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The area of grants/allowances/benefits is a wide-ranging one that cannot be covered
               in detail in this publication. On the following pages is an overview of what financial
               assistance may be available and included at the end is a list of the relevant organisations
               to which you can apply for further information.

         BENEFITS AND ENTITLEMENTS                            under the Medical Card Scheme. If you feel you
            There are three categories of eligibility for     need a medical card, do apply for one. A supporting
         health services: medical card holders, GP visit card  letter may be obtained from your attending
         holders and non-medical card holders.                hospital on request.
            Medical card holders are entitled to free            GP visit card holders are entitled to free visits
         hospitalisation, GP services, most prescribed drugs  to their GP. This card is issued based on specific
         and a range of other health servies. A medical card  income guidelines. In some cases, where a person
         is means tested, based on the applicant’s weekly     may have a chronic illness which involves regular
         income less PRSI. There is a prescription charge     GP visits, the HSE may grant the GP visit card even
         with your medical card.                              where their income is greater than the guidelines.
            Further information and a medical card            Largely, the HSE will only consider these applications
         application form can be obtained from your local     where an ongoing medical condition is causing, or
         health centre or can be downloaded from              likely to cause, undue financial hardship.                             Non-medical card holders are liable for a
            Hardship cases are dealt with on merit and        Government Levy for in-patient stays. Non-medical
         special circumstances such as chronic illness can    card holders can avail of the Drugs Payment
         be taken into account. In cases of financial         Scheme through their local pharmacy. Under this
         hardship, medical card holders may apply to their    scheme, families (patients, their partners and
         local HSE office for assistance with the cost of     dependant children) pay a fixed amount per month
         on-going prescribed medical items not available      for prescribed medicine.

                                     TAX RELIEF ON MEDICAL EXPENSES

        Medical expenses of the entire family qualify for        Additional tax relief is available for kidney
        tax relief. Further information is contained in       patients on expenditures such as travel, telephone
        Leaflet IT6, which is available from the Revenue      and electricity.
        Commissioner, tel. 1890-306706 or visit their            For further information see pages 62-63.
        website at

                                          DISABILITY ENTITLEMENTS

        Patients who were employed, pre-dialysis, are fully   You will qualify if you:
        encouraged to continue in their work/full-time        ● are under 66;
        education/training. However, there are cases where    ● are unfit for work due to illness;
        this is not an option and there is a range of         ● satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions.
        entitlements to assist those who find themselves         Invalidity Pension is a long-term payment. To
        on a reduced income due to illness.                   qualify, you must be permanently incapable of
           Illness Benefit is a short-term payment paid to    working. You must satisfy both PRSI and medical
        insured people who are unfit for work due to illness.  conditions.


        P.42 Kidney Disease — A Guide for Patients
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