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What the Guardian's Payment is

If you are taking care of a child who is an orphan, you may get a social welfare payment of €186 a week.

It is not necessary to be a legally appointed guardian. You may get this payment if the child lives with you and you are responsible for their care. The payment is for the benefit of the child.

It can be paid directly to the orphan if the child is:

  • attending a full-time education course
  • aged between 18 and 22 years of age
  • not living with or in the care of a guardian

The payment can be contributory (based on social insurance (PRSI) contributions paid by the parent) or non-contributory, based on the means of the child.

You can claim only one of the following:

  • Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Death Benefit Scheme (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)
  • Orphan’s Pension awarded under the Occupational Injuries Scheme

You cannot get one of these payments and also claim a Foster Care Allowance (payable by Tusla).

How to qualify

A child is regarded as an orphan if they meet the following requirements:

  • they are under 18 (or 22 if in full-time education)
  • both parents are dead

or

  • one parent is either dead or unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child
  • the other parent is unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child
  • where the child is not residing with a parent, adoptive parent or step parent

If either parent, or step-parent, had worked at any time and paid social insurance (PRSI) for 26 weeks, the orphan is entitled to the Guardian’s Payment (Contributory). Payment is made to the child’s guardian until the child turns 18 or, if the child is in full-time education, until they turn 22.

Guardian’s Payment (Non-Contributory) is a non-contributory payment for orphans who are not entitled to the contributory payment. The means test for this is based on the orphan’s means. Payment is made to the child’s guardian until the child turns 18 or, if the child is in full-time education, until they turn 22.

Under the Occupational Injuries Scheme, an Orphan’s Pension under the Death Benefit scheme may be awarded to the guardian of an orphan if the parent, step-parent or person who was supporting the orphaned child or children:

  • died as a result of an accident at work
  • died as a result of an occupational disease
  • was getting Disablement Pension assessed at 50% or more at the time of their death

The Orphan’s Pension is not means tested.

Rate of payment

The maximum Guardian’s Payment is €186 a week.

Taxes

Guardians' payments are fully exempt from income tax, PRSI and USC.

Apply

To apply, fill in the form below and return it to:

Guardian's Payment

Address:
Guardian's Payment, Social Welfare Services, College Road, Sligo

Guardian’s Payment Contributory or Non-Contributory Application

Guardian's Payment benefits orphans, it is paid directly to them or their guardians

Download

Operational Guidelines