Medical card with UK pension

basilbrush

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If you receive a UK state pension but live in Ireland, you might be able to get a non-means tested medical card. There seems to be some confusion around the exact conditions for this, though.

It seems that it may not be necessary to receive a full UK state pension - even a small partial pension might be enough to qualify.

Although some sources don't mention it, it seems to be fairly certain that if you also have some interaction with social welfare and PRSI in Ireland then this medical card might be denied. Exactly which interactions will result in rejection seem to vary by information source. Working in Ireland or otherwise paying PRSI contributions seems to be a possible cause for denial. Receiving social welfare from Ireland (some sources seem to specifically restrict this to contributory social welfare, such as a contributory pension but not a non-contributory pension) is also commonly mentioned. An earlier post in AskAboutMoney adds further confusion:
I’ve gone through all the documentation and agreements and it comes down to a very simple rule: for an EU/EEA/CH citizen the country paying the bulk of your pension is responsible for your healthcare.
This person seems to have researched it and come to the conclusion (as I interpret it) that one can receive a pension from Ireland and still get the medical card as long as the Irish pension you receive is less than the UK pension (unless this has changed since Brexit).

If one has a UK pension, but also has in the past paid a small number of PRSI contributions, is it possible to still get the non-means tested medical card if you do not claim the small contributory Irish pension that you are entitled to? One source that I saw seemed to even say that being entitled to welfare payments in Ireland (even if you do not opt to receive them) would be sufficient grounds for disqualification.

Is anyone able to clarify any of these areas of uncertainty?
 

Shirazman

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474
The following is from a 2014 AAM thread:

"Under EU Regulation 1408/71, EU pensioners resident in Ireland who are in receipt of a social security pension from another EU/EEA state or Switzerland are entitled to a non-means tested medical card, provided they are not in receipt of an Irish social security pension, are not subject to PRSI for earnings, and are not employed or self-employed in Ireland."

[Source: https://www.inmo.ie/Article/PrintArticle/10229 ]
 

basilbrush

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39
That is indeed one of the sources of information. As you say, that source says that the restrictions are no "Irish social security pension" (I suspect that this means no contributory pension, but it doesn't say anything about other sources of welfare), not paying PRSI, and not employed.

Here are some other sources:
https://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/health/medical_cards_and_gp_visit_cards/medical_card.html (no "contributory Irish social welfare payment", not working or liable to pay PRSI)
https://www2.hse.ie/services/medical-cards/medical-cards-for-people-from-other-eu-countries.html (not working in Ireland)
http://www2.hse.ie/file-library/medical-cards/medical-card-application-form-english.pdf ("not subject to Irish social security legislation" - no contributory social welfare payment and not subject to PRSI)
https://www.irishtimes.com/business...-and-moving-to-ireland-from-britain-1.4690903 (says dependents can get medical card if not subject to Irish social security system - in this case it is probably assumed that the person in receipt of the pension is not subject to the Irish social security system and so it is not mentioned)
https://nhsbsa-live.powerappsportals.com/knowledgebase/article/KA-01285/en-us (not receiving pension from Ireland)
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-ireland (does not mention restrictions)

Most of those seem to say that you cannot be receiving an Irish contributory social welfare payment. This one, however, which seems like it might be the most detailed and authoritative, instead says that the condition is that you "are not *entitled* to a contributory welfare payment or Irish pension and do not pay PRSI": https://www2.hse.ie/file-library/medical-cards/medical-cards-national-assessment-guidelines.pdf . From the other sources I would have assumed that one could qualify for a medical card if you don't receive an Irish contributory pension, even if you are entitled to one, but this source seems to say that even being entitled to one means that the medical card will be declined.

And then there is the quote from @Jim2007 above, which seems to say something else entirely.
 

Shirazman

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474
This one, however, which seems like it might be the most detailed and authoritative, instead says that the condition is that you "are not *entitled* to a contributory welfare payment or Irish pension and do not pay PRSI": https://www2.hse.ie/file-library/medical-cards/medical-cards-national-assessment-guidelines.pdf . From the other sources I would have assumed that one could qualify for a medical card if you don't receive an Irish contributory pension, even if you are entitled to one, but this source seems to say that even being entitled to one means that the medical card will be declined.

That's the document that I was searching (unsuccessfully) for when I encountered the INMO document that I linked to above! Like you, it's the one that I'd regard as the most authoritative and reliable source of information.
 

EFCAH84

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11
Is it possible if a widower to apply for an over 70s medical card if claiming a contrib pension in Ireland while also in receipt of a very small UK state pension.
 

Shirazman

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474
Is it possible if a widower to apply for an over 70s medical card if claiming a contrib pension in Ireland while also in receipt of a very small UK state pension.

Without trying to be smart, it is possible for anyone aged over 70 to apply for an over 70's Medical Card!

I suspect that your real interest is in establishing to whether or not your application is likely to be successful! The answer to that depends on whether your weekly gross income is below the €550 limit. If it is (or if it's slightly over and you have significant ongoing medical expenses) then you should definitely apply.

If you haven't already got one, remember that you're entitled to the GP card without a means test.
 

ClubMan

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45,309
I never really understand why do many people seem to want to figure out in advance if they qualify for things like medical cards etc. instead of just making the application, letting the relevant body process it (and do a means test if applicable), letting them tell you the outcome and appealing the decision if rejected and you think that they're wrong or there's extenuating circumstances.
 

Shirazman

Registered User
Messages
474
I never really understand why do many people seem to want to figure out in advance if they qualify for things like medical cards etc. instead of just making the application, letting the relevant body process it (and do a means test if applicable), letting them tell you the outcome and appealing the decision if rejected and you think that they're wrong or there's extenuating circumstances.

I spent over a decade as a volunteer with Citizens Information encouraging clients to do exactly that! Many Irish people (especially the older ones) appear to have a deep-set fear (or paranoia!) of revealing anything concerning their assets to the bureaucrats, presumably in case they're 'caught out'! Now that's fine and they're fully entitled to their privacy; however, the problem is that by having this attitude, they may well be depriving themselves of a range of benefits/allowances to which they would be entitled if they applied for them. :confused:
 
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Black Sheep

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2,341
Over 70's medical cards are available to everyone single, married, widowed sick or well, living in Ireland as long their income from all sources is within the HSE guidelines.
€550 single, €1050 married per week. (NO discretion)

Simply fill up the application form - paper or on-line
 
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