Recent changes to social protection supports will benefit both self-employed workers and employees across Galway and Mayo. The changes include the extension, for the first time ever, of the Invalidity Pension Scheme to self-employed workers. My colleague, Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Regina Doherty TD confirmed to me that the extension of the Invalidity Pension, which is a pension payment for people who cannot work because of a long-term illness or disability, will come into effect on Friday, 1st December.
This very welcome change applies to small business owners, farmers, freelance workers, and other self-employed people, many of whom have faced great uncertainty because of the previous restriction of the Invalidity Pension to employees only.
The extension of the Invalidity Pension to self-employed people comes only months after the extension of the Treatment Benefit Scheme, which includes free eye tests and dental care, to self-employed people earlier this year.
In addition, all workers – self-employed and employees – are now benefiting from enhanced services under the Treatment Benefits Scheme which has been enhanced to include the provision of free glasses as well as a contribution for dental care such as scale and polish.
The extension of the Invalidity Pension and the expansion of the Treatment Benefits Scheme are vital supports for workers who contribute to the Social Insurance Fund each week and it is important that workers across Galway are aware of them.