Benefits and Schemes

The HSE provides benefits and services to thousands of families and individuals in Ireland, and all of the schemes are provided for in law to make the cost of health and medical care more affordable for all. This section of the site is designed to answer your questions about these schemes, and to show you HOW and WHERE to apply.

  • Medical cards - Medical cards allow people to access Family Doctor or GP services.
  • GP visit cards - GP visit cards can allow individuals and families in Ireland to visit their family doctor for free.
  • Carers GP visit card - If you get Carer’s Benefit or Carer’s Allowance, at full or half rate, you can visit your GP for free.
  • Drugs Payment Scheme - Under the Drugs Payment Scheme, an individual or family in Ireland only has to pay €134 each month for approved prescribed drugs
  • From 1st January 2018, an individual or family will pay a reduced amount of €134 each month for approved items.
  • Long Term Illness Scheme - If you have certain long-term illnesses or disabilities, you may apply to join the Long Term Illness Scheme
  • Hepatitis C services - If you contracted Hepatitis C from the administration within Ireland of blood or blood products read further
  • European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) - EHIC allows the holder to access health care services when travelling to other EU or EEA countries
  • Community Welfare services - Community Welfare Services are provided by Community Welfare Officers (CWOs). This service used to be provided by the HSE, but is now part of the Department of Social Protection. CWOs now work for the Department of Social Protection but provide clinics from HSE health centres.
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance - Domiciliary Care Allowance is a monthly allowance paid to the parent or guardian of children under 16 who have a severe disability requiring continuous care and attention. Applications have to be made to The Department of Social and Family Affairs
  • Blind Welfare Allowance - The Blind Welfare Allowance is part of special services for blind persons in Ireland.
  • Mobility Allowance - A means tested monthly payment payable by the HSE to people aged between 16 - 66 who have a disability and are unable to walk or use public transport- Motorised Transport Grant - A means tested HSE payment for people with disabilities who need to buy a car.

Choose from the options above to read more. Most schemes are run from your Local Health Office, and you will find a list of Local Health Offices here.

You can also call the HSE infoline staff on 1850 24 1850, from Monday to Saturday, 8am to 8pm. Our staff can advise you about all of these schemes and benefits, and tell you how to apply.

For all schemes dedicated to Older People - Visit our Older People Section