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Increase for a Qualified Child

From: Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

What the Increase for a Qualified Child is

Your social welfare payment is made up of a weekly amount for yourself, called the personal rate.

You may also get an extra amount for your child called an Increase for a Qualified Child if you are getting certain payments and if your child meets certain conditions.

In certain circumstances you may only get a half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child.

How to qualify

To get an Increase for a Qualified Child, your child must:

  • be resident in the State
  • not be in legal custody
  • satisfy the age condition for that payment
  • live with you

You do not get an Increase for a Qualified Child if your child is getting a social welfare payment or Supplementary Welfare Allowance in their own right, with the exception of Disablement Benefit.

However, if you are getting an Increase for a Qualified Child during the summer holiday period between academic years and your child becomes entitled to a social welfare payment in their own right, you will continue to get the Increase for a Qualified Child and your child's payment is reduced by the amount of the Increase for a Qualified Child.

Your child does not have to be financially dependent on you. Your child can work and earn money and this does not affect the increase paid to you.

An Increase for a Qualified Child can be paid on behalf of foster children.

Children under 18

A child dependant is usually a child up to 18 years of age who lives with you.

Children aged 18 and over

If your child is aged 18 or over, you can continue to get an Increase for a Qualified Child for three months after he or she leaves second level education or finishes the Leaving Certificate, provided that they are not getting a social welfare payment in their own right.

An Increase for a Qualified Child can continue to be paid if your child starts work immediately after finishing school.

If you are getting a long-term social welfare payment and your child is in full-time education, an Increase for a Qualified Child will be paid up to age 22 or up to the end of the academic year in which he or she reaches 22.

If you are getting a short-term social welfare payment for at least 156 days and your child is in full-time education, an Increase for a Qualified Child will be paid up to age 22 or up to the end of the academic year in which he or she reaches 22. Time spent on other social welfare payments can be combined to meet the 156 days but the period between any two payments must not be more than 26 weeks.

The period between Jobseeker's Allowance payments must not be more than 52 weeks.

Full-time education does not include training provided by SOLAS where an allowance is paid or where the period of work experience is greater than the period of training or instruction or where the training forms part of an employment or work experience programme.

One exception to this is YouthReach.

Full-rate and half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child

For most social welfare payments you get a full-rate Increase for a Qualified Child if you get an Increase for a Qualified Adult for your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant or you are parenting alone.

You get a half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an income of between €310 and €400 a week.

Only one increase is paid for each qualified child. If you and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant are both getting a social welfare payment you will each get a half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child for each child.

If you get an Increase for a Qualified Adult with Supplementary Welfare Allowance, you get a full-rate Increase for a Qualified Child. A half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child is not payable with Supplementary Welfare Allowance.

A full-rate Increase for a Qualified Child is paid with Carer's Allowance if you are parenting alone. A half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child is paid with Carer's Allowance if you are living with your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. You do not get an Increase for a Qualified Child if you are getting half-rate Carer's Allowance.

The income rules are different for Jobseeker's Allowance, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist and Pre-Retirement Allowance.

For these payments your total household income is assessed in a means test. Your assessable means are then deducted from the maximum payment for your circumstances to find the actual amount of Jobseeker's Allowance, Disability Allowance, Farm Assist or Pre-Retirement Allowance you are entitled to.

Exceptions

You do not get an Increase for a Qualified Child with the following payments:

  • Working Family Payment (formerly known as the Family Income Supplement)
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Death Benefit by way of Orphan’s Payment

You do not get an Increase for a Qualified Child if you are claiming one of the following payments and the gross income of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is over €400:

  • Illness Benefit
  • Injury Benefit
  • Health and Safety Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Benefit or Disablement Benefit (Incapacity Supplement)
  • Invalidity Pension
  • Carer's Benefit or State Pension (Transition)
  • State Pension (Contributory)

Rates of payment

The Increase for a Qualified Child is as follows:

    Full-rate Half-rate
    Child under 12 €34 €17
    Child aged 12 and over €37 €18.50

Apply

To get an Increase for a Qualified Child you must give details about your child dependant on your claim form when you apply for a social welfare payment.

If you did not claim for your child dependant at the time you made your claim, please contact the section in this department which pays your social welfare payment or your Intreo Centre

Operational Guidelines

Operational Guidelines: Increase for a Qualified Child.