Benefits / Funds

Social Benefit

Subject to the CWU Rules & Constitution, and on production of the requisite documentation, an "In Benefit" member on reduced pay, following a continuous or accumulative absence of either 13 or 26 weeks from duty (in accordance with the sick pay regulations of the relevant company), resulting from illness or accident, may be paid an amount up to 70% of their basic pay while a member of the Union.

This payment may be paid for a maximum of 18 months in any period of 4 years in accordance with the following:

0 - 6 months
Up to 70% of member's basic pay
6 - 12 months
Up to 65% of member's basic pay
12 - 18 months
Up to 60% of member's basic pay

Payments will cease after this period except in the most extreme of hardship circumstances. Application for continuation or otherwise of Social Benefit outside of this period will be considered on their merits by the NEC Finance Committee, which will make a recommendation to the National Executive Council. Such applications will need to be supported by a full report from the member's medical specialist, setting out the exact nature of the illness/injury, the prognosis for a full recovery and likely date of return to work. The decision of the National Executive Council on such applications will be final.

To apply, obtain a form from Union Head Office through the Branch/Section Secretary, complete same and return with payslip(s), medical certificate(s), consultants report or a doctor-to-doctor report. This fund is available to those paying contributions of either 1% basic pay + 13cents OR 1% basic pay plus 26cents only.

A member is only entitled to make one claim from either the Social Benefit Fund or the Medisan Fund; you cannot claim from both Funds at the same time.

Mortality Benefit

A member may be paid €635 on the death of their spouse/civil partner. The estate of a member may be paid €5,080 on their death. A member may nominate during their lifetime to whom the sum shall be payable. A Retired Member may be paid €635 on the death of their spouse/civil partner. The estate of a Retired Member may be paid €1,270 on their death. A Retired Member may during their lifetime nominate to whom such payment may be made. There is only one mortality benefit payment due per member.

To apply, obtain a form from Union Head Office through the Branch/Section Secretary, complete same and return with copy of Death Certificate. In certain cases the Union may also require sight of the grant of probate or letters of administration, whichever is applicable.


Applications for financial assistance from the fund in such cases are considered on their merits by the Management Committee and grants are made in certain limited circumstances subject to the sanction of the National Executive Council.

To apply, submit details of the case through the Branch/Section Secretary to the Financial Officer at Union Head Office, for consideration by the Finance Committee.


Personal Accident

Personal Accident Cover is provided FREE for all "In Benefit" members of the Union. The financing of this cover is provided for from the central funds of the Union and the members therefore do not have to pay any additional contribution. The scheme provides for the payment of certain sums in the case of death, loss of limbs, and certain hospital charges, detailed on the schedule of benefits page.

All current "In Benefit" members of the CWU are covered 24 hours a day, 365 days year, anywhere in the world. The only exclusions are injuries consequent upon war, whether declared or undeclared, intentional self-inflicted injury including suicide or attempted suicide, aerial flight other than as a passenger, sickness or disease.

A claim form can be obtained from Halligan Insurances: 01 879 7100

Legal Aid

This scheme, which is funded from the central funds of the Union, provides assistance to "In Benefit" members of the Union in certain circumstances and subject to certain conditions in relation to:

  • Offences under the Road Traffic Acts
  • Compensation claims
  • Inquests
  • Wills
  • Certain legal advice

Requests for assistance relating to matters covered by the scheme must be submitted with details of the case through the Branch/Section Secretary, to Union Head Office. The case will then be forwarded to the Union’s solicitors for advice.

Medical Fund (additional contribution required)

Members may make one claim in each category below and, subject to the limits outlined, the treatment date must be within a 12 month calendar year. All expenses must be claimed in the year that the expenditure is incurred and there is no retrospection of claims.

Dental Grant   Up to   €305.00
Optical Grant    Up to   €152.00
Surgical and Medical Appliances  Up to   €152.00

All claims must be processed through the member's Branch to Union Head Office. Claims for children aged up to, but not including, 18 years.  These receipts will not be returned, you may need to copy your own receipts for tax purposes before submission.

Please be advised that Asthmatic Inhalers will no longer be covered as part of the Medical Fund under Surgical Appliances, as these relate to medication which are not covered under the Fund. 

Under Surgical & Medical Appliances the following items will be paid on a once off basis (not yearly) to a maximum of €152.00

  • Hearing Aids
  • Wheelchairs
  • Nebulizer machines
  • Lifts on shoes - inside soles (medically prescribed only)
  • Blood Pressure machines (medically prescribed only)
  • Surgical Stockings (medically prescribed only)

Please note, under no circumstances will medication, prescriptions, and/or doctor/consultant fees be paid.

**Laser Eye Surgery is not covered under the Optical Grant Scheme**



Other Funds

Optional funds are also operated by the Union for which additional contributions are payable by members.

Distress Fund: Used mainly for the purpose of relieving distress amongst members on official dispute.

Intellectual Disability Housing Fund: Enables the Union to give grants towards the purchase of homes/houses on an annual basis to enable people with an intellectual disability to take their place within the community. The fund is administered by an Advisory Committee, the CWU Finance Committee appointed by the National Executive Council of the Union, and three members appointed by Inclusion Ireland.

Orphan's Pension Fund: In the event of the member’s death a sum of €20 per week (paid monthly) may be paid in respect of each child until that child reaches the age of 18 years. Each child of a member under the age of 18 years may be entitled to the payment when an in benefit member dies in service.  This scheme is a FREE benefit to all members.



CWU Ireland Humanitarian Fund

Since the establishment of the fund in 2008 members have raised over €70,116.83 through sponsorship from Medisan, Halligan Insurances, Irish Life, Baby Elegance, KNN, An Post, Eircom and many other outside companies.

The convoy was a great success, but without your financial support this would not have been achievable. The acknowledgement received from the Bulgarian Ambassador paid tribute to everyone that funded and volunteered their services, no matter how small the help given, it was much appreciated in assisting the convoy achieve its objectives. The need for humanitarian aid is so widespread in Europe, both in Bulgaria and Romania, it is hoped that through the UK Humanitarian Charity further commitments may be made to try to alleviate poverty within their communities. Words cannot express their gratitude, by visiting these projects one can see the good work achieved for people less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you so much for your continued support.


CWU Charitable Fund

Following a discussion with the General Secretary and the Finance Committee it was proposed that the National Executive Council would consider setting up a CWU Charitable Fund. This fund shall be open to all members of the Union. Each member will have the facility to donate a regular sum of money directly into the CWU Charitable Fund. For those members currently paying into their various charities, their contributions will be allocated to their sponsored charities. Going forward all new members can pay a variable contribution of their choice from €0.50 up to €10.00 and allocation of the contributions collected will be apportioned on a percentage basis annually to the various charities covering the following (at present the ratio is 75% to the African and Irish Projects and 25% to other projects):

  • Intellectual Disability Housing Fund
  • The Hospice Foundation
  • CWU Development Fund covering the African Projects and all other foreign projects

The CWU Development Fund was renamed the CWU Charitable Fund and a new application form was circulated to all Branches with a GS Circular by the General Secretary explaining the revised procedure. The Financial Officer will distribute the funds to the various charities already supported by the CWU with the balance being transferred to the CWU Development Fund (renamed the CWU Charitable Fund).

The allocation of funds shall be subject to debate by the NEC Finance Sub-Committee and the final approval by the National Executive Council. Since its inception in 2002 the Fundraising Appeal has raised over €1.4 million and it is heartening to know that the CWU members have supported over 41 projects in this time.

Most of the building projects supported include schools, hospitals, orphanages, hospices, educational and nutrition programmes, and projects related to the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa and irrigation projects in West Africa. The proceeds of the fund will be used to support a range of worthy projects in Africa and overseas aimed at helping people living in extreme poverty.

It is a relatively small amount to donate but its impact will be enormous for those communities in Africa and overseas which endure tremendous hardship just to survive. Grateful appreciation is expressed to all those members supporting these well deserved projects.