Person in receipt of Social Welfare Payments are entitled to an increase in respect of a qualified child, separate to child benefit. The same broad condition as apply to child benefit are applicable.
Child increments are at a flat rate. A half rate increment applies where the spouse or partners is not a qualified adult of the claimant. The increments may be taxable.
In the case of longer term Social Welfare Payments, the addition will be payable while the child is over 18 year and in full time education. The entitlement applies where the child normally resides with the person concerned.
A qualified child is regarded as normally residing with parents. Where parents are separated, and the child lives with both the parents who has custody of the child (has opposed to access) will receive the payment provided that he or she contributes to the child’s maintenance. A qualified child resident with one parent is regarded as normally residing with that parent only.
Where parents are separated, and one is an receipt of Social Welfare Payments, that parent may qualify for the supplement provided that he is contributing substantially towards maintenance.
A child who is not resident with parents but with others, is deemed to reside with the household where he normally lives.
Where a child has been abandoned or deserted or the parent has failed to contribute towards maintenance in respect of that child, that person is disregarded for the purpose of qualification.
Where a child resides in an institution, but one parent contributes substantially towards his maintenance, that parent may be entitled to the child addition. The additional al payment is made to the person in receipt of the principal social welfare payments. Where both parents are in a receipt of payment, a half supplement increment applies to each.
A child who falls outside of the above categories is regarded as normally resident with the head of household of which the child is a member and no other person.
Where the child is a refugee within the State, he is deemed normally resident with the head of the household of which he is a member. In the case of a child resident in an institution, he is not to be regarded as resident with a person other than one who contributes towards the cost of his maintenance and whom the child would be resident with but for his residence in the institution.
The former so called Orphaned Childs Benefits have been renamed as Guardian’s Payment. There is a contributory and means tested payment. In the usual manner, contributory payment depends on social insurance contributions and the means test payment is available, where a means test is satisfied. It does not apply to a child residing with an adoptive parent or step-parent.
The child concerned is one, both of whose parents are dead or one of whose parents is dead or unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child and the other is unknown or has abandoned and failed to provide for the child.
The Social Insurance contribution is based on that of the parent or the step-parent. Payment is usually made to the guardian. The means tested payment is based on the means of the guardian concerned.
The benefit does not apply where foster allowances are paid by the Health Service Executive in respect of the child.
The 2011 Act provides for discontinuing the entitlement to the payment of a half-rate qualified child increase where the spouse, civil partner or cohabitant of the beneficiary has weekly income in excess of a prescribed amount (i.e. €400) in the case of new claimants for Carer’s Benefit, State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Transition) and Invalidity Pension, with effect from the beginning of July 2012.
The 2018 Act provided for the introduction of age-differentiated increases in the Qualified Child Increase payment.
The 2018 Act provided for the necessary amendments to cater for the introduction of separate rates of the Qualified Child Increase for children who are aged under 12 and those who are aged 12 years and over.
The 2019 Act provided for a €2.00 increase in the rate of the qualified child increase for children aged under 12, from €34.00 to €36.00 per week, and an increase of €3.00, from €37.00 to €40.00 per week for children aged 12 and over, where the claimant is in receipt of a social assistance payment.
This 2020 Act provided for increases in the qualified child payment and the living alone allowance for claimants in receipt of social insurance benefits. The increase in the qualified child payment provides targeted assistance that is directly linked with household income and family-size to support low-income families. It will assist those families most in need, such as lone parent families who have relatively high rates of poverty.
Social assistance – new rates of increase for qualified child and living alone allowance
The 2021 Act S. 22 provides for increases for qualified children and living alone allowance for social assistance payments.
The 2021 Act S. 23 and Schedule 2 provides for increases in the rates of social assistance payments including a €5 per week increase in the personal rate. It also provides for an increase in relation to qualified adults, where relevant.
The 2021 Act S. 19 and Schedule 1 provides for increases in the rates of social insurance payments including a €5 per week increase in the personal rate ofbenefit. It also provides, where relevant, for a weekly increase for qualified adults and qualified children.
Social insurance benefits – new rates of increase for qualified child and living alone allowance
The 2021 Act provides for increases in the qualified child payment and the living alone allowance for claimants in receipt of social insurance benefits.
The increase in the living alone allowance targets recipients who are at greater risk of falling below the “at-risk-of-poverty” line than those who are married or cohabiting.