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what is disability allowance

Disability Allowance is a weekly allowance paid to people with a disability. You can get it from 16 years of age.
If you are in education when you turn 16, you can continue to attend school while receiving this allowance


Children with disabilities
There are separate supports available for those caring for children with disabilities.
If you care for a child with a severe disability, you may qualify for Domiciliary Care Allowance.
You may also qualify for Carer's Benefit or Carer's Allowance.

The Shine Family Support team can offer help, advise and support should you wish to make an application you can contact the Family Support Team on 021 4377052 or email

how to qualify

To qualify for Disability Allowance, you must:
•    have an injury, disease or physical or mental disability that has continued, or may be expected to continue, for at least one year
•    be substantially restricted from doing work that would otherwise be suitable for a person of your age, experience and qualifications
•    be aged between 16 and 66. When you reach 66 years of age you no longer qualify for Disability Allowance, but you are assessed for a State Pension
•    satisfy a means test (a test of your income and any income from your spouse or partner, and the results will be used to work out your rate of pay) and habitual residence conditions

Payments for couples

If you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting and you both qualify for Disability Allowance, you will each get the weekly personal rate.

If either you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant qualifies for Disability Allowance and the other person is getting another social welfare payment, you will each get the weekly personal rate of your respective payment.

Means testing if you have a job

A person in receipt of Disability Allowance can take up employment or self-employment and is means tested as follows:

  • the first €165 of weekly income from that employment (after deduction of PRSI, pension contributions and union dues) is disregarded for the purpose of the means test

  • 50% of their weekly earnings between €165 and €375 is then disregarded for the purpose of the means test

  • any further earnings, over €375 per week, are fully assessed for the purpose of the means test

  • your entitlement to Disability Allowance will be reduced in line with the appropriate reduced rates of payment for Disability Allowance based on earnings and any other income

tax free payment

Disability Allowance payments, including increases for dependent adults or children and other Allowances paid with the payment, are fully exempt from:

  • income tax

  • PRSI

  • USC

If you are getting Disability Allowance and go into hospital or residential care, you will continue to get your payment as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.

If you qualify for Disability Allowance, you may also get extra social welfare benefits with your payment and other supplementary welfare payments.

Rates of payment

Weekly rate

Your personal rate €232 

Extra for dependent adult €154 

Extra for dependent child (under 12) €46 (or €23in some cases) 

Extra for dependent child (over 12) €54 (or €27 in some cases) 

Adult dependents

You may receive the extra payment for an adult dependent, for example a spouse or partner, if their income is below a certain level. This is called an increase for a qualified adult.

Dependent children

To get an extra amount for a dependent child, known as an increase for a qualified child, your child must:

  1. live with you, in the State

  2. be the correct age for the payment you are claiming (the age varies from scheme to scheme)

how you are paid

Payments can be made weekly either directly to a personal account or collected at a Post Office.


To apply, fill in the Disability Allowance application form at the bottom of this page. You can also get this form at your local:
•    Intreo Centre or Social Welfare Branch Office
•    Citizens Information Centre
Please send your completed application form and supporting documents to:

Disability Allowance Section
Department of Social Protection, Social Welfare Services Office, Government Buildings, Ballinalee Road, Co. Longford, N39 E4E0.
Phone number: +353 43 3340000   0818 927770


Brightening the future for autistic children & their families

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