Paternity Benefit


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Introduction

 

Apply for Paternity Benefit online at www.mywelfare.ie

You can now apply online for Paternity Benefit if you have registered for a Public Services Card and associated your mobile phone with this registration.

Appointments for Public Services Card registration can be made online at www.mywelfare.ie or by contacting any Intreo Centre.  Once registered for a Public Services card the process of creating an online profile on www.myGovID.ie can be completed speedily using any device (laptop, smartphone, etc.).

This will enable you to avail of a growing number of online services from this Department, including applying for Paternity Benefit.  A major advantage with applying online is that a high percentage of online applications result in a fully automated award of benefit, with a very speedy response to the customer. You can also track the progress of your claim using the www.mywelfare.ie facility.

Paternity Benefit is a new payment for employed and self-employed people who are on paternity leave from work and covered by social insurance (PRSI). It is paid for two weeks and is available for any child born or adopted on or after 1 September 2016. You can start paternity leave at any time within the first 6 months following the birth or adoption placement.

You should apply for the payment 4 weeks before you intend to go on paternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed).

If you are already on certain social welfare payments then you may get half-rate Paternity Benefit.

You can read detailed Frequently Asked Questions about Paternity Benefit here.

Appeals

You have the right to appeal the decision made on your Paternity Benefit claim. You can get detailed information about making an appeal from the Social Welfare Appeals Office.

Rules

You must notify your employer that you intend to take paternity leave and of your intended dates no later than 4 weeks before your leave. You must provide proof of the expected date of birth of your child. Generally you will need to provide a certificate from your spouse or partner's doctor confirming when your baby is due, or, confirmation of the actual date of birth if you are applying for leave after the birth.

You should apply for Paternity Benefit at least 4 weeks before the date you intend to start your paternity leave. If you are self-employed you should apply 12 weeks before. You must register for a Public Services Card (if you don't already have one) and register with the mywelfare.ie service (see 'How to apply' below for details of how to do this).

You must also satisfy the PRSI contribution conditions.

PRSI contribution conditions

Paternity Benefit is paid by the Department of Social Protection to people who have a certain number of paid PRSI contributions on their social insurance record. The PRSI contributions can be from both employment and self-employment. The PRSI classes that count for Paternity Benefit are A, E, H and S (self-employed). However, Paternity Benefit is not payable to serving members of the Defence Forces who pay PRSI at Class H.

If you are an employee you must have:

  • At least 39 weeks PRSI paid in the 12-month period before the first day of your paternity leave.

Or

  • 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 tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2017, the relevant tax year is 2015 and the year following that is 2016.

Or

  • At least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the relevant tax year and at least 26 weeks PRSI paid in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2017, the relevant tax year is 2015 and the year before that is 2014.

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were self-employed before starting work as an employee, you can use your Class S contributions to qualify for Paternity Benefit - see PRSI conditions for self-employed people below.

You are awarded credited contributions or credits automatically when you are getting Paternity Benefit. Credits are awarded at the same rate as your last paid contribution. These credits help protect your future entitlement to social welfare benefits and pensions.

If you were previously insurably employed in a country covered by EU Regulations, you may combine your insurance record in that country with your Irish PRSI contributions to help you qualify for Paternity Benefit in Ireland. You must be currently in insurable employment in Ireland and have paid your most recent PRSI contribution in Ireland. More information is available in our document about combining your social insurance contributions from abroad.

If you are self-employed you must be in insurable employment and have:

  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2017, the relevant tax year is 2015.

Or

  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2017, the tax year immediately before the relevant tax year is 2014.

Or

  • 52 weeks PRSI contributions paid at Class S in the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year. For example, if you are going on paternity leave in 2017, the tax year immediately following the relevant tax year is 2016.

If you do not meet these PRSI conditions and you were in insurable employment before becoming self-employed, you can use your PRSI contributions (Class A, E and H) in that employment to qualify for Paternity Benefit – see PRSI conditions for employed people above.

If you are in insurable self-employment, you are not awarded credited contributions or credits automatically when you are getting Paternity Benefit. A self-employed person is not specifically excluded from employment credits. You may qualify for credits if you meet the conditions. For example, an applicant for Paternity Benefit who is now self-employed but had been employed in 2015 would qualify for credits. If they have been only self-employed, without being employed, for the last 3 years they won’t qualify for credits.

If you are already getting a social welfare payment

Half-rate Paternity Benefit may be payable if you are getting any one of the following payments:

  • One-Parent Family Payment
  • Widower's and Surviving Civil Partner's (Contributory) Pension
  • Widower's and Surviving Civil Partner's (Non-Contributory) Pension
  • Death Benefit by way of Widow's/Widower's/Surviving Civil Partner's or Dependent Parents' Pension (under the Occupational Injuries Scheme)

If you are providing full-time care to another person, you may qualify for half-rate Carer's Allowance with your Paternity Benefit.

Leave certification

All employees must have their paternity leave certified by their employer. If you are self-employed you self-certify your leave.

You must provide proof of the expected date of confinement of your spouse or partner. In other words, you will be required to provide a certificate from your spouse or partner's doctor confirming when your baby is due, or confirmation of the baby’s actual date of birth if you apply for leave after the birth has occurred.

In the case of adoption, you must produce a certificate of placement in relation to the child.

In the case of an intercountry adoption that took place outside the State,you must produce a declaration of eligibility and suitability in relation to the child and particulars in writing of the day of placement or expected day of placement.

If, at any stage you decide not to take your paternity leave, you cannot be paid Paternity Benefit. You should inform the Paternity Benefit section of the Department of Social Protection of any changes to your paternity leave arrangements.

Duration of Paternity Benefit

Paternity Benefit is paid for two weeks and the two weeks must be taken consecutively.

Rates

Rate of Payment from 13 March 2017

Paternity Benefit Weekly Rate
Standard Payment €235.00

Payments for dependants

If you have dependants your rate of Paternity Benefit (excluding increases for dependants) is compared to the rate of Illness Benefit (including increases for dependants) that would be paid to you if you were absent from work through illness. The higher of the two rates is paid to you.

Although the Illness Benefit rate begins from a lower personal base amount (€193 is the maximum Illness Benefit personal rate from 13 March 2017), it also takes into account extra payments for your family. This is why, depending on the circumstances of your spouse, civil partner or cohabitant and how many children you have, the rate paid to you may be greater than the rate you would otherwise be entitled to.

Example (2017 rates): John is entitled to the standard Paternity Benefit rate of €235. His partner is unemployed and signing on for unemployment credits. They have two children. If he got Illness Benefit he would get €380.70 (this is the personal rate of Illness Benefit + an Increase for a Qualified Adult + Increases for 2 Qualified Children). He cannot get less Paternity Benefit than he would get if ill and getting Illness Benefit. For this reason, he will get Paternity Benefit of €380.70.

If your adult dependent is getting a social welfare payment you will not get an Increase for a Qualified Adult (IQA) but you may get a half-rate Increase for a Qualified Child (IQC).

You will qualify for a full-rate IQA and a full-rate IQC, if your adult dependent is unemployed and signing on for credits or is earning under €100.01 per week.

If your adult dependent is earning between €100.01 and €310 per week you will get a tapered rate of IQA and a full-rate IQC. If your adult dependent is earning between €310.01 and €400 per week you will not get an IQA but you will get half rate IQC. If your adult dependent earns over €400 per week you will not get an IQA or IQC.  

How the payment is made

Paternity Benefit is paid directly into your bank or building society account (a current or deposit account, not a mortgage account) or you can choose to have it paid directly into your employer's bank account.

Note: Some employers will continue to pay an employee, in full, while the employee is on paternity leave. In such cases the employer will generally require the employee to have any Paternity Benefit paid to them. You should check your contract of employment to see what applies to you.

Taxation of Paternity Benefit

Paternity Benefit is taxable for all claimants. Universal Social Charge and PRSI are not payable. You can read about how Paternity Benefit is taxed in the document, Taxation of social welfare payments.

 

How to apply

You must notify your employer at least 4 weeks before taking your paternity leave (12 weeks if you are self-employed). If you are adopting a child, you must provide confirmation of the date of placement of your baby.

If you are employed, you must provide your employer with proof of the expected date of confinement of your spouse or partner. In other words, you will be required to provide a certificate from your spouse or partner's doctor confirming when your baby is due, or confirmation of the actual date of birth if you are applying for leave after the birth.

Employees: Your employer must complete a form to certify that you are entitled to paternity leave. This is form PB2: Employer Certificate for Paternity Benefit (pdf). Then you will also need to complete the Paternity Benefit Application form here.

Self-employed people: If you are self-employed, a doctor must certify the due date of your baby (or the baby’s actual date of birth). This is required to confirm that you are entitled to paternity leave. This is form PB3: Medical Certificate for Paternity Benefit (pdf).Then you will also need to complete the Paternity Benefit Application form here.

 

Where to apply

Paternity Benefit Section

Department of Social Protection
McCarter's Road
Buncrana
Donegal
Ireland

Tel:(01) 471 5898
Locall:1890 690 690

Homepage: http://www.welfare.ie

You can email the Paternity Benefit section using the secure enquiry form.

Further information

Premature births

If your baby is born prematurely (before your Paternity Leave and Paternity Benefit is due to begin) and you wish to change your leave dates, you should send a letter from your employer confirming the new leave dates and the date of birth of your child to the Paternity Benefit section of the Department of Social Protection. If you are self-employed you must send a letter to the Paternity Benefit section stating your new leave dates and a letter from a doctor or the hospital confirming the date of birth of your child.

Stillbirths and miscarriages

If there is a stillbirth or miscarriage any time after the 24th week of pregnancy (i.e. from the beginning of the 25th week) and you are entitled to paternity leave, you are entitled to 2 weeks Paternity Benefit provided you satisfy the social insurance (PRSI) requirements.

To apply for Paternity Benefit following a stillbirth, you need to send a letter from your doctor with the Paternity Benefit application form, confirming the expected date of birth, the actual date of birth and the number of weeks of pregnancy.

The leave must still be certified by your employer or self-certified if you are self-employed.

Hospitalisation of baby

If your baby is in hospital you can postpone your paternity leave and Paternity Benefit or whatever portion of it remains for a maximum of 6 months. If you are an employee and you wish to change your leave dates because of the hospitalisation of your baby, you should send a letter from your employer confirming the new leave dates to the Paternity Benefit section of the Department of Social Protection. If you are self-employed and you wish to change your leave dates because of the hospitalisation of your baby, you must send a letter to the Paternity Benefit section stating your new leave dates and a letter from a doctor or the hospital confirming the date of birth of your child.

Holiday Period

If you are an EU citizen, or a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein or Switzerland, you can receive Paternity Benefit for any period of your paternity leave spent in another EU country or in any of the four countries listed.
 
During your paternity leave should you choose to holiday outside the EU and the four countries listed above, you will be entitled to claim Paternity Benefit for a maximum of 2 weeks while abroad. Please inform Paternity Benefit Section of your intended absence. This can be done by email: paternityben@welfare.ie or by telephone: 01 471 5898, Lo Call 1890 690690.

 

Last modified:21/04/2017