Family Income Supplement (FIS) is a weekly tax-free payment available to
employees with children. It gives extra financial support to people on low pay.
You cannot qualify for FIS if you are only self-employed - you must be an
employee to qualify.
You must have at least one child who normally lives with you or is
financially supported by you. Your child must be under 18 years of age or
between 18 and 22 years of age and in full-time education.
To qualify for FIS, your average weekly family income must be below a
certain amount for your family size. The FIS you receive is 60% of the
difference between your average weekly family income and the income limit which
applies to your family. For more information about average family income see
Your FIS payment is not taxed. If you are getting FIS you may also be
entitled to the Back to School
Clothing and Footwear Allowance. Your income from FIS is not taken into
account in the assessment for a medical
The new Back to Work Family
Dividend (BTWFD) and FIS can be paid together and the BTWFD will not be
taken into account in the income test for FIS.
From 7 January 2016, the Family Income Supplement income threshold increased
by €5 for the first child per week. The threshold for two or more children
increased by €10.
FIS is a tax-free weekly payment for employees who:
- Work 38 or more hours per fortnight (any combination of hours that
reaches 38 hours each fortnight is acceptable). You can combine your weekly
hours with your spouse, civil partner, cohabitant's hours to meet this
condition. You cannot use time spent in self-employment
(or on Community Employment, Gateway, Tús, JobBridge or the Rural Social
Scheme) to meet this condition.
- Where the employment is likely to last at least 3 months
- Have one or more children who normally live with you and
- Earn less than an amount set according to your family size
You must be employed in the Irish State and pay tax and PRSI here. Under EU
regulations you may be able to claim FIS if your children are living abroad and
dependent on you. Generally the payment continues for one year (52 weeks) and
is not affected by, for example, an increase or a decrease in earnings.
However, in the following 2 circumstances, your weekly rate of FIS can be
revised during the year:
- If you start to care for an additional child your FIS rate can be
- If you were getting a One-Parent Family Payment and your payment stopped
because your youngest child reached the relevant OFP age limit your FIS
rate can be revised (by disregarding the rate of OFP assessed in your most
recent FIS income test).
If you lose your job or have reduced working hours
If your pay from work is reduced your Family Income
Supplement (FIS) payment will stay the same. It will not increase. However,
when your FIS payment ends you can re-apply giving details of your new reduced
income. (FIS is usually paid for 52 weeks. At the end of the 52 weeks, you can
re-apply for FIS.)
If the number of hours you work each week is reduced to
below 38 hours per fortnight you are no longer entitled to FIS. You should
notify the FIS section if your hours fall below this minimum requirement.
If you lose your job you are no longer entitled to FIS. You
must notify the FIS section.
Getting FIS with other social welfare payments
You cannot get FIS if you are on one of the following schemes or social
Your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant can claim FIS while you are getting
one of these payments. However an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) will no
longer be paid and your social welfare payment will be assessed as income for
their FIS payment. Any Increase for a Qualified Child will be affected.
Similarly if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting one of these
payments, you can qualify for FIS but an IQA will no longer be paid for you.
If you are parenting alone you may be entitled to FIS in addition to your One-Parent Family Payment, Deserted Wife's Benefit or Widow's,
Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension.
You can get FIS while you are taking part in the Part-Time
Job Incentive Scheme.
You can get Illness Benefit
Benefit while you are getting FIS (for 6 consecutive weeks). If you are out
of work for more than 6 consecutive weeks payment of FIS is suspended until you
return to work and send a final certificate into the Illness Benefit or
Occupational Injury Benefit section or until your FIS award period expires
(whichever is the earlier).
Under the Maternity Protection Act 1994, a woman on maternity
or adoptive leave is entitled to be treated as if she is in employment.
This means that she can claim FIS (provided she meets the conditions of the FIS
payment and has a family – a pregnant woman who has no other children does
not qualify for FIS until the birth of the baby). Your income must be less than
the income limit for your family size and is normally calculated using your
gross earnings to date or your P60. Your FIS claim will then be paid for 52
weeks from the date you applied. You are not entitled to continue to claim FIS
if you take additional unpaid maternity or adoptive leave, if you lose your job
after returning to work or give up your employment.
A separated parent can apply for FIS once he or she meets the qualifying
Is living with the children or
Is wholly maintaining the ex-spouse, ex-civil partner or
ex-cohabitant with whom the children are living
Wholly maintaining means that maintenance paid by you, the FIS
applicant, must be the main income of your ex-spouse, ex-civil partner or
ex-cohabitant. Your former spouse or partner cannot have more than €100 a
week income in their own right and cannot be married, in a civil partnership or
FIS is awarded for 52 weeks. A person included in your FIS award cannot be
paid FIS in their own right or be included in another FIS claim during that 52
If you are a separated parent and paying maintenance you may qualify for FIS.
To qualify you must be wholly maintaining the parent with whom the children are
living. Only one FIS payment can be made for a family so the parent to whom you
are paying maintenance must not be getting FIS. You must supply written
evidence from this person to show that they are getting maintenance.
If you are paying maintenance as a result of a court order or legally
binding agreement for a second family, the amount of that maintenance payment
will not be deducted from the income to be assessed for FIS.
If you are getting maintenance, your total maintenance payment will be
assessed as income for FIS. This includes situations where rent or mortgage
payments are made by an ex-spouse or partner under a maintenance agreement. If
a house is in joint names and an ex-spouse or partner pays the mortgage 50% of
this will be assessed as income for FIS. Only one FIS payment can be made for a
family. This means that the parent from whom you are getting maintenance must
not be getting FIS.
A parent getting maintenance for a qualified child will also have that
maintenance assessed for FIS.
FIS is calculated on the basis of 60% of the difference between the income
limit for the family size and the assessable income of the person(s) raising
the child(ren). The combined income of a couple (married, in a civil
partnership or cohabiting) is taken into account.
Income from any source (except for the disregards stated below) is assessed.
The FIS income test does not assess capital. This includes property you own,
bank accounts and cars. The Department of Social Protection does assess income
you get from tenants who rent a property you own, it may examine your bank
accounts to check for other income sources and it may assess income derived
from use of a car that you own (for example as a taxi).
The main items counted as income are:
- Your assessable earnings and your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant's
assessable earnings. (Assessable earnings are gross pay minus tax, employee
PRSI, Universal Social Charge and superannuation (including the Public
Service Pension Levy.) Income from working as a home help is included.
- Any extra income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant have
from employment (such as pay for overtime, bonuses, allowances or
- Any income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may have from
- Income from occupational pensions.
- Income you or your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant may have including
social welfare payments and student grants.
- All family income from carer's payments (Carer's Allowance or Carer's Benefit).
- Rental income from the letting of property or land (the capital value is
not assessed). The gross rental income is assessed and you cannot deduct
mortgage payments or other expenses. Rental income from renting a room in
your house is included.
The following payments do not count as family income:
Calculating income for FIS
The Department of Social Protection (DSP) calculates your assessable
earnings over a certain period of time.
Because FIS is paid over 52 weeks the DSP tries to calculate your average
earnings over a similar period of time. Normally they will use your latest P60
or your gross earnings up to the date of your application. If you are newly in
employment, your average weekly income is calculated from when you started work
with that employer.
Your P60 is also used to calculate your average weekly income when your
claim is being renewed. If your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is
self-employed, his or her income over the 12-month period before you lodge your
claim is used to work out his or her average weekly income.
Again, to qualify, your average weekly family income must be below a certain
amount for your family size. You
can read examples of calculations on welfare.ie.
FIS income limits in 2016
|If you have:
||And your weekly family income is less
It's important to be aware, that if you qualify for FIS, you get a minimum
of €20 each week. You can use the Benefit
of Work Ready Reckoner from the Department of Social Protection to help you
assess out the financial consequences of taking up full-time work. The Reckoner
works out the total amount you would receive on taking up full-time work
(including any Family Income Supplement) and compares this to what you are
getting in jobseeker payments (including Rent Supplement).
If you are getting FIS you may also be entitled to the Back to School
Clothing and Footwear Allowance.
Where to apply
Send your completed Family Income Supplement application form to:
Family Income Supplement (FIS) Section
Department of Social Protection
Social Welfare Services Office
Tel:(043) 334 0053
Locall:1890 92 77 70