Other Social Welfare Payments

Child Benefit

Child Benefit is a monthly payment made to the parents or guardians of children under 16 years of age, or under 18 years of age if the child is in full-time education, attending Youthreach or has a disability. It is not a means tested payment.

You need to apply for Child Benefit within 12 months of:

  • The birth of your baby or
  • The month the child became a member of your family or
  • The month the family came to live in Ireland.

If your baby is born in Ireland, when you register the birth the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection will begin a Child Benefit claim for your child:

  • If you are not claiming Child Benefit for another child a new claim is created by the Department and a partially completed claim form is sent to you for your signature and payment details. The baby is also given a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number.
  • If you are claiming Child Benefit for another child, your new baby is added to your Child Benefit claim and payment begins automatically from the month after the birth. A letter confirming payment will be sent to you by the Department. The baby is also given a Personal Public Service (PPS) Number.

If your child is 16 or 17 years of age and in full-time education you will get Child Benefit until June.

Children aged 18 no longer get Child Benefit.

The rate of payment is €140 a month per child.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

Jobseeker’s Allowance is paid by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP). You may get Jobseeker’s Allowance if you are aged between 18 and 66, unemployed and seeking work.  As the Allowance is means-tested your means must be below a certain level to satisfy DEASP regulations.

In order to qualify for Jobseeker’s Allowance you must be able to show evidence of genuinely seeking work to the Department.  If you get part-time work up to and including 3 days per week you may still get Jobseeker’s Allowance for the other days.  If you are self-employed you may also be entitled to Jobseeker’s Allowance depending on your income.

In order to qualify, you must be: 

  • Be unemployed (you must be fully unemployed or unemployed for at least 4 days out of 7)
  • Be capable of work
  • Be available for and genuinely seeking work

The DEASP may request meetings and participation in employment support schemes, work experience or training. Payments can be reduced if you fail to meet these requests.

If you have been on One Parent Family Payment and the payment is ending due to the age of your youngest child then you may qualify for Jobseeker’s Transitional payment, if you have a child aged between 7 and 13.

If your youngest child is aged 14 or over and you are either not in work or are working part time (for 3 days a week or less or less than 19 hours a week) then you may be eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

The rate of payment is €203 for the applicant plus the increase for a child dependent which is €38 for a child under 12 and €45 for a child aged 12+.

Income Disregard

The income disregard for earnings for Jobseeker’s Allowance is less than the income disregard for One Parent Family Payment so whereas €165 of earnings are ignored for OFP for Jobseeker’s Allowance it is €20 a day for a maximum of 3 days or €60 in total.

Maternity Benefit

Maternity Benefit is a payment made to those who are on maternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). You should apply for the payment 6 weeks before you intend to go on maternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed). The amount of money paid to you each week will depend on your earnings.

Maternity Benefit is paid directly to you on a weekly basis into your bank or building society account. Some employers will continue to pay an employee in full, while she is on maternity leave and require her to have any Maternity Benefit paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you. Maternity Benefit is a taxable payment since 1st July 2013 but Universal Social Charge and PRSI are not payable.

Maternity Benefit is paid for 26 weeks. At least 2 weeks and not more than 16 weeks leave must be taken before the end of the week in which your baby is due.

If you are already on certain social welfare payments then you may get half-rate Maternity Benefit.

Half-rate Maternity Benefit is payable if you are getting any one of the following payments:

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Widow’s and Surviving Civil Partner’s (contributory) Pension
  • Widow’s and Surviving Civil Partner’s (Non – Contributory) Pension
  • Deserted Wife’s  Benefit
  • Prisoner’s Wife’s Allowance
  • Guardians Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardians Payment (Non – Contributory)
  • Death Benefit by way of Widow’s/Widower’s or Dependent Parents’ Pension (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)

If you intend to return to employment earlier than you stated on your application form, you must notify Maternity Benefit Section at least 2 weeks before you new ‘return to work date’.

The standard rate of payment is €245 per week.

Carer’s Benefit

Carer’s Benefit is payable to people who are insured, having made PRSI contributions, who leave the work place to care for someone in need of full time care and attention. A person can receive 104 weeks in total, in order to care for the person. This can be taken all at once or in any number of separate chunks, up to 104 weeks.

In order to qualify for this payment the applicant must be:

  • Aged 16-66
  • Must have 156 contributions paid at any time between entry into the workforce and the time you apply for Carer’s Benefit and:
    • 39 contributions paid in relevant tax year or
    • 29 contributions paid in a 12 month period before the start of Carer’s Benefit or
    • 26 contributions paid in the relevant tax year and 26 in the previous year.
  • Self employed contributions do not count.
  • Have been employed for at least 8 weeks, consecutive or not, in the previous 26 week period and must be employed for at least 16 hours per week or 32 hours per fortnight.

The rate of Carer’s Benefit is a maximum of €220 a week (caring for one person), plus €38 per week, per child under 12 and €45 for children aged 12 and over, from January 2021.

Household Benefits Package and Free Travel are not applicable to someone on Carer’s Benefit.

Working or studying and caring

Working or studying whilst caring is possible however you are only allowed to work 18.5 hours or less when on a carer’s payment, as the person you are in receipt of the carer’s payment for, must require full-time care and attention. This work must be approved by the Department and the amount you earn will be means tested.

Application

You can request that a copy be posted to you by texting “Form CARB”, followed by your name and address to 51909.

Carer’s Leave

Carer’s leave allows for employees, who have been working for their employer for a minimum of 12 months, to leave their work on a temporary basis, in order to provide full time care and attention to someone in need.  The minimum is 13 weeks and the maximum is 104 weeks.  Carer’s leave is unpaid leave however you may be eligible for either Carer’s Benefit, if you meet the requirements for PRSI contributions or you may qualify for Carer’s Allowance, which is means tested. You do not have to be eligible for either of these payments in order to take Carer’s leave.

Carer’s Allowance

In order to receive Carer’s Allowance, the person you are providing care for must be under the age of 16 and you must be in receipt of Domiciliary Care Allowance for them; or the person is over 16 and is incapacitated to an extent that they need full-time care and attention. The person must be living with you or you need to be in a position to provide the necessary full time care and attention to the person you are in receipt of Carer’s Allowance for.

The application process for both Carer’s Benefit and Carer’s Allowance can be a lengthy process so it is helpful to have your research done and to have as much information as possible about the illness or reasons the person you are applying for carers on behalf of, to hand. Information should include any letters or reports from GP’s, hospitals or specialists, supporting information from schools (if applicable) and any other letters or reports which you feel you may strengthen your claim. Many people also include a carer’s statement, which explains what day to day life is like, caring for the individual, even showing what a regular daily timetable looks like.

The full rate of Carer’s Allowance is €219 a week plus €38 per week for a qualified child aged under 12 and €45 for a child of 12 and over ( from January 2021)  It is possible to care for more than one person and if so the rate increases to €328.50 a week, plus the increase per week, per qualified child.

Half rate Carer’s Allowance

If a person is deemed eligible for the half-rate Carer’s Allowance then this paid at half of the full rate so €109.50 a week.  There is no additional rate per qualified child as this is paid alongside the main social welfare payment, such as One Parent Family Payment.

Working or studying and caring

Working or studying whilst caring is possible however you are only allowed to work 18.5 hours or less when on a carer’s payment, as the person you are in receipt of the carer’s payment for, must require full-time care and attention. This work must be approved by the Department and the amount you earn will be means tested. Due to the limit on working hours, a person parenting on their own, would not be able to claim Working Family Payment (WFP) as a person needs to work a minimum of 38 hours in a fortnight to qualify for WFP.

Application

Carer’s Allowance

Application is made on the standard Carer’s Allowance form; you can request that one be posted to you by texting “Form CARA”, followed by your name and address to 51909.

Half-rate Carer’s Allowance

Application is made on the standard Carer’s Allowance application form, as above.