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Assessment

We assess your application on a qualifying financial threshold. This is the amount of money that you can earn a week and still qualify for a card. It is specific to your own financial circumstances.

We look at your household income after tax, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge (USC) have been deducted. We also take certain expenses into account. 

If you were recently told that you did not qualify for a card but your circumstances have now changed, you can submit a new application. You should only do this if you believe you may now be eligible.

We will assess your eligibility on the basis of your new circumstances.

Income, savings and assets

The types of income you should include in your application are:

  • social welfare payments
  • wages (take-home pay, after tax, PRSI and USC)
  • pension
  • income from savings and investments
  • maintenance payments
  • rental income from family home (for example a sub-let room)
  • property other than the family home

You should also include income from royalties or payments under a settlement, covenant or from an estate.

If your only household income is a social welfare payment, you qualify for a medical card and should apply.

Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment


The Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment is assessed as employment income in your means test.

You should include the payment in the jobseekers allowance income box on the application form. You do not need to provide any documentation in your application in relation to your Covid-19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Covid-19 Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme


If you are supported by the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme you will continue to receive a payslip from your employer. This income will be means-assessed in your medical card application. Please provide a copy of your last payslip by selecting wages in the income section of the online form.

Allowable expenses

All allowable expenses, once verified, help to increase the amount that you can earn and still qualify for a card.

The types of allowable expenses you should include in your application are:

  • rent payments
  • mortgage payments
  • childcare costs
  • travel to work costs
  • maintenance payments
  • net cost of private nursing home care
  • mortgage protection premium
  • life assurance for mortgage protection

Documents you need to include

You need to provide income and expenses documents with your application. These can be photos, scans or photocopies of the original documents. They must show your name and address. 

For expenses, you must show proof of current payments dated within the last 3 months.

If you get an illness benefit or maternity leave payment


Some employers are temporarily closed and unavailable due to the Covid-19 crisis. We do not need evidence from employers when an applicant confirms that their employer is temporarily closed and unavailable due to Covid-19. For some applications, we may need to further verify this.

If you are attending school or third level college


Due to school and college closures, the provision of a school of college stamp will not be required for the duration of such closures during the Covid-19 crisis.

Related topics

Documents you need to include with your application

How much you can earn and still qualify

Read about your qualifying financial threshold.

Related Content

page last reviewed: 21/10/2018
next review due: 21/10/2021