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Case Study 5

A Northern Ireland couple with a new-born baby are moving to Donegal and wish to establish their entitlements with regard to benefits and health services.  The husband is in paid employment and his wife currently receives Incapacity benefit in the North, and they also receive Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit.

Can the wife still receive Incapacity Benefit if she moves to the Republic of Ireland?

The client was advised that Incapacity Benefit is an exportable benefit under European Union social security rules and therefore she can continue to receive payment after she moves to Donegal.

Will the UK still pay the family Child Benefit and Child Tax Credit or do they apply for similar in the south?

The client was advised that whilst her husband continued to be employed in Northern Ireland, the UK would be the competent state to pay both these payments under EU rules. Therefore the family would continue to receive payment after moving to Donegal.

Can the family continue to use the NHS Health Service in Northern Ireland or must they register with public healthcare services in the Republic of Ireland?

Upon moving to Donegal only the husband could continue to access the NHS in Northern Ireland on the basis of his employment in the north.  However this right does not extend to dependants who are only covered under the legislation of the state in which they reside. In the Republic of Ireland, under EU Regulations, frontier workers and their dependents are automatically entitled to an Irish medical card without a means test provided they don’t have any additional income derived in the Republic of Ireland.  However, if the spouse is employed or self-employed in the South, or is in receipt of an Irish Social Security payment, they loose their automatic entitlement to this card and are then subject to a means test where both their income and the income of the frontier worker are assessed and taken into account.

October 2008