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
Note that in 2014 all income from carer's payments is
assessed as income for FIS (this measure was announced in Budget 2012 and was
implemented over 3 years).
FIS is a tax-free weekly payment for employees:
- Working 19 or more hours per week (or 38 or more hours per fortnight).
You can combine the weekly hours you have worked with your spouse, civil
partner, cohabitant's hours to meet this condition. You
cannot use time spent in self-employment (or on Community
Employment, Tús or the Rural Social Scheme) to meet this condition.
- Where the employment is likely to last at least 3 months
- Looking after one or more children and
- Earning less than a set amount which varies according to family size
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 will increase
(because your family size has increased)
- If you were getting a One-Parent Family Payment and your payment stopped
because your youngest child reached the relevant age limit your FIS rate
can be revised to take account of the loss of your OFP
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 19 hours (38 hours per fortnight) you are no longer entitled to FIS. You
should notify the FIS section if your hours fall below the 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.
You can get FIS while you are taking part in the Job
Initiative scheme or the Part-Time Job Incentive Scheme.
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.
Under the Maternity Protection Act 1994, a woman who qualifies for Maternity Benefit, Adoptive Benefit or Health and Safety Benefit is entitled
to 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. (If you are claiming Maternity Benefit your average
weekly earnings are worked out using your gross earnings to date or your P60).
Your FIS claim will then be paid for one year from the start of your Maternity
Benefit payment (if you have a child already) or from the birth of your baby if
it is your first baby. You are not entitled to continue to claim FIS if you
take additional unpaid maternity or adoptive leave, if you do not return to
work following maternity or adoptive leave or if you lose your job after
returning to work.
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 sole income of your ex-spouse, ex-civil partner or
Only one FIS payment can be made for a family
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, the parent to whom you
are paying maintenance must not be getting FIS.
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. 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
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 (excluding the disregards stated below) is assessed
as means. However, though there are no rules excluding the assessment of
capital, the Department of Social Protection generally does not assess capital
or examine your bank account details when you apply for FIS.
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, Public Service Pension Levy and
superannuation.) Income from working as a home help is included for new
claims from January 2012 and for existing claims on renewal.
- 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.
- 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.
Income from working as a home help for the HSE is assessed for all new FIS
claims from January 2012 and on renewal for other claims.
The following payments do not count as family income:
Calculating income for FIS
The Department of Social Protection calculates your assessable income and
your average income over a certain period of time.
If you are newly in employment, your average weekly income is calculated
from when you started work. If you have been working for over a year, your
average weekly income are calculated from your latest P60.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 2014
|If you have:
||And your weekly family income is less
It's important to be aware, that no matter how little you may qualify for,
you will still get a minimum of €20 each week. You can use a new 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 0000
Locall:1890 92 77 70