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Are you aware of your Irish PRSI benefit entitlements?

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Many Irish taxpayers are unaware that under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, they are entitled to a number of PRSI benefits.

Dental, optical and hearing services are included in this scheme that is available to Irish people who have made a specific number of PRSI contributions.

This scheme is available to eligible citizens who are PAYE workers, self-employed or retired.​

In this blog we will take a look at some of the entitlements you may be eligible to claim.

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Who can claim PRSI benefits?

This scheme is available to many Irish employees, as well as self-employed and retired people.

You’ll have to have made a certain number of PRSI contributions, depending on your age.

The amount of contributions made is broken down into the following brackets: 

  • Under 21 year-olds

  • 21-24 year-olds

  • 25-65 year-olds

  • 66 years and over

The average Irish tax refund is €1,880


PRSI dental benefits

PRSI is a major source of social welfare funding in Ireland.

Most employees pay PRSI every time they receive a paycheck. The amount you pay depends on how much you are paid by your employer.

If you are a taxpayer that pays PRSI, then you could be entitled to an annual exam or scale and polish for only €15 under any of the Dental Care Ireland practices.

You can avail of these if you have the required number of PRSI contributions.

To qualify, you will need to have paid PRSI contributions under class A, E, P, H or S social insurance. 

The amount of social insurance you need will depend on what age you are.

Aged under 21

If you are under 21 years old, you can qualify if you have paid at least 39 PRSI contributions at any time.

Aged 21-24

Between ages 21 and 24, you may qualify if you have paid at least 39 contributions and

no less than 39 contributions in the relevant year (for 2021, 2019 is the relevant year) OR

No less than 26 contributions in both the second and the third last contribution years. So, if you are making a claim in 2021, the second last contribution year will be 2019 and the third last contribution year is 2018.

Aged 25-65

For 25 to 65 year olds, you must have at least 260 paid contributions and at least 39 paid contributions in the governing contribution year (for 2021, 2019 is the relevant year) OR 

26 PRSI contributions in the second and third last contribution years. This means if you are claiming in 2021, the second last contribution year will be 2019 and the third last contribution year is 2018.

Aged 66 and over

There are slightly different rules for those who are aged 66 and over. To qualify, you must have:

260 PRSI contributions paid at any time and 39 paid contributions in the relevant tax year or the year immediately before it. 

The tax year here is the second last completed tax year before reaching your 66th birthday. (For example, if you turned 66 in 2021, the relevant tax year is 2019.) Or

260 contributions from any time and a combination of 26 contributions from both the relevant tax year and the year preceding it. The relevant tax year in this case is the second last completed tax year before reaching 66 years of age. 

How can I check whether I am eligible for PRSI benefits?

Checking your eligibility is easy. All you have to do is contact your nearest Dental Care Ireland practice. You will need to provide your:

  • Personal Public Service (PPS) Number

  • Date of birth

  • Signature

What dental entitlements can I claim?

Under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, you may be able to qualify for the following:

  • Full oral examination once in a calendar year

  • A scale & polish, which is capped at a cost of €15

  • OR, a part-subsidised “Protracted Periodontal Treatment”. Essentially, this is a deep cleaning that is usually done under local anaesthetic, as a regular scale & polish would not be enough to get optimum gum health.

You should also know that you cannot claim for more than one of these in a calendar year.

The scheme also only runs through 1 January - 31 December each year, so you cannot claim the benefit for a previous year.

PRSI optical benefits

Under the Treatment Benefit Scheme, you are entitled to a free eyesight test, once every second calendar year. It’s important to note that sight tests for Visual Display Units, driving licences, and other common necessary eye tests are not covered under the scheme.

You can get a payment from the state once every second calendar year that will go towards either one pair of reading and distance spectacles, one pair of bifocal or varifocals or one pair of contact lenses. 

The cost will depend on the frames you choose. Basic frames are free. If you choose more expensive frames, the Department will pay €42 towards the overall cost of the spectacles and you will need to pay the balance.

This examination can be carried out by any opticians/optometrists/ophthalmologists who have a contract with the Department of Social Protection.

PRSI hearing benefits

Suppliers who have a contract with the Department of Social Protection have the ability to provide workers with hearing aids under the Treatment Benefit Scheme. 

The state pays the full cost of a hearing aid up to a maximum of €500 (or €1,000 if you need one for both ears) and it is available once every fourth calendar year. 

The state will also pay the full cost of any necessary repairs to hearing aids (up to a maximum of €100), once every fourth calendar year.

What about getting my tax back for medical and dental costs?

Many Irish workers miss out on claiming tax relief on their medical and dental expenses.

In fact, just four in ten Irish employees claim all of the dental and medical expenses they are due!

In short, you can claim back eligible medical bills as long as they are carried out by a registered medical practitioner.

Eligible expenses can be claimed at 20% - the standard rate of tax

1. Doctor Fees

This is the most well-known tax relief that Irish taxpayers claim back on.

This is available at 20%, so if you pay €200 when you pay a visit to your GP, you will be due back €40!

So, if you visit your GP numerous times each year, you can see how you may be due a lot of tax back!

2. Non-routine dental bills

You can only claim tax relief for dental care that is described as non-routine. 

This ranges from crowns, inlays, tip replacing, root canal treatment, braces, bridgework and other non-routine dental care.

Note: Filings and scale & polish do not qualify for this relief.

3. Physiotherapy

Physio is great, it can help us through extremely painful and uncomfortable muscle injuries.

The even better news is that if you have spent money on physio recently, you can claim 20% of the bills paid back.

However, you can only avail of this relief if you were prescribed or referred to a physio by a practitioner.

Find out more about claiming tax relief on medical expenses here.

Paid medical bills?

Claim your tax back!

Who can help me with my tax?

Unsure of your tax entitlements or how to claim your tax back?

Leave all the boring tax paperwork to someone else!

That’s why you should contact Taxback.com.

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You can even go back four years to claim your tax rebate in Ireland!

The average amount a Taxback.com customer in Ireland receives is €1,880 – so it's 100% worth checking out what tax you're due back!

About The Author

Rory Lynskey - Digital Content Executive @ Taxback.com

Rory is the Digital Content Executive at Taxback.com. Rory graduated from Technological University Dublin with a degree in Journalism in 2019, and has had his work published both online and in print at a national and regional level.

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