Value Added Benefits

The CWU has valuable added benefits for its members, which include the Medical Benefit Fund, Legal Aid, Sickness Benefit Scheme, Mortality Grant Scheme and the Children’s Benefit Scheme (previously Orphans’ Pension Scheme).

We also have our highly regarded Union magazine “Connect”, which will keep you updated on what is taking place in your industry, on industrial relations events, and any special discounts or services available to you as a member.

CWU members also benefit from professional advice on arranging or rearranging a mortgage, or choosing the most suitable discounted health insurance plan for your family.

As a CWU member, you can avail of discounts on essential insurance for your car, home and gadgets, along with special insurance schemes to protect you and your family, including life cover, illness cover, and accident cover.

Sickness Benefit Scheme

After continuous membership contributions of one year, an “In Benefit” member on half pay or less as a result of illness/injury may be eligible to claim financial assistance from the Social Benefit Fund. Such Sickness Benefit may be paid for a maximum of 12 months in any period of 4 years in accordance with the following scale, based on weekly hours of employment:

Regular Weekly Hours Benefit Value
Full-Time (37.5hrs) €120 per week
Part-Time 1 (24-30hrs) €80 per week
Part-Time 2 (up to 23hrs) €40 per week

Payments will cease after this period except in the most extreme of hardship circumstances. Appeals for continuation or otherwise of Sickness 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. The decision of the National Executive Council on such appeals will be final.

To apply, a completed application form with all requisite documentation should be submitted to Union Head Office. The Sickness Benefit Scheme is only available to those paying contributions of 1% of basic pay through Deduction at Source (Payroll).

A member cannot only claim financial assistance from the Social Benefit Fund OR the Medisan Fund for the same illness.

Mortality Grant Scheme

An “In Benefit” member may be paid €635 on the death of their spouse/civil partner. The estate of an “In Benefit” member may be paid €5,080 on their death. A member may nominate during their lifetime to whom the sum shall be payable.

To apply, obtain a form from Union Head Office through the Branch/Section Secretary. Complete same and return with a copy of the Death Certificate. In certain cases, the Union may also require sight of the Grant of Probate or the Letters of Administration, whichever is applicable.

Children's Benefit Scheme

In the event of a member’s death in service, a sum of €20 per week (paid monthly) may be paid in respect of each child registered with the Scheme, until that child reaches the age of 18 years. The Scheme is a FREE benefit to all members.

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 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.

Medical Fund

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. There is no retrospection of claims.

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

All claims must be made direct to Union Head Office. Members may claim for themselves, their spouse/civil partner, or their children, subject to the maximum of one claim per member in each category in the 12-month calendar year. Claims for children up to the date of their 18th birthday.

The cost for inclusion in the Medical Fund is:

Payment Schedule Payment Source
€3.00 per week by Deduction at Source
€6.00 per fortnight by Deduction at Source
€13.00 per month by Direct Debit

Asthmatic Inhalers are not covered as part of the Medical Fund under Surgical & Medical Appliances, and Laser Eye Surgery is not covered under the Optical Grant.

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

Education Grant Scheme

The CWU Education Grant Scheme seeks to support further education on behalf of our members and their dependents, in approved courses, through recognised third-level, second-level, primary school, and Gaeltacht institutions. Grants are awarded by means of a draw, presided over by the National Executive Council. Further details on the Scheme and forms are issued via General Secretary Circular and are also available from the CWU website. The following application criteria apply to the Scheme:

  1. Third-Level Education

The third-level category will offer up to four grants annually. The award will be up to a maximum value of €2,000 for each year of study, up to a maximum of four years. These awards will be made to Union members or members’ dependents involved in study or research at Diploma, Degree, Post-Graduate Diploma or Post-Graduate Degree level. Members who have already commenced approved courses can also apply. Awards are made on an annual basis for each year of study. Awards are not given for a repeat year.

  1. Second-Level Education

Up to 30 awards will be made annually to second-level students. Each award will be worth €400 to help with the purchase of schoolbooks and class materials. Members studying for Junior and/or Leaving Certificate as mature students can also enter the draw for this grant.

  1. Primary Level

Up to 30 awards will be made annually to primary-level students. Each award will be worth €350 to help with the purchase of schoolbooks and class materials.

4. Gaeltacht Course

Up to 20 awards will be made annually to Union members or members’ dependents, to help cover the cost of their participation in a Gaeltacht course. The award will help cover the cost of course materials, tuition fees and accommodation for up to 22 days, to a maximum value of €350.

The Education Grant Scheme is open to all “In Benefit” members and their dependents; the Scheme is not available to members of the Retired Members’ Section.