Older People

These last few years have been challenging, and we’re turning a corner one step at a time. The Elderly are an important cornerstone of this country, and they must not be forgotten. They have helped shape Ireland, and now they need our support in return.

Medical Cards

A Medical Card entitles you to all health services free. A GP visit Card covers the cost of visits to the doctor for your family. The means test for these cards is based on net income i.e. after the deduction of tax and PRSI; of reasonable expenses on rent or mortgage; on travel to work; on childcare and of regular weekly out of pocket medical expenses. Savings are valued in the same way as for non-contributory OAP. The cards will be granted if your remaining income after these deductions does not exceed the following guidelines for 2014:


Under 66


Under 66


Single living alone





Single living

with family





Married couple single parent

  €   266.50





Persons Aged 70+

Persons aged 70+ qualify for free GP services if their gross income is between €500 and €700 (for a single person) or between €900 and €1,400 (for a married or cohabiting couple) and qualify for a Medical Card if their gross weekly income is less than €500 per week (single), or €900 (couple).

  • Once either spouse qualifies at 70, both get cover.
  • A surviving partner aged over 70 will be allowed to keep their Medical Card for three years.
  • In the means test, the first €36,000 (single), €72,000 (couple) of assets are disregarded. On the balance only the income actually earned will be counted.
  • Negotiations are underway to extend free GP cards to all those over 70 who are not already covered.
  • A €2.50 charge per prescription item applies to Medical Card holders (max €25 per month per family). It does not apply to those on the Long-term Illness Scheme.

Drug Refund

Any family can get a refund on the cost of prescribed drugs used in any month in excess of €144 provided the drug is on the government list.

For more information, check out http://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/1/schemes/mc/about/

Nursing Home Support

Under the “Fair Deal” patients seeking a place in either a Private or a Public Nursing Home now have the same assessment of need and the same means-test for payment. The patient will be liable to pay towards the cost of care

  • 80% of assessable income (i.e. after deduction of tax, PRSI, mortgage/rent and out-of-pocket medical expenses)
  • plus 7.5% of the value of any assets, in excess of a disregard of €36,000.

A spouse is assessed on half of the couple’s joint income and assets. The HSE can assess assets transferred in the past 5 years. The balance of the cost will be met by the State.

If the assets are in property, the contribution can be deferred until settlement of the person’s estate, but the money owing will be increased by the Consumer Price Index each year. In the case of the family home only, the contribution will be capped at 22.5% (i.e. after three years of care). The deferred charge against the home will not be collected during the lifetime of a surviving spouse or a disabled child. This deferral must be separately requested by the patient, or by a care representative approved by the Circuit Court for a patient who is not capable of making the decision themselves.

For more information, visit http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/health_services_for_older_people/nursing_homes_support_scheme_1.html


There are two age related pensions payable by the Department of Social Protection.

Contributory Pensions

The Contributory Pension is paid to people from the age of 66 who have enough social insurance contributions (PRSI). It is not means tested and you are allowed to have income from any other source while you receive this pension, but both the income and the pension are taxable.

There is a number of pro-rata Contributory Pensions that are paid at a lower rate. These were introduced to deal with issues that arose as a result of people paying different types of social insurance contributions or not paying contributions for various reasons. Under the National Pensions Framework a number of other changes are planned to the qualifying conditions for the Contributory Pension from 2020.

Contributory Pension Rates











(UNDER 66),

(OVER 66),

48 or over
























*increases for qualified adults are means tested payments


Non- Contributory Pension

The Non Contributory Pension may be paid from age 66 to people in Ireland who do not qualify for a contributory pension. You must satisfy both a habitual residence test and a means test to qualify.

Non- Contributory Pension Rates

Personal rate, aged 66, under 80        €219.00
Personal rate, aged 80+ €229.00
Increase for qualified adult     €144.70
Increase for qualified child      €29.80


For more information, visit http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/State-Pension-Contributory.aspx

Carer’s Allowance

Carer’s Allowance is a payment to people on low incomes who are looking after a person who needs support because of age, physical/learning disability or illness. Application forms are available from your local Social Protection Office or by calling 1-2145540

Carer’s Allowance aged under 66 €204.00 €306.00
Carer’s Allowance aged 66 or over €239.00 €358.50

Other Social Welfare Payments

Apply to the Department of Social Protection for these payments

Living Alone Allowance

The Living Alone Allowance is a supplementary payment for people in Ireland on Irish social welfare pensions who are living alone. It is also available to people under the age of 66 who get certain other payments from the Department of Social Protection. The current rate is €9.00 per week.

For more information, visit: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/extra_social_welfare_benefits/living_alone_allowance.html

Aged 80 Increase

If you are getting an Irish social welfare pension, you automatically get an increase in your pension when you reach 80 years of age. The current rate is €10.00 per week.

For more information, visit: http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/older_and_retired_people/income_supports_for_older_people.html

Household Benefits Package

The Household Benefits Package includes the Electricity or Natural Gas Allowance and Free TV Licence. You may qualify for the Household Benefits Package if you are aged 70 or over.

If you are aged between 66 and 70 and live alone you may qualify if you pass a means test.

Application forms for the Household Benefits Package are available from the Post Office or calling 1890 500 000.

Household Benefit Package Rates in 2015

Electricity Allowance €35 monthly
Cash Electricity Allowance €35 monthly
Natural Gas Allowance €35 monthly
Cash Gas Allowance €35 monthly
Television Licence Once you qualify for the Houshold Benefits Package, you become eligible for a free Television Licence from the next renewal date of your television licence.

If you are widowed and aged 60 or over, you can retain the free schemes and free travel if your late spouse had them, and you satisfy the other conditions.

For more information, visit:


Free Travel

If you are over the age of 66 or getting a carers’ or certain other social welfare payments, you may qualify for a Free Travel Pass. This entitles you to free travel at any time on services operated by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann, and the Luas. People who are entitled to free travel are also entitled to have their spouse/partner travel free with them. A Free Travel Companion Pass may be available, which allows a person to travel with the holder (if they are unable to travel alone).The Free Travel Scheme can also be used in Northern Ireland for people over 66 years of age. To use this service you must have a Senior SmartPass Card. To obtain a Senior SmartPass card you must fill in an application form (FTNI1) which is only available from your local Social Protection office.


Housing Aid for Older People Scheme

This scheme is available to assist older people (over 66 years of age) living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out such as re-wiring or re-roofing works. The availability and level of the grant is determined by a means test and the applicant must be compliant with the Local Property Tax. The maximum grant available is €8,000. A successful applicant may receive up to 95% of the approved cost of proposed works. To apply for this grant, contact the Home Grants Section in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council; Tel:  01 2054700

For more information regarding applying for aid, visit http://www.dlrcoco.ie/aboutus/councildepartments/housingandcommunity/findit/privatehousinggrantssection/

Warmer Homes

A Home Insulation Scheme for homeowners is available to pensioners and incapacitated people who are on Fuel Allowance through Energy Action (01 454 5464) and Warmer Homes Scheme (1800 250 204) who will process your application over the phone. Energy Action will insulate attics, draught-proof doors and windows, fit a lagging jacket, a smoke alarm and two energy saving light bulbs, fit a mortise lock and a spy hole.

For more information, visit:


Age Action Ireland

(Care & Repair Programme – Dublin) has a team of volunteers available to do odd jobs for pensioners. They also have a list of honest and trustworthy tradesmen. For more information 1890 369 369.

Community Care Services and Home Care Supports

The HSE is responsible for the provision of community care services. These services are designed to enable people to remain living in their communities, especially when they have difficulties doing so because of illness, disability or age. Such services include – Home Help, OT, Meals on Wheels, Chiropody Services, and Day Centres. To apply for Community Care Services you should contact your Local Health Centre.

Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are employed by the HSE to provide a range of community based health care services. They provide basic nursing care as well as advice and assistance to patients. They also act as an important point of access for other community care services. Public health nurses liaise with GPs, practice nurses, hospitals, hospices and other health service providers to ensure that the needs of the patient are met by the overall health service.

Contact your Public Health Nurse at your Local Health Centre (see below) or call (01) 284 3579.

For more information, visit:


Other Schemes and Services

Disabled Person’s Parking Card

The Disabled Person’s Parking Card is for people with severe mobility difficulties, whether they are drivers or passengers. It costs €35 and is administered by the Disabled Drivers

Association (094 936 4054) and the Irish Wheelchair Association (045 893 094).

Health Centres in Dun Laoghaire

Blackrock Health Centre, George’s Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Tel: (01) 288 2980/8423/5406

Cabinteely Health Centre, Clonkeen Road, Cabinteely, Co. Dublin. Tel: (01) 289 6195/6197

Dalkey Health Centre, Kilbegnet Close, Dalkey, Co. Dublin. Tel: (01) 285 9291/9233

Dún Laoghaire Health Centre, Centenary House, York Road, Dún Laoghaire. Tel: (01) 280 8471

Our Lady’s Clinic Patrick Street (Dental/Social Work), Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin Tel: (01) 280 8403

Loughlinstown Health Centre, Loughlinstown Drive, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin Tel: (01) 282 2122/2463

Sallynoggin Health Centre, Upper Glenageary Road, Sallynoggin, Co. Dublin Tel: (01) 280 0786/6754

Shankill Health Centre, Lower Road, Shankill, Co. Dublin. Tel: (01) 282 0344

Stillorgan Health Centre, St. Brigid’s, Church Road, Stillorgan, Co. Dublin Tel: (01) 217 2918

Active Retirement And Social Groups

As people spend more of their active life in retirement, many organisations have been set up to support retired people in their pursuit of hobbies, leisure activities and education. There are a wide range of older retired people’s organisations and social groups in our area. These include a variety of classes including dance, bridge, art classes and many more. To find your local group, you can check your local parish or community centre, local library or you can contact Citizens Information on 0761 07 4000 . Feel free to contact my office also for further information on 01 210 9161

These are just a few examples of the many things we are doing to give proper benefits to our elderly citizens. Tough measures and sacrifices from each and every family are able to make these types of benefits possible and accessible to our Senior Citizens.

I have created a guide to help you know your entitlements and that your receive them. Please follow the link: Mary Mitchell O’Connor Know Where You Stand 2015


** Disclaimer: Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the content of this information guide is accurate at time of going to print. No liability is accepted for any errors or omissions or outdated information


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone