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General GP visit card

You can apply for a GP visit card if you:

  • are age 8 to 69
  • live in the Republic of Ireland or plan to live here for at least a year

GP visit cards for people age 8 to 69 are income tested.

This means we look at your income, personal circumstances and expenses to see if you qualify.

Not just about your salary

It's possible that you may qualify for a GP visit card even if the amount of money you earn is high.

If your expenses are also high, you could still qualify.

Examples of people who qualify

How to apply for a GP visit card

The only way to apply for this GP visit card is online.

You will need to provide your:

  • PPS number
  • date of birth
  • income and expense details
  • marital status
  • details on any children dependent on you
People who do not need to apply

You automatically qualify for a GP visit card if you live in Ireland and are:

It does not matter what your income is - you do not need to apply.

But you do need to register. There is a separate registration process if you are in these groups.

How we work out if you qualify

To work out if you qualify for a GP visit card we look at your:

  • income
  • personal circumstances, such as if you are married, your living situation and if you have any children dependent on you
  • certain expenses
  • if your income after expenses is below a certain financial threshold for your family size

If you get a Government allowance or grant towards any of your allowable expenses, you cannot count the overall amount as an expense. You can only count your contribution.

For example, you may have childcare costs of €800 per month. You claim €240 through the National Childcare Scheme. This means the amount you pay is €560. This is the amount you can claim as an expense in your application.

How we calculate your financial threshold

To get a GP visit card your net weekly income, after your expenses, must be below a qualifying financial threshold.

This qualifying financial threshold is unique to you.

We calculate it by adding the following 3 amounts:

  • A basic rate - an amount of money depending on your circumstances.
  • An amount for each dependant.
  • Your allowable expenses.

The total is known as your weekly qualifying financial threshold.

You will qualify for a GP visit card if your net weekly income is less than this amount. Net income is your weekly income after tax, PRSI and USC.

Information:

Qualifying financial threshold

Basic rate amount + amount for dependants + allowable expenses = amount you can earn a week and qualify for a card

The basic rates

The basic rate is a fixed amount. It is determined by your marital status, living situation and if you have any children.

The basic rates are:

  • Single person living alone age 69 and under: €418
  • Single person living with family: €373
  • Married or co-habiting couple with or without children dependent on them: €607
  • Single parent: €607
Information:

These basic rates do not apply to the GP visit card for over 70s, carers or under 8s.

Additional rates for dependants

Additional rates for dependants are:

  • First two children under 16 financially dependent on applicant: €57
  • Third and subsequent children under 16 financially dependent on applicant: €61.50
  • First two children over 16 financially dependent on applicant: €58.50
  • Third and subsequent children over 16 financially dependent on applicant: €64
  • A dependent child over 16 who is in full time 3rd level education, not grant aided: €117

Examples of qualifying financial thresholds

Married couple with 2 children

Barry and Mary have 2 children under the age of 16. Their combined monthly income after tax is €5,450.

Their expenses include:

  • mortgage payment of €1,200 a month
  • mortgage protection of €52 per month
  • childcare costs of €1472 per month

Basic rate allowance

€607

This is the fixed amount for married couple and single parent families age 69 and under with 2 dependant children under 16.

Dependants allowance

€114

This is based on a rate of €57 for each dependant child under 16.

Weekly mortgage payment

€276.92

This was calculated by multiplying their monthly mortgage payment (€1,200) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

Weekly mortgage protection cost

€12

This was calculated by multiplying their monthly payment (€52) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

Weekly travel to work costs

€14.40 for Mary, €28 for Patrick

Calculated based on petrol usage for Mary to go to work and weekly Leap Card fare for Patrick to get to work.

Weekly childcare costs

€213.69

This was calculated by multiplying their monthly payment (€1472) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

This gave a weekly childcare cost of €339.69.

But they also receive €126 a week towards their childcare costs through the National Childcare Scheme (NCS). This amount is deducted to give them a weekly expense of €213.69

Qualifying financial threshold

€1,266.01

This total is their qualifying financial threshold. It was calculated by adding up their basic rate, allowances for dependants and their various allowable weekly expenses.

Qualifying financial threshold means that if the couple has combined weekly net income of €1,266.01 or less, the family will qualify for a GP visit card.

Net income is your weekly income (earnings) once tax, PRSI and USC have been deducted.

Decision

Barry, Mary and their children qualify for a GP visit card. Their net weekly income is €1,257.69.

This was calculated by multiplying their monthly income (€5,450) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

Their net income (€1,257.69) is less than their qualifying financial threshold (€1,266.01). This means that they qualify.

Single parent with 1 child

Yan is a single parent living in rented accommodation with her 11-year-old child. She pays €800 per month in rent. Her monthly income after taxes is €3,550.

Basic rate allowance

€607

This is a fixed amount for a single parent.

Dependants allowance

€57

This is based on a rate of €57 for each dependant child under 16.

Weekly rent payment

€184.62

This was calculated by multiplying her monthly rent (€800) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

Travel to work allowance

€27

Calculated on distance travelled to work at 18c per kilometre.

Qualifying financial threshold

€875.62

This total is Yan's qualifying financial threshold. It was calculated by adding up her basic rate, allowances for dependants and her various allowable weekly expenses.

This means if she has a weekly net income of less than €875.62, she will qualify for a GP visit card.

Net income is your weekly income (earnings) once tax, PRSI and USC have been deducted.

Decision

Yan qualifies for a GP visit card. Her net weekly income is €819.23.

This was calculated by multiplying their monthly income (€3,550) by 12 (to get yearly figure) and dividing by 52 (to get weekly).

Her net income (€819.23) is less than her qualifying financial threshold (€875.62). This means that she qualifies.

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 for that instead.

Savings, investments and property

We look at your savings, investments and property, other than your family home. If they are over a certain amount, we include them as part of your weekly income.

Single person

If you are single, we do not assess the first €36,000 of your savings, investments or property.

For the next:

  • €36,001 to €46,000 - we add €1 to your weekly income for every €1,000
  • €46,001 to €56,000 - we add €2 to your weekly income for every €1,000
  • more than €56,000 - we add €4 to your weekly income for every €1,000
Example of a single person's savings

If you have savings of €50,000, your weekly income from them would be €18.

We get this by adding:

  • €0 for your first €36,000
  • €10 for your next €10,000 in savings - we add €1 for every €1,000 between €36,001 to €46,000
  • €8 for your next €4,000 in savings - we add €2 for every €1,000 between €46,001 to €56,000

Couple

If you are a couple, we do not assess the first €72,000 of your savings, investments or property.

For the next:

  • €72,001 to €82,000 - we add €1 to your weekly income for every €1,000
  • €82,001 to €92,000 - we add €2 to your weekly income for every €1,000
  • more than €92,000 - we add €4 to your weekly income for every €1,000
Example of a couple's savings

If you have savings of €150,000, we do not assess your first €72,000 of savings.

Your weekly income from them would be €262.

We get this by adding:

  • €0 for your first €72,000
  • €10 for your next €10,000 – we add €1 for every €1000 between €72,001 to €82,000
  • €20 for your next €10,000 – we add €2 for every €1000 between €82,001 to €92,000
  • €232 for your next €58,000 – we add €4 for every €1000 over €92,001

Allowable expenses

All allowable expenses 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 payment
  • life assurance for mortgage protection

No documents to include

You do not need to provide any documents with your application. But we may contact you at a later date and ask you for proof of your income and expenses.

Page last reviewed: 10 November 2023
Next review due: 10 September 2026