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The Basic Social Welfare rates from January 2015 are:


Basic Social Welfare rates from January 2015



Adult Dependent

Contributory OAP (Full Rate)


€206.30 (aged 66 or over)

Non Contributory OAP


€144.70 (aged 66 or over)

Contributory Widows - under 66



Contributory Widows - 66 or over



Invalidity Pension



Maternity Benefit



Supplementary Welfare



Carer’s Allowance - under 66



Carer’s Allowance - 66 or over



All Other Payments



Living Alone Allowance



Over 80 Allowance


  • A 25% Christmas Bonus will be paid in December 2014 to all persons on long-term (over 15 months) Welfare payments.
    • Child Benefit of €135 per month is payable for all children up to their 18th birthday, if in full-time education, from January 2015.
    • Qualified Child Payment of €29.80 is paid to persons on Social Welfare up to the end of the academic year in which the child reaches 18. A person on Social Welfare for over 26 weeks can claim up to 22nd birthday if in full-time education. Full rate QCP will be paid if your spouse is working and earning no more than €400.
    • A Back-to-School payment of €100 for pupils aged 4-11 and €200 for pupils aged 12-22 (children aged between 18 and 22 years must be in full-time second-level education).
    • Family Income Supplement: A couple or a single parent on low pay, who work for at least 19 hours per week combined (including job-sharers), can get a supplement for their children (including those 18-22 in full-time education). The payment is calculated at 60c for each €1 by which your take-home family income (i.e. net of tax, USC, PRSI and superannuation) falls below the following income:
      • €506.00 for a family with one child, plus
      • – €96 for second, €101 for third, €121 for fourth, and €126 (approx) for each other child.
      • If you qualify, the payment will last at least 52 weeks and it will be of a minimum €20 per week. You may also be eligible for a Back-to-School payment from the HSE, but the means tests are not identical. FIS will not affect your eligibility for a Medical Card. You can claim One Parent Family Payment and your FIS is not counted as means.
      • A widow(er) with children receives a once-off €6,000 in the year of bereavement. Bereavement Grant is no longer payable from 1 January 2014, but a Deceased Person’s Payment continues to be paid for six weeks to their spouse after their death (provided that their spouse is also getting a weekly welfare payment).
      • The Dept of Social Protection pays Domiciliary Care Allowance €309.50 per month, an annual Water Allowance of €100 and an annual respite grant of €1,375 up to their 16th birthday for children with a severe disability who require substantial and documented extra care. A half-rate payment is payable to a child in institutional settings who live at home for 2 days or more. At 16, the child may apply for Disability Allowance.
      • Free Pre-School for one year is available to any child aged more than 3 years and 2 months, and less than 4 years and 7 months on 1 September, covering 3 hours daily for 38 weeks.
        A pre-school cannot charge parents extra for the hours covered by the scheme, but can charge for extra hours or for additional activities as long as these are optional.
      • FUEL SCHEME: A Fuel Allowance of €20 per week is payable for 26 weeks if you are on long-term Social Welfare with no more than €100 per week in household income over the contributory pension rate. However, to qualify, you must be living alone, or only with dependants or another person on long-term Social Welfare or the JSA. Recipients who do not already receive a Water Allowance as part of the Household Benefits Package will get an annual Water Allowance of €100.
      • Supplementary Welfare: The Community Welfare Officer may help out with the following:
        • A weekly payment if you are sick or unemployed and have not received Social Welfare.
        • Exceptional heating supplement can be paid in serious medical circumstances.
        • A once-off payment for unforeseen needs such as a funeral, fares to visit or attend hospital, a robbery, fire or flood; or for unaffordable essential needs such as: furniture or kitchen equipment when setting up home; needs associated with pregnancy and a new baby; clothing or replacing essential equipment for older people on low income or in poor health; children’s clothing in exceptional situations.
        • Help if the repayment schedule sought by the Electricity/Gas to sort out a serious arrear causes excessive hardship.

In assessing eligibility, the CWO takes into account all income coming into the house including part-time earnings of a spouse and income of other adults. Full-time students and persons working over 30 hours are not generally eligible. Decisions can be appealed to Social Welfare Appeals Office, D’Olier House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2 (Ph: 01-6732800; LoCall 1890 74 74 34).

  • Treatment Benefit covers free dental, optical examinations and Medical and Surgical Appliances (including half the cost of hearing aids, max €500 per aid once every 4 years) for the insured worker, their spouse and retired people who have the required number of PRSI contributions. Illness Benefit is only payable after the sixth day of absence from 1 January 2014.
  • To qualify for the State Pension you must be 66. The Transition Pension ceased for persons reaching 65 from 1 January 2014 onwards. From 1 January 2021, the State Pension age is increasing to 67.
  • Household Benefit Package: If you are 66 or over or permanently incapacitated, and living alone except for dependants, a spouse on Social Welfare, another pensioner, or someone giving you full-time care, you can receive the following concessions along with your Irish or British Social Welfare Pension:
    • Electricity or Natural Gas up €35 per month, and
    • Free television licence and
    • Free water allowance of €25 per quarter.

Pensioners who don’t have a Social Welfare pension can qualify at age 66 on the same terms provided their means don’t exceed the Contributory OAP rate by more than €100.

If you are aged 70 or over, you can qualify for all of these free schemes regardless of your income or its source and regardless of who lives with you. If you are widowed and aged 60 or over, you can retain the free schemes and free travel if your late spouse had them, and you satisfy the other conditions.

  • Part-time Working
    • A person on Jobseeker’s Benefit loses one fifth of your payment for each day you work including work on a Sunday. A person on Jobseeker’s Allowance will have 60% of your daily earnings over €20 deducted from the total weekly payment. In both cases, you get no payment if you work more than 3 days.
    • From 1 January 2015 a Single Parent can earn €75 per week (after Pension Contributions and PRSI) without affecting your entitlement to One Parent Family Payment. Half the remainder of your gross earnings up to €425 per week is assessed as means. If you earn between €75 and €425 per week you may qualify for a reduced payment. Up to €95.23 of Maintenance is disregarded where there are housing payments to be met, thereafter half of the payment is assessed. One Parent Family Payment is to cease when the youngest child reaches 7 years. This applies from July 2014 for persons whose claim was made after 3 May 2012, and from July 2015 for all other claimants.
    • Jobseeker’s Allowance is cut to €150 if a job offer or activation measure is refused.
    • A person claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance whose spouse is working will be paid the rate for a claimant and an adult dependent less 60% of their spouse’s earnings (after deduction of pension contribution, PRSI and union subscriptions) in excess of €60 per week.
    • A single person under 25 living at home who has left school can apply for Jobseeker’s Allowance, but will be assessed with 34% of their parents’ disposable income (after deduction of tax, PRSI, superannuation, mortgage/rent, Health Insurance, Union Fees, €600 for a two-parent family, €470 for a single parent and €30 per child). Once you qualify for any payment, a minimum €40 per week is paid. The payment is capped at €100 for persons aged 18-24 and €144 aged 25, where they have no children.
    • The duration of Jobseeker’s Benefit is 9 months (6 months for those with less than 260 paid contributions).
      • Returning to Work: A person returning to work after 12 months or more unemployed, or as a lone parent, retains GP cover for 3 years. You may also retain Rent Supplement for 1 year, where the Council has deemed you eligible, but the Supplement is recalculated based on your new earnings level. From Jan 2015 a new Back to Work Family Dividend allows you retain the Qualified Child weekly payment of €29.80 in full for 1 year, and half rate for the second year.







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