with the beneficiary for the purpose of providing that care and attention, and

(c) the conditions contained in the Social Welfare (Prescribed Relative Allowance) Regulations 1989 ( S.I. No. 361 of 1989 ) continue to be fulfilled.

[1993 s167(2)]

(2) The Social Welfare (Prescribed Relative Allowance) Regulations 1989 ( S.I. No. 361 of 1989 ) shall continue to have effect for the purposes of this section.

Entitlement to prescribed relative allowance.

[1993 s168(1); 1999 s13 & Sch C]

184.—(1) A prescribed relative allowance shall cease to be paid to a relevant person or prescribed relative, as the case may be, where the prescribed relative becomes entitled to and receives a carer's allowance.

[1993 s168(2)]

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a prescribed relative allowance shall not be paid where a claim for that allowance is made on or after 1 November 1990.

Medical examination.

[2000 s11(1)(c)]

185.—(1) A relevant person in respect of whose full-time care and attention a carer is entitled to or in receipt of carer's allowance shall attend for or submit to such medical or other examination as may be required in accordance with regulations.

[2000 s11(1)(c)]

(2) Regulations under subsection (1) may also provide for disqualifying a person for receiving carer's allowance where the relevant person in respect of whose full-time care and attention the allowance is payable fails without good cause to attend for or submit to such medical or other examination as may be required in accordance with those regulations.

Regulations.

[1993 s169(1)]

186.—(1) The Minister shall make regulations for the purpose of giving effect to this Chapter.

[1993 s169(2); 2005 (SW&P) s25 & Sch 3]

(2) Regulations under this section may, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1)

(a) provide for amounts paid in respect of prescribed relative allowance on or after 1 November 1990 to be treated as payment on account of carer's allowance,

(b) provide for—

(i) entitling to carer's allowance the class or classes of person that may be prescribed who would be entitled to that allowance but for the fact that the conditions as to means as calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 3 of Schedule 3 are not satisfied, or

(ii) entitling to carer's allowance at a rate higher than that calculated in accordance with section 181 (2) the class or classes of person that may be prescribed, and the rate of allowance so payable may vary in accordance with the claimant's means.

Chapter 9

Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Interpretation.

[1993 s170; 2003 (MP) s5(1)(b)]

187.—In this Chapter—

“Act of 1939” means the Public Assistance Act 1939 ;

“qualified adult” means—

(a) the spouse of the beneficiary who is being wholly or mainly maintained by him or her, or

(b) a person over the age of 16 years being wholly or mainly maintained by the beneficiary and having the care of one or more than one qualified child who normally resides with the beneficiary where the beneficiary is—

(i) a single person,

(ii) a widow,

(iii) a widower, or

(iv) a married person who is not living with and is neither wholly nor mainly maintaining, nor being wholly or mainly maintained by, the married person's spouse;

“home assistance” means home assistance within the meaning of the Act of 1939;

“public assistance authority” means a former public assistance authority referred to in section 8 of the Act of 1939 as extended by section 7 of the Health Authorities Act 1960 and section 84 of the Health Act 1970 ;

“supplementary welfare allowance” means an allowance in cash or in kind granted under this Chapter.

Definition of qualified child.

[2003 (MP) s5(1)(c); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

188.—(1) In this Chapter “qualified child” means, in relation to a beneficiary, any child, not being a qualified adult, who is dependent on that beneficiary for support and—

(a) in the case of a beneficiary (other than a beneficiary referred to in paragraph (b)), is under the age of 18 years or is of or over the age of 18 years and is regarded as attending a course of study referred to in section 148 (3)(a), or

(b) in the case of a beneficiary who has been in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance for not less than 26 weeks or, subject to the conditions and in the circumstances that may be prescribed, has been entitled to or has been in receipt of supplementary welfare allowance and a relevant payment for not less than 156 days—

(i) is under the age of 18 years, or

(ii) is of or over the age of 18 years and under the age of 22 years and is receiving full-time education, the circumstances of which shall be specified in regulations, or

(iii) is of or over the age of 18 years and is regarded as attending a course of study referred to in section 148 (3)(a).

[2003 (MP) s5(1)(c)]

(2) (a) Subject to paragraph (b) and notwithstanding subsection (1)(a), a person who attains the age of 18 years while attending a full-time day course of study, instruction or training at an institution of education, shall continue to be regarded as a qualified child for the purposes of subsection (1)(a) until the earlier of the next following 30 June or until he or she completes the full-time day course.

(b) For the purposes of paragraph (a), the Minister may prescribe the conditions subject to which a person shall be regarded as attending a full-time day course of study, instruction or training at an institution of education.

(c) In this subsection “institution of education” has the meaning given to it by section 148 (2).

Entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance.

[1993 s171; 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

189.—Subject to this Act, every person in the State whose means are insufficient to meet his or her needs and the needs of any qualified adult or qualified child of the person shall be entitled to supplementary welfare allowance.

Exclusion of persons receiving full-time education.

[1993 s172(1); 1994 s24]

190.—(1) A person shall not be entitled to receive supplementary welfare allowance while attending a course of study within the meaning of section 148 , other than in the circumstances and subject to the conditions that may be prescribed.

[1993 s172(2); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

(2) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to the entitlement of any person to receive supplementary welfare allowance in respect of a person referred to in that subsection who is a qualified adult or qualified child.

[1993 s172(3)]

(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), supplementary welfare allowance may, in a case in which there are exceptional circumstances, be granted to a person who would be entitled to receive supplementary welfare allowance but for that subsection.

Exclusion of persons in full-time employment.

[1993 s173(1); 1994 s25]

191.—(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), a person shall not, other than in the circumstances and subject to the conditions that may be prescribed, be entitled to supplementary welfare allowance in relation to any period during which he or she is engaged in remunerative full-time work.

[1993 s173(2)]

(2) The Minister may by regulations provide for the postponement of the operation of subsection (1) in respect of any class of persons becoming engaged in remunerative full-time work until such period after the beginning of the engagement as may be specified in the regulations.

[1993 s173(3)]

(3) Subsection (1) shall not apply in the case of any person engaged in remunerative full-time work where the earning power of the person is, by reason of any physical or mental disability, substantially reduced in comparison with the earning power of other persons engaged in similar work.

Exclusion of persons not habitually resident in the State.

[2004 (MP) s17 & Sch 1]

192.—A person shall not be entitled to an allowance (other than an allowance under sections 201 and 202) under this Chapter unless he or she is habitually resident in the State at the date of the making of the application for the allowance.

Persons affected by trade disputes.

[1993 s174(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]

193.—(1) In any case where, by reason of a stoppage of work due to a trade dispute at his or her place of employment, a person is without employment for any period during which the stoppage continues, and the person has not, during that stoppage, become bona fide employed elsewhere in the occupation which he or she usually follows, or has not become regularly engaged in some other occupation, the person's needs for that period shall be disregarded for the purpose of ascertaining his or her entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance except in so far as those needs include the need to provide for a qualified adult or any qualified children.

[1993 s174(2)]

(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply to a person who is not participating in or directly interested in the trade dispute which caused the stoppage of work.

[1993 s174(3)]

(3) In this section “place of employment”, in relation to any person, means the factory, workshop, farm or other premises or place at which he or she was employed, but, where separate branches of work which are commonly carried on as separate businesses in separate premises or at separate places are in any case carried on in separate departments on the same premises or at the same place, each of those departments, for the purposes of this section, is deemed to be a separate factory or workshop or farm or separate premises or a separate place, as the case may be.

Administration.

[1993 s175(1); 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

194.—(1) Subject to the general direction and control of the Minister, the Executive, in respect of its functional areas, shall be responsible for the administration of functions performable under this Chapter and the functions relating to supplementary welfare allowance other than—

(a) functions relating to claims for supplementary welfare allowance decided by a deciding officer, and

(b) making the categories of payment that may be prescribed in the circumstances and conditions that may be prescribed.

[1996 s36; 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

(2) Any categories of payment prescribed under subsection (1) shall be made by the Minister and regulations made under that subsection may apply to the whole State or to a functional area of the Executive or to a part of a functional area of the Executive and may relate to supplementary welfare allowance generally or to supplementary welfare allowance payable by virtue of specific provisions in this Chapter.

[1993 s175(2); 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

(3) Subject to subsection (1), the Executive shall grant to every person in its functional areas who is eligible therefor the supplementary welfare allowance determined, in accordance with this Chapter, to be due to that person.

Conditions for grant of supplementary welfare allowance.

[1993 s176; 2005 (SW&P) s23 & Sch 1]

195.—The Executive or deciding officer may, subject to regulations made by the Minister, determine or decide that a person shall not be entitled to supplementary welfare allowance unless the person—

(a) is registered for employment in the manner that the Minister may prescribe,

(b) satisfies the conditions set out in section 141 (1)(b) and (4), and

(c) makes application for any statutory or other benefits or assistance to which the person may be entitled including any benefits or assistance from countries other than the State.

Calculation of supplementary welfare allowance.

[1993 s177(1); 2005 (SW&P) s21(a), 25, 26 & Sch 3, 4]

196.—(1) Subject to section 341 (7) the amount of supplementary welfare allowance to which a person is entitled shall be the amount by which the person's means fall short of his or her needs, and for the purpose of ascertaining that amount—

(a) the weekly needs of a person shall, subject to any payment under section 198 , be taken to be—

(i) in the case of a person who has no means, the amount calculated in accordance with section 197 , or

(ii) in the case of a person who has means, the amount calculated in accordance with section 197 which would be appropriate in the person's case if he or she had no means, reduced by €1 per week for every €1 of his or her weekly means,

and

(b) subject to paragraph (c), the weekly means of any person for the purpose of ascertaining his or her entitlement to supplementary welfare allowance shall be calculated in accordance with the Rules contained in Part 4 of Schedule 3 .

(c) The amount calculated in accordance with paragraph (b) shall be rounded up to the nearest €1 where it is a multiple of 50 cent but not also a multiple of €1 and shall be rounded to the nearest €1 where it is not a multiple of 50 cent or €1.

[1993 s177(2)]

(2) In calculating the amount of supplementary welfare allowance payable to any person, the following apply:

(a) where—

(i) a husband and wife, or

(ii) a man and woman who are not married to each other but are cohabiting as husband and wife,

are members of the same household, their needs and means shall be aggregated and shall be regarded as the needs and means of the claimant;

(b) in the case of a person with a qualified child his or her needs shall be taken to include the needs of that qualified child;

(c) where the needs of any person are taken into account in determining the entitlement of any other person to supplementary welfare allowance, only that other person shall be entitled to an allowance.

Weekly amounts of supplementary welfare allowance for persons of no means.

[1993 s178(1); 2005 (SW&P) s26 & Sch 4]