You may get extra payments for a qualified adult and qualified children.
If you have dependants, we compare the rate of Maternity Benefit to the rate of Illness Benefit that you would get if you were absent from work through illness. We will check this for you and you will get the higher of the two rates.
Although the Illness Benefit rate begins from a lower base amount of €188 (maximum personal rate), it then also takes into account extra payments for spouse and children, and this is why, depending on the circumstances of your spouse and how many children you have, your rate of Maternity Benefit may be greater than the personal rate to which you would have otherwise been entitled.
There are a number of factors that decide whether or not you will receive an extra payment for a spouse or child:
• If your spouse is in receipt of a Benefit in their own right, you cannot
receive an extra payment for them, but you may get half of the €29.80
child entitlement for each qualified child you have (which is €14.90 per week)
• If your spouse has either no income or gross weekly earnings (earnings before deductions) of between €0.01 and €100.00, you may get a full rate for them and full rate for each qualified child you have
• If your spouse has earnings of between €100.01 and €310.00, you may receive a reduced rate for them and full rate for each qualified child you have
• If your spouse has gross weekly earnings of €310.01 and €400.00, you cannot receive any extra payment for them, but may receive half rate for each qualified child you have
• If your spouse has gross weekly earnings of more than €400 you cannot receive any extra payment for them or your children.
Who is regarded as a qualified adult?
If you are married, in a civil partnership, or cohabitating and you are supporting them, you may get an increase for them as a qualified adult.
You will not get an increase for them if they:
• have average gross weekly earnings or income of more than €310,
• are getting a social welfare payment (except Disablement Benefit, Child Benefit or certain Supplementary Welfare Allowance payments),
• are disqualified from getting Jobseeker's Allowance because of a trade dispute,
• are taking part in certain courses.
If you are single, widowed, a former civil partner or separated, and your children are living with you, you can claim an increase for a person aged 16 or over who is caring for them, if you are supporting that person.
Note: Your spouse's, civil partner's or cohabitant's income or earnings includes earnings from employment, self-employment, occupational pensions and other sources, such as property, savings, capital and investments.
Who is regarded as a qualified child?
A qualified child is a child under 18 years of age who normally lives with you and is being supported by you. Sometimes a child who is not living with you can also be
your qualified child if you are supporting them.
A child who is aged 18 and over and being maintained by you is also considered a qualified child:
• for the 3 month period after they leave second level education,
• for the 3 month period after they finish the Leaving Certificate,
• up to the end of the academic year in which they reach 18, as long as they are attending a full-time course of study by day at a school, college or university.
You will not get the Qualified Child Increase if the child gets:
• a social welfare payment in their own right (except Disablement Benefit),
• if they are employed.
What rate of Qualified Child Increase can I get?
You will get the full Qualified Child Increase if you:
• qualify for an increase for your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant,
SW 11 • are a lone parent and not getting:
- One-Parent Family Payment,
- Deserted Wife's Benefit,
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner (Contributory) Pension.
You will get half the Qualified Child Increase if:
• your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is getting a social welfare payment in their own right. In this case, they will get half the Qualified Child Increase with their payment and you will get half the Qualified Child Increase,
• your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has average gross weekly earnings between €310.01 and €400.00.
Note: You will not get a Qualified Child Increase if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has average gross weekly earnings or income of more than
€400 a week.