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How Paternity Benefit works

Paternity Benefit is €245 a week, for two weeks.

Paternity Benefit is a payment to employed and self-employed people who are:

  • on paternity leave from work
  • covered by social insurance (PRSI)

It is available for any child born or adopted after 1 September 2016

If you are already on certain social welfare payments, you may get half-rate Paternity Benefit. You will be paid for two weeks. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first six months after the birth or adoption.

Paternity Benefit is available to same-sex couples.

How to qualify

To qualify for Paternity Benefit, you must pay social insurance (PRSI) contributions at Class A, E, H and S (self-employed).

If you are a member of the Defence Forces and you pay PRSI at Class H, you are insured for Paternity Benefit, but it is not payable while you are in service.

You must have a certificate (a PB2 or a PB3) that confirms when your baby is due or was born.

Certification if you are an employee (PB2)

Your employer must certify your paternity leave.

You must:

  • ask your spouse’s or partner’s doctor for a certificate that confirms when your baby is due or was born if you are taking leave after the birth
  • give this certificate to your employer, along with the application form below
  • your employer will fill in this form and give it to you
  • when you apply for Paternity Benefit, include this form

Paternity Benefit 2: Employer Certificate for Paternity Benefit

If you are employed, your employer must complete this form to certify you are entitled to paternity leave for the dates provided.

Download
Certification if you are self-employed (PB3)

Your spouse’s or partner’s doctor must certify your paternity leave.

  • ask the doctor to fill in the form below
  • when you apply for Paternity Benefit, include this form

Paternity Benefit 3: Medical Certificate for Paternity Benefit

If you are self-employed, a doctor must complete this form to certify the expected due date of your baby (or the baby’s date of birth). This is required to confirm that you are entitled to paternity leave.

Download

Rates of payment

Paternity Benefit is €245 a week, for two weeks.

Paternity Benefit is paid directly into your current or deposit account at your bank or building society. It cannot be paid into a mortgage account.

Your employer may continue to pay you in full when you are on paternity leave. They may require you to have your Paternity Benefit paid to them, and you can choose to do this.

Payment increases

If you have dependants, you may be able to get a higher rate of Paternity Benefit. When you apply, your rate of Paternity Benefit (excluding increases for dependants) is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit (including increases for dependants) that would be paid to you if you were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid to you.

Taxes

If you pay tax, you will have to pay tax on Paternity Benefit. You will not have to pay the Universal Social Charge (USC) or PRSI.

Apply

Online application

The quickest way to apply for Paternity Benefit is online at My Welfare. You must have a verified MyGovID to use mywelfare.ie.

If you are unable to apply online, the Paternity Benefit application form (form PB1) can be requested from the Paternity Benefit Section by emailing the Paternity Benefit section at paternityben@welfare.ie or by calling 1890 690 690.

You must also have a certificate (a PB2 or a PB3) that confirms when your baby is due or was born. Please find these forms in the how to qualify section of this service.

If you are an employee, you should apply for Paternity Benefit at least four weeks before you plan to go on paternity leave.

If you are self-employed, you should apply at least 12 weeks before you plan to go on leave.

Postal application

Postal applications can be sent to the Paternity Benefit Section of the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. Application forms are also available by post at the address listed below.

Paternity Benefit Section
Address: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Buncrana, Donegal, Ireland, F93 CH79
Telephone numbers: 0147158981890690690
Email: paternityben@welfare.ie

For more information on PRSI requirements for Paternity Benefit, please visit welfare.ie/paternity.

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