To get an Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC), your child must:
- Be resident in the State
- Not be in legal custody
- Satisfy the age condition for that payment
- Live with you
You do not get an IQC if your child is getting a social welfare payment or
Supplementary Welfare Allowance in their own right (with the exception of
Disablement Benefit). However if you are getting an IQC during the summer
holiday period between academic years and your child becomes entitled to a
social welfare payment in their own right you will continue to get the IQC and
your child's payment is reduced by the amount of the IQC.
Your child does not have to be financially dependent on you. Your child can
work and earn money and this does not affect the increase paid to you. An IQC
can be paid on behalf of foster children.
Children under 18
A child dependant is usually a child up to 18 years of age who
lives with you.
Children aged 18 and over
If your child is 18 years of age or over, you can continue to get an
Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC) for three months after he or she leaves
second level education or finishes the Leaving Certificate (provided that they
are not getting a social welfare payment in their own right). Note that an IQC
can continue to be paid if your child starts work immediately after finishing
If you are getting a long-term social welfare payment and your child is in
full-time education, an IQC will be paid up to 22 years of age or up to the end
of the academic year in which he or she reaches 22.
If you are getting a short-term
social welfare payment for at least 156 days and your child is in full-time
education, an IQC will be paid up to 22 years of age or up to the end of the
academic year in which he or she reaches 22. Time spent on other social welfare
payments can be combined to meet the 156 days but the period between any two
payments must not be more than 26 weeks. The period between Jobseeker's
Allowance payments must not be more than 52 weeks.
Full-time education does not include training provided by
SOLAS where an allowance is paid or where the period of work experience is
greater than the period of training or instruction or where the training forms
part of an employment or work experience programme. One exception to this is YouthReach.
No IQC payable
You do not get an Increase for a Qualified Child with the following
- Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
- Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
- Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory)
You do not get an IQC if you are claiming Illness Benefit, Injury Benefit,
Health and Safety Benefit, Jobseeker's Benefit or Disablement Benefit
(Incapacity Supplement), Invalidity Pension, Carer's Benefit or State Pension
(Transition) and State Pension (Contributory) and the gross income of your
spouse, civil partner or cohabitant is over €400.
Full-rate and half-rate IQC
For most social welfare payments you get a full-rate Increase for a
Qualified Child (IQC) if you get an Increase for a Qualified Adult for your
spouse, civil partner or cohabitant or you are parenting alone.
You get a half-rate IQC if your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant has an
income of between €310 and €400 a week. (This does not apply to Jobseeker's
Allowance (JA), Pre-Retirement Allowance (PRETA), Disability Allowance (DA) and
Farm Assist (FA) – see below).
Only one increase is paid for each qualified child. If you and your spouse,
civil partner or cohabitant are both getting a social welfare payment you will
each get a half-rate IQC for each child.
If you get an Increase for a Qualified Adult with Supplementary
Welfare Allowance (SWA), you get a full-rate IQC. A half-rate IQC is not
payable with SWA.
A full-rate IQC is paid with Carer's
Allowance if you are parenting alone. A half-rate IQC is paid with Carer's
Allowance if you are living with your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant. You
do not get an IQC if you are getting half-rate Carer's Allowance.
The income rules are different for Jobseeker's
Allowance (JA), Disability
Allowance (DA) and Farm
Assist (FA). For these payments your total household income is
assessed in a means test. Your assessable means are then deducted from the
maximum payment for your circumstances to find the actual amount of JA, DA, FA
or PRETA you are entitled to.
|Jane is married to John and has 3 children. If she applies for
Jobseeker’s Allowance the maximum payment for her circumstances is
€410.50. This is made up of:
The personal rate of JA: €193
An Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA):
3 Increases for a Qualified Child (IQC): €29.80 x
John does some casual work at weekends so the family’s assessable
means are €54. These assessable means are deducted from €410.50.
Jane qualifies for a Jobseeker’s Allowance payment of