Coronavirus and Illness Benefit
COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways.
The Government has announced that the rules for Illness Benefit and Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be changed to help prevent the transmission of coronavirus. The changes mean that if you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or are suspected of having COVID-19 and are medically required to self-isolate, you can get income support.
Legislation is required to implement these changes and emergency legislation is being prepared.
The proposed changes are:
You will not have to wait 6 days before you can apply for Illness Benefit. This means Illness Benefit can cover the first week of a COVID-19 diagnosis (or medically-required self-isolation) and any subsequent weeks.
The personal rate of Illness Benefit will increase from €203 to €305 per week for up to 2 weeks if you are medically required to self-isolate, or for the duration of your medically-certified absence from work with a COVID-19 diagnosis.
The normal social insurance requirements for Illness Benefit will be waived or the means test for Supplementary Welfare Allowance will be removed, if you are medically required to self-isolate or diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Government has also stated that self-employed people will be able to get either Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
If you have coronavirus symptoms or you have been medically required to self-isolate, you should not visit an Intreo Centre or local Social Welfare Branch Office. You can get information about applying for social welfare payments through MyWelfare and you can call 1890 800 024 or (01) 248 1398.
If you are already getting a social welfare payment or you are on an employment programme such as Community Employment (CE) and Tús or a funded training and education programme, you do not need to apply for Illness Benefit. Your existing payment will continue to be paid if you are affected by COVID-19.
You can find information for employees and employers and income supports on gov.ie.