Social Welfare, Children & Working Families

Social Welfare, Children & Working Families 2019-01-18T13:58:45+01:00

Project Description


Basic Social Welfare rates from March 2019                                               Adult                                        Adult Dependent

Contributory OAP (Full Rate) €248.30 €222.50 (aged 66 or over)
Non Contributory OAP €237.00 €156.60 (aged under 66)
Contributory Widows – under 66 €208.50     —
Contributory Widows – 66 or over €248.30     —
Invalidity Pension €208.50 €148.90
Maternity Benefit €245.00     —
Supplementary Welfare €201.00 €134.70
Carer’s Allowance – under 66 €219.00
Carer’s Allowance – 66 or over €257.00
All Other Payments €203.00 €134.70
Living Alone Allowance    €9.00
Over 80 Allowance  €10.00
  •  A 100% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2018 to all persons on long-term (over 15 months) Welfare payments and back-to-work/Education payments.


  • Child Benefit of €140 per month is payable for all children up to their 18th birthday, if in full-time education.
  • Qualified Child Payment of €34 per week for children under 12 [37 aged 12 and over] is paid to persons on Social Welfare up to the end of the academic year in which the child reaches 18. A person on Social Welfare for over 26 weeks can claim up to their 22nd birthday if in full-time education. QCP will be paid if your spouse is working and earning no more than €400.
  • A Back-to-School payment of €150 for pupils aged 4-11 and €275 for pupils aged 12-22 (children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full-time second-level education) is payable for children for whom Qualified Child Payment is made under Social Welfare, Working Family Payment, Back to Work, Education or Training Schemes.
  • Maternity Leave is 26 weeks with 16 additional weeks unpaid maternity. Maternity Benefit is payable for 26 weeks starting 2 weeks before the expected date of birth. Extra leave and benefit applies for a premature birth, for the duration between the actual date of birth and the 38th week of the pregnancy.
  • Paternity Benefit for 2 weeks of €245 per week is now payable for births or adoption. From Nov 2019 two weeks Parental Benefit of 245 per week will be introduced for each parent of a child in their first year (to be increased to 7 weeks over time).  


  • A couple or a single parent on low pay, who work for at least 19 hours per week combined (including job-sharers), can get a supplement for their children (including those 18-22 in full-time education).  The payment is calculated at 60c for each E1 by which your net family income (i.e. net of tax, USC, PRSI and
    superannuation) falls below the income thresholds. From 2019, maintenance of up to 95.23 is disregarded from family income as is half of the remainder in determining your assessed net family income. In 2019 the threshold are:

       –  521 for a family with one child, plus

       –  101 for second, 101 for third, 121 for fourth, and 126 (approx) for each additional child.

       If you qualify, the payment will be awarded for 52 weeks and it will be of a minimum e20 per week. If you suffer a cut in income, your WFP payment can only be adjusted at the end of that period. You may also be eligible for a Back-to-School payment from the HSE, but savings are taken into account. WFP will not affect your eligibility for a Medical Card. You can claim One Parent Family Payment and your WFP is not counted as means.

  • A widow(er) with children receives a once-off 6,000 in the year of bereavement. A Deceased Person’s Payment continues to be paid for six weeks to their spouse after their death (provided that their spouse is also getting a weekly welfare payment).
  • The Dept of Social Protection pays Domiciliary Care Allowance of 309.50 per month and an annual Carer’s Support Grant of 1,700 up to their 16th birthday for children with a severe disability who require substantial and documented extra care.   It also confers automatic entitlement to a Medical Card for the child. A half-rate payment is payable to a child in institutional settings who lives at home for 2 days or more. At 16, the child may apply for Disability Allowance.
  • Affordable Childcare Scheme: All children in childcare registered with Tusla who are above the age of 6 months qualify for a subvention paid to the provider. The subvention for a full day care (i.e. 5 hours or more) is set at:
    • 20 per week for every child, without a means-test, up to age 36 months.
    • 50 per week for children whose family qualifies for a family GP Card with partial payments right up to age 15 years.
    • And for medical card holders, 80 (on Jobseekers) and 145 (on One Parent, Disability or WFP) and 70 (all other medical card holders) again with partial payments right up to age 15 years.
    • For one session only (ie up to 3 ½ hours) the payments are 7 (no means test), 17 (GP card family), 45 (family on Welfare), 25 (others on Medical Card).

In late 2019, this scheme will be replaced by a general income related scheme for children from 24 weeks up to 15 years. Graduated subvention will be paid to the registered provider based on the after tax income of the parent(s). A disregard from income will also apply of 4,300 for a second child (e8,600 where 3 or more children).

A maximum grant of up to 175 per week for a two-year old in full time care (declining with age and hours needed) will apply where assessed income is under 26,000. Payment will fall in a graduated way with rising income up to 60,000. Over 60,000 the universal 20 per week will apply but only for children aged up to 36 months.

  • Free Early Childhood Care and Education is available for two years to any child aged more than 2 years and 8 months until they are 51/2 or make the transition to primary school, and covers 3 hours daily. An eligible child must enrol in September. A pre-school cannot charge parents extra for the hours covered by the scheme, but can charge for extra hours or for additional activities as long as these are optional. AIM (Access Inclusion Model) supports participation by children with special needs in pre-school, through a range of supports to the pre-school: extra payment to a trained Inclusion Coordinator, help with specialist equipment, expert support, therapy services, and in some cases funding for classroom support. (See  If a child has a diagnosis of autism, s/he can access 10 hours of home tuition per week from age 2.5, and from age 3 a place in Early Intervention Class (if available) or 20 hours home tuition until school entry.
  • Treatment Benefit covers the insured and their spouse for free dental examination and 42 towards a scale and polish or necessary gum treatment every year, and free optical examination and free glasses (or a contribution to an upgrade) every two years and half the cost of hearing aids, max 500 per aid once every 4 years.
  • To qualify for the State Pension you must be 66. From 1 January 2021, the State Pension age is increasing to 67. The rate of pension payable to those who became eligible since 2012 is more affected by gaps in your insurance record, but in a concession to homecarers an alternative pension calculation based on Total Recorded Contributions plus up to 20 years of added contributions for years spent caring is now being applied.  It will be payable from March 2019 with back payment to March 2018 where due.  No application is necessary.
  • Consultation is now underway on automatic enrolment in a Pension Top-Up Scheme with shared contributions from employer, employee and the State.  You would have the option to opt out.  There is also a plan to base the rate of all pensions on Total Contributions. You would need 30 years of contributions (no more than 10 of which could be credits) for a maximum pension.
  • Household Benefits Package: If you are 66 or over or permanently incapacitated, and living alone except for dependants, a spouse on Social Welfare, another pensioner, or someone giving you full-time care, you can receive the following concessions along with your Irish or British Social Welfare Pension:
    • Electricity or Natural Gas of 35 per month, and
    • Free television licence.
  • Pensioners who don’t have a Social Welfare pension can qualify at age 66 on the same terms provided their means don’t exceed the Contributory OAP rate by more than 100.
  • If you are aged 70 or over, you can qualify for all of these free schemes regardless of your income or its source and regardless of who lives with you. If you are widowed and aged 60 or over, you can retain the free schemes and free travel if your late spouse had them, and you satisfy the other conditions.
  • Fuel Allowance: A Fuel Allowance of 22.50/week is payable for 28 weeks if you are on long-term Social Welfare with no more than 100 per week in household income over the contributory pension rate. However, to qualify, you must be living alone, or only with dependants or another person on long-term Social Welfare or the JSA.
  • Telephone Allowance: Persons who are receiving the Living Alone Allowance, and fulfill the same conditions as Fuel Allowance, get a Telephone Allowance of 2.50 per week.
  • Self employed people are now getting access to certain social protection benefits – Paternity Benefit (Sept 2016), Treatment Benefit (Mar 2017), Invalidity Pension (Dec 2017), Jobseekers Benefit (Q4 2019) and Parental Benefit (Nov 2019).
  • A Single Parent can claim One Parent Family Allowance until your youngest child reaches 7 years of age. You can earn 150 net per week, claim WFP, and get Maintenance up to 95.23 without affecting your payment. A single parent can claim Jobseeker’s Transitional Payment up until the youngest child reaches 14. The means-test assesses 50% of earnings over 150 per week, and you can still claim part-payment if you work more than 3 days. You can claim while studying, and you will get childcare support and Back to Work Dividend if you find work.
  • Back to Work Family Dividend allows you retain the Qualified Child weekly payment of 34 (under 12), 37 (12 and over) for up to 4 children, if you (and your partner) sign off welfare payments after being a claimant for at least 12 months. You may also qualify for Working Family Payment.  BTWFD won’t count as means in the WFP test or for rent supplement.