Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Treatment Benefit Scheme Eligibility
1158. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the way in which a person (details supplied) qualified for the optical benefit and hearing aids under the treatment benefit scheme between the ages of 25 and 65 years, but at 66 years of age, with more than 260 PRSI contributions, cannot apply for the benefits, which are now required; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3170/20]
In order to qualify for treatment benefit, including optical, dental and hearing aid benefit, a PRSI contributor must satisfy a number of conditions. These include, for those aged between 25 and 65 years, having a total of 260 paid contributions at class A/E/H/P or S since entering insurable employment and having at least 39 reckonable contributions paid or credited in the relevant tax year their claim is based on, which is currently 2018. Alternatively they can qualify if they have 26 paid contributions in the relevant tax year and the tax year immediately before.
Anyone who qualifies for treatment benefit at any age between 60 and 66 years, remain qualified for life.
The person concerned does not meet this criteria. Although he has the required 260 paid contributions, he does not have 39 reckonable contributions paid or credited (or the alternative 26/26) in any of the years from 2011 to 2018, which are the relevant tax years on which his entitlement would be based. As a result, he does not satisfy the conditions for treatment benefit under the Department's PRSI scheme.
I hope this clarifies matters for the Deputy.