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:
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:
You cannot get one of these payments and also claim a Foster Care Allowance (payable by Tusla).
A child is regarded as an orphan if they meet the following requirements:
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:
The Orphan’s Pension is not means tested.
The maximum Guardian’s Payment is €186 a week.
Guardians' payments are fully exempt from income tax, PRSI and USC.
To apply, fill in the form below and return it to:
Operational guidelines describe the processes and procedures that staff in the department follow when carrying out their work.