Dáil Éireann - Volume 594 - 02 December, 2004

Written Answers. - Medical Cards.

  67. Dr. Cowley asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children if emigrants with benefits such as the disability living allowance, incapacity benefit or the severe disablement allowance from the United Kingdom qualify for a medical card under EU regulations on their return here; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [31838/04]

  Ms Harney: The arrangements for the co-ordination of social security systems, including health care benefits, among EU member states are set out in EU Regulations 1408/71 and 574/72.

Persons covered by these regulations who are residing or staying in Ireland are entitled, free of charge, to all health care provided for by Irish legislation, where the cost of this treatment is payable by the institution of a member state other than Ireland.

In general, this means that a person residing in Ireland and in receipt of a contributory social security payment from the UK or any other member state may receive a medical card under EU regulations where he or she is not also in receipt of a contributory social welfare payment from the Department of Social and Family Affairs or employed in Ireland and subject to PRSI.

Non-contributory social security payments are not usually exportable under the regulations, that is to say, such payments cease when the recipient has transferred residence from the country making the payment. An individual who was receiving such payments and to whom these payments were no longer being paid on taking up residence in Ireland would therefore be subject to the standard means test for a medical card in these circumstances. On joining the EU, the arrangements for the co-ordination of Ireland’s social security system, including health care benefits, with those of the other member states were agreed under the terms of EU Regulations No. 1408/71.

Question No. 68 answered with Question No. 7.