For the first time ever the self-employed including publicans are now entitled to long-term sick pay.
From the 1st of December nearly 326,000 self-employed people are entitled to long-term sick pay. The invalidity pension, paid at a weekly rate of €198.50, with possible increases for an adult dependent and child dependents, is a payment for people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability, and is not means tested. The payment is taxable, however.
Self-employed workers who are currently out of work due to illness will now be able to claim the pension, provided that they have the relevant PRSI contributions on their social insurance record.The move is expected to benefit everyone from small-business owners, including publicans, farmers, tradespeople, freelances, contractors and professionals, and is expected to cost in the region of €23 million in 2018.
Minister for Social Protection, Regina Doherty said these measures are part of the Government’s policy of making work pay and encouraging self-employment and entrepreneurship;
“This measure will give the self-employed access to the safety net of State income supports if they have a serious illness or injury that prevents them from working. It is based solely on their PRSI contributions, it is not means assessed and whatever savings or assets they have will not affect their payment. Similarly, if their partner is working, that income will not affect the payment of the invalidity pension.”
To qualify for the payment, applicants will need 260 PRSI paid contributions since they started paying social insurance and 48 PRSI paid or credited contributions in the last complete contribution year or the second-last contribution year before the date of their claim.
Successful applicants for the pension will also receive a free travel pass, which is not means tested, and may also qualify for extra means-tested social welfare benefits such as the household benefits package.
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