Operational Guidelines Parent's Benefit


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Parents Benefit – Operational Guidelines used in processing claims

 
Index
 
PART 1: ENTITLEMENT
 
Ø  Description of Scheme
Ø  Legislation
Ø  Administration
Ø  Description of Scheme
Ø  Qualifying Conditions in Detail
Ø  Relevant Income Tax Year
Ø  Self-employed
Ø  Parent’s Benefit and EU Regulations
Ø  Volunteer Development Workers
Ø  Disqualifications
Ø  Absence from the State
Ø  Imprisonment
Ø  Rates Structure
Ø  Employees
Ø  Self-employed
Ø  Illness Benefit rate
Ø  Overlapping Provisions
Ø  Carer’s Allowance
 
 
PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES
 
Ø  Claims
Ø  Documentation
Ø  Late Claims
Ø  Investigation of Claim
Ø  Deciding a Claim
Ø  Appeals
 
PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD
 
Ø  Payments
Ø  Taxation
Ø  Duration of Payment
Ø  Maintenance
Ø  Certification of Ongoing Entitlement
Ø  Reviews
Ø  Suspension of Payment
Ø  Credits
Ø  Parental Leave
 
PART 1: ENTITLEMENT
 

Description of Scheme

 
Parent’s Benefit Parent’s Benefit is a measure to provide two weeks payment to each parent of a child, aged under 1 year, who is on parents leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is available in respect of any child born or placed with their adoptive parents on or after the implementation of the scheme, with effect from 1 November 2019.
 
Each parent is entitled to Parent’s Benefit during parent’s leave if they satisfy the PRSI qualifying conditions. You can take 2 consecutive weeks or 2 separate weeks of leave.
 

Legislation

 
The main provisions relating to Parent’s Benefit are found in the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019
 

Administration

 
Parent’s Benefit Section in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, McCarter's Road, Buncrana, Co. Donegal deals with the payment of Parent’s Benefit       
 

Qualifying Conditions in Summary

 
An employee must be in employment which is covered by the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019 and satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions.
A self-employed person must be, or have been, self-employed and satisfy certain PRSI contribution conditions.
 

Qualifying Conditions in Detail

 
Employees
 
To qualify for Parent’s Benefit, a claimant must –
 
Ø  be in employment which is covered by the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019.
Ø  be certified by the employer as entitled to Parent’s leave under the Parent’s Leave and Benefit Act 2019  and
Ø  have at least 39 weeks PRSI paid in the 12 months before the first day of the Parent’s leave
or
Ø  at least 39 weeks PRSI paid since first starting work and at least 39 weeks PRSI paid or credited in the Relevant Tax Year or in the year following the Relevant Tax Year
or
Ø  at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the Relevant Tax Year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the Tax Year prior to the Relevant Tax Year.
 
Note: PRSI contributions paid at Classes A, B, C, D, E, H and S (self-employed) count.
 
If a claimant does not satisfy the employee conditions outlined above,and was in insurable self-employment before starting insurable employment as an employee, Class S PRSI contributions may help to qualify for Parent’s Benefit.
 
 
 
 

Entitlement to leave

Relevant Income Tax Year

 
The relevant income tax year is the second last complete income tax year before the year in which the Parent’s leave starts. For Example: Claims that start in 2020, the relevant tax year is 2018.
 

Self-employed

 
A self-employed claimant must
 
Ø  be self-employed in accordance with the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005, as amended
and
Ø  have 52 qualifying PRSI contributions paid in the Relevant Tax Year
or
Ø  have 52 qualifying contributions paid in the Tax Year prior to the Relevant Tax Year
or
Ø  have 52 qualifying contributions paid in the Tax Year following to the Relevant Tax Year.
and
 
Note: PRSI paid at Classes A, B, C, D, E, H and S count as qualifying contributions
 
If a claimant is now self-employed but was in insurable employment before becoming self-employed, PRSI contributions (Class A, B,C,D, E and H) in that employment may help to qualify for Parent’s Benefit if they do not satisfy the self-employment conditions as stated above.
 
It should be noted that self-employment contributions, i.e. PRSI class S, are not awarded until the total tax liability is paid in full for the Relevant Tax Year.

Parent’s Benefit and EU Regulations

 
If a claimant was previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations and they have paid at least one full rate PRSI contribution since their return to Ireland, the insurance record (contributions and credits) in that country may be combined with the Irish PRSI contributions to help qualify for benefit.

Volunteer Development Workers

 
A volunteer development worker is entitled to Parent’s Benefit provided that they have qualifying contributions paid in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the period beginning with the  entry into insurance and ending immediately before the first day of Parent’s leave.
 
A person who ceases to be a volunteer development worker shall be entitled to Parent’s benefit in respect of any claim made in the benefit year in which they return to the State from a developing country or in the next succeeding benefit year provided that there are qualifying contributions paid in respect of not less than 39 contribution weeks in the period beginning with the entry into insurance and ending immediately before the first day of Parent’s leave.
 
 
 

Disqualifications

 
Ø  A claimant will be disqualified from receiving Parent’s Benefit if during the period for which benefit is payable, they engage in any form of insurable employment or insurable self-employment
Ø  Failure to apply for Parent’s Benefit within twelve months of the birth of the child may result in loss of benefit.
Ø  An EU citizen will be disqualified from receiving Parent’s Benefit for any period of Parent’s Leave that is spent outside the EU. A non-EU citizen will be disqualified from receiving Parent’s Benefit for any period of the Parent’s Leave that is spent outside the Republic of Ireland
 
 

Absence from the State

 
If the claimant is an EU citizen, they are entitled to Parent’s Benefit for any period of the Parent’s leave spent in an EU country. If the claimant is not an EU citizen, they are only entitled to Parent’s Benefit for any period spent in the Republic of Ireland. A claimant will not be paid Parent’s Benefit for any period spent outside the EU, except in the following circumstances.
 
Ø  Where a claimant receiving Parent’s Benefit goes abroad to receive approved medical treatment for their incapacity; (The treatment must relate to an illness incurred before going abroad)
Ø  Where a claimant receiving Parent’s Benefit goes abroad for a holiday, not exceeding two weeks.
Ø  Persons who are employed abroad (posted workers) and continue to be insured under the Social Welfare Acts may be paid Parent’s Benefit
Ø  Parent’s Benefit may be paid to a payable claimant in other EU member states in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) NO 883/04, Articles 19 – 21
 

Imprisonment

 
Parent’s Benefit is NOT payable if the claimant is in prison
 

Rates Structure

 
Employees
The standard rate payable for Parent’s Benefit is €245.00 per week
 
Self-employed
The standard rate payable for Parent’s Benefit is €245.00 per week
 
Illness Benefit Rate
The rate of Parent’s Benefit is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit that would be paid to the claimant if they were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid (See Rates Booklet SW19 for Illness Benefit rates).
 

Overlapping Provisions

 
Half-rate/reduced rate Parent’s Benefit is payable if the claimant is in receipt of one of the following payments:
 
Ø  One-Parent Family Payment
Ø  Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner Contributory Pension
Ø  Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner Non-Contributory Pension
Ø  Death Benefit by way of Widow's/Widower's, Surviving Civil Partner's or Dependent Parent(s) Pension (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)
 
In the case of a person who is entitled to Blind Pension and Parent’s Benefit the full amount of both payments may be paid concurrently unless the Blind Pensioner is in receipt of one of the following payments, in which case Parent’s Benefit is NOT payable
 
Ø  One Parent Family Payment
Ø  Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner Contributory Pension
Ø  Widow's, Widower's or Surviving Civil Partner Non-Contributory Pension
Ø  Death Benefit by way of Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's or parent's pension
 
Parent’s Benefit cannot be paid for the same period as any other Social Welfare payment except Disablement Benefit and Child Benefit
 

Carer's Allowance

 
A person who is claiming Parent’s Benefit and who is providing full time care to another person living at the same address may now apply for Carer's Allowance and retain their current payment in full. If they satisfy the conditions for Carer's Allowance it will be awarded at 50% of the personal rate they would qualify for if they were not in receipt of any other payment. They will also be eligible for Household Benefits and a Free Travel Pass.
 
See Carer's Allowance guidelines for more information
 
Increases for Qualified Adult/Qualified Child
 
Section 43 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, & Statutory Instrument (S.I.) No 142 of 2007 refers.
 
Increases of Parent’s Benefit are payable in respect of a qualified adult and in respect of a qualified child. (See separate guidelines on Dependants - Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) or Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC).
 
The claimant will qualify for a full-rate IQA and a full-rate IQC, if the adult dependent is unemployed and signing on for credits or is earning under €100.01 per week.
 
If the adult dependent is earning between €100.01 and €310 per week, the claimant will get a tapered rate of IQA and a full-rate IQC. If the adult dependent is earning between €310.01 and €400 per week the claimant will not get an IQA but will get half rate IQC. If the adult dependent earns over €400 per week the claimant will not get an IQA or IQC

PART 2: CLAIMS, INVESTIGATION AND DECISION PROCEDURES

 

Claims

 
Under the legislation the onus is on the claimant to apply at the correct time if they feel they are entitled to benefit. The Parent’s Benefit claim form PAR1 should be completed in full and signed by the claimant in all cases. Failure to answer all questions could cause delay in processing the claim.
 
No supporting documentation will be required however you will be asked to declare that your employer has approved your parents leave and the Department may contact your employer to verify these details.
 
Claims should be submitted 4 weeks (6 weeks if self-employed) before the claimant intends to commence Parent’s leave.
 
The claimant should forward relevant documentation as indicated below. However this may be sent on after the initial claim is made.
 

Documentation

 
The claimant of Parent’s Benefit is responsible for the production of certificates, documents, information and evidence required, including Certificate of confinement, P35, P45, P60, current payslip, copy of marriage/civil partnership certificate and/or work permit/GNIB card etc. (if required).
 
Parent’s Benefit cannot be awarded until all the necessary documentation has been provided.
 

Late claims

 
A late claim may be accepted at the discretion of the Deciding Officer where s/he considers there was good cause throughout the period of the delay, but payment cannot be made in respect of a period more than six months prior to the date of claim. See under Disqualifications above.
 
Further back-dating may however be possible in certain circumstances on an extra statutory basis. See section 4.2 of the separate guidelines on ' Claims and Late Claims'
 

Deciding a Claim

 
Particulars of PRSI contributions paid by and/or credited to the claimant are obtained from the Department's Central Records Section.
 
Claims are decided by a Deciding Officer appointed by the Minister under Section 299 of the Social Welfare (Consolidation) Act, 2005. A notification of the decision is issued to the claimant, and when claims are awarded at reduced rates or disallowed the claimant is given an explanation for the partial award or disallowance.
 

Appeals

 
A person who is dissatisfied with the decision of the Deciding Officer may appeal that decision in writing within 21 days of the date of the decision, to the Chief Appeals Officer.

PART 3: PROCEDURES FOLLOWING AWARD

 
Parent’s Benefit is payable by DIRECT PAYMENT on a weekly basis into a Bank or Building Society Account (a current or deposit savings account, not a mortgage account) or the claimant may choose to have it paid directly into the employer's bank account.
 
If the claimant does not have a Bank or Building Society Account payment will be made by cheque to the home address.
 

Taxation

 
Parent’s Benefit (including any increases for adult and child dependents) is reckonable for income tax purposes.  This Department pays Parent’s Benefit directly to recipients without any deduction for tax. To assist in the taxation of Parent’s Benefit, this Department notifies the Office of the Revenue Commissioners of the taxable amount of Parent’s Benefit to be taken into account for income tax purposes.
 
If a claimant chooses to have the Benefit paid to the employer, who then continues to pay their normal weekly wage while they are receiving Benefit, the claimant may be entitled to a PRSI refund. They should complete the Refund of PRSI Contributions Application form PRSIREF 1, which can be accessed online at 'www.welfare.ie'.
 

Duration of Payment

Parent’s Benefit will be payable for two weeks, over a consecutive 2 week period or in separate weekly blocks. Parent’s Benefit cannot begin prior to the estimated due date / actual date of birth and must be taken within 52 weeks of the birth of the child.
 
 

Maintenance

When a claim is awarded, a start date and end date are inserted on the Department's payment system.
 
When a claimant returns to work early, the end date is updated on the payment system.
 
Where applicable, change of address is updated
 

Certification of ongoing entitlement

 
The onus is on the claimant to notify the Department of any changes in the details given on the claim form e.g. returning to work before the end of the claim or change of address.
 

Review

A review is initiated when the claimant informs the Department of a change of circumstances.

Suspension of Payment

Payment may be suspended if new evidence is received indicating that the claimant does not fulfil the conditions or is disqualified.
 

Credits

Credits are awarded automatically to recipients of Parent’s Benefit for each week of benefit paid.
 

Parental Leave

The Parental Leave Act, 1998, which came into operation on 3rd December 1998, makes provision for unpaid leave for fathers and mothers to look after young children. Parental Leave may be taken either as a continuous block of 22 weeks or, with the agreement of the employer, broken up over a period of time.
 
Parents who take Parental Leave may be entitled to receive a PRSI Credit in respect of each week taken. This will ensure that their existing cover for Social Welfare benefits are fully maintained.
 

For further information contact:

 
Parent’s Benefit Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Buncrana
Co. Donegal
IRELAND
 
For information about parental leave, as well as employment rights and responsibilities contact:
 
Workplace Relations Customer Service
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
O’Brien Road
Carlow
Tel: +353 59 917 8990
LoCall: 1890 80 80 90
 
If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call +353 59 917 8990
Email
: www.workplacerelations.ie
Website: www.enterprise.gov.ie
 
For further information on PRSI credits for Parental Leave, contact:
 
Records Section
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Buncrana
Co. Donegal
Telephone: (01) 47 15898
LoCall: 1890 690 690
 
If calling from outside the Republic of Ireland please call + 353 1 47 15898
 
Note:
The rates charged for using 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers
Last modified:11/11/2019