Illness Benefit (formerly known as Disability Benefit) and Occupational Injury Benefit, paid by the Department of Social Protection (DSP) are taxable sources of income.
Child dependant additions (i.e. additional payments made to claimants in respect of qualifying children) are exempt for tax purposes. Prior to 1 January 2012, the first six weeks (36 days) of Illness Benefit and Occupational Injury Benefit payments in the tax year were also exempt for tax purposes.
This leaflet explains the tax treatment which applies to persons in receipt of the above benefits.
Note: References to Illness Benefit also include Occupational Injury Benefit.
How is Illness Benefit taxed?
For taxation purposes Illness Benefit recipients can be divided into two groups and the taxation treatment of each group is outlined below:
1. Individuals in employment and in receipt of Illness Benefit.
When you are absent from work due to illness and receive Illness Benefit from the DSP, tax is deducted through the PAYE system.
The DSP notifies your employer of the amount of the taxable Illness Benefit, which you are entitled to receive while out sick, and also the date the payment commenced.
Your employer will operate one of the following procedures to deduct the tax due on your Illness Benefit, depending on whether or not you are paid by your employer while out sick:
- If your employer pays you and you retain your Illness Benefit, your employer will include the taxable portion of illness Benefit with your pay and tax the combined amount.
- If your employer pays you and recovers the amount of Illness Benefit from you, the position is the same as outlined above.
- If your employer does not pay you and you retain your Illness Benefit, your employer will still be notified of the amount of taxable Illness Benefit you receive and will include this amount in their on-going payroll calculations.
The amount of taxable Illness Benefit will be shown on your P45 if you cease employment during the year, or on your P60 if you are still in employment on 31 December.
2. Individuals not in employment and in receipt of Illness Benefit.
If you fall within this category the taxable portion of Illness Benefit will be taken into account by Revenue as income when dealing with any tax repayment
claim you may make.
If you do not make a tax repayment claim while unemployed the taxable element of Illness Benefit will be taken into account by reducing your tax credits and rate band on your revised Tax Credit Certificate when you resume work.
Am I entitled to the PAYE Tax Credit?
Yes. Any recipient of Illness Benefit is entitled to the PAYE tax credit unless it has been allowed already against other PAYE income.
Do I pay PRSI or Universal Social Charge (USC) on my Illness Benefit?
No. Illness Benefit is exempt from PRSI and USC.
What is the position if I am not taxed under the PAYE system and have income in addition to my Illness Benefit?
If you, your spouse or civil partner are not taxed through the PAYE system and you have other income in addition to your Illness Benefit you need to consider whether you must make a Self-Assessment return.
This leaflet is also available from Revenue's Forms & Leaflets service at LoCall 1890 306 706 (+353 1 702 3050 outside the ROI).
Note: You will not have to pay any income tax if your own and your spouse's or civil partner's total income from all sources does not exceed the relevant exemption limit that applies to you. Details of exemption limits for the current year are given in Leaflet IT1-Tax Credits, Reliefs & Rates.
Illness Benefits and Occupational Injury Benefits outlined above are taxable sources of income and must be declared, in addition to other sources of income of yourself and your spouse or civil partner, on any form from Revenue including the annual return, which requires details of income from all sources to be stated.
4 year time limit - A claim for tax relief must be made within 4 years after the end of the tax year to which the claim relates.
Accessibility - if you are a person with a disability and require this leaflet in an alternative format the Revenue Access Officer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a PAYE customer your tax affairs are dealt with in the region where you live. Should you require further information phone your Revenue LoCall Service (ROI only) whose number is listed below.
Addresses and LoCall numbers of the Regional Offices