If you're self-employed, your PRSI will soon entitle you to a free teeth clean

Self-employed people will now get free dental and optical exams with their contributions.

By Fora Staff

SELF-EMPLOYED PEOPLE ARE now entitled to a free dental and optical check-up.

It was announced in the last Budget that the benefits, once removed from all PRSI workers, are to be returned.

However, these social welfare measures were never available to those who worked for themselves and were subject to a different class of PRSI.

From today and for the first time, self-employed people can get free dental and optical exams through their social insurance contributions.

This contingent will include small business owners, farmers, tradespeople, freelancers, contractors and professionals.

Self-employed workers

Making the announcement today, Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar said the treatment benefit will now extend to 450,000 self-employed workers.

He added that there would be “restoration of scale and polish treatment under the dental scheme” for all workers, as well as free spectacles, later in the year.

The benefits will also extend to a worker’s dependent spouse, who will also have access to regular dental and optical examinations, free of charge, for the first time.

Self-employed people will also be able to avail of a grant for hearing aids worth 50% of the cost, to a maximum of €500 per aid, every four years.

“One of my key priorities on being appointed minister for social protection was the restoration of the treatment benefits for employees, and its extension to the self-employed,” Varadkar said.

“As someone who believes passionately that self-employed people deserve to be supported by government and treated equally when it comes to tax and social insurance, I’m really pleased to bring in this reform.

Business group ISME previously called for unemployment benefits to be added to the entitlements for self-employed workers, who pay higher taxes than their PAYE counterparts.

Varadkar said he would bring in further benefits for the self-employed this year, including the option of applying for invalidity pensions.

Reporting by Christina Finn and Peter Bodkin