Payments for Dependants

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Extra increases are payable for a qualified adult and child dependants.

Qualified Adults

If you have a spouse/partner you may receive an Increase for a Qualified Adult ( IQA). If you are divorced/separated and you are supporting your former spouse you may claim an increase in your payment for him/her subject to certain conditions.

If you are separated from your spouse, you may claim an increase in your payment for him/her if:

  • you are paying a certain amount of maintenance a week
  • s/he is not living with someone as husband and wife
  • his/her income does not exceed certain limits.

If your spouse/partner's sole income is from one of the following social welfare or Health Service Executive payments, s/he may be considered a Qualified Adult:

  • Disablement Benefit
  • Guardian's Payment (Contributory)
  • Guardian's Payment (Non-Contributory)
  • Occupational Injuries Death Benefit in respect of an Orphan
  • Domiciliary Care Allowance
  • Supplementary Welfare Allowance

Since October 2002 new applicants for State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Non-Contributory) and State Pension (Transition) have a choice of having the Qualified Adult Allowance portion of their payment paid directly to their spouse or partner. This facility will be extended over time to other categories.

If children are living with you and you are getting a social welfare payment with which an increase for a qualified adult can be paid, and you are single, widowed, separated or divorced, you may get an increase for the person who is caring for the children, if s/he:

  • is age 16 or over
  • is living in the household
  • does not have a weekly income* of more than €88.88.

* A reduced rate IQA is payable with the following payments:

  • Illness Benefit
  • Disability Allowance
  • Jobseeker's Benefit
  • Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Farm Assist
  • Pre-Retirement Allowance
  • Incapacity Supplement
  • Occupational Injury Benefit.

You will not get an increase if s/he

  • has earnings or income of more than a certain amount (see note below)
  • is getting a social welfare payment including Family Income Supplement in his/her own right (other than Disablement Pension, Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA) or Child Benefit)
  • is getting an Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance (IDMA)
  • is disqualified from getting unemployment payments because of a trade dispute
  • is taking part in a full-time FÁS non-craft training course.

From January 2007 where a spouse/partner works and earns between €100 and €280 per week, an increase for a spouse/partner continues to be paid at a reducing rate (see SW 19 for more information)

Child Dependants

If you have dependent children you may receive an Increase for a Qualified Child ( IQC) for each qualified child.

A child aged up to 18 who is living with you is your dependant. A child who is over 18 and is living with you is also considered your dependant for:

  • the 3 month period after s/he leaves second level education
  • the 3 month period after s/he completes the Leaving Certificate
  • up to the end of the academic year in which s/he reaches 18 provided s/he is attending a full-time course of study by day at a school/college or university.

If you are getting a short-term social welfare payment, i.e. Jobseeker's Benefit, Jobseekers Allowance (for less than 15 months), Illness Benefit or Supplementary Welfare Allowance you may receive an increase in respect of a dependent child who is under 18. However, where a child is between 18 and 22 and is in full time education you may receive an IQC provided you are in receiot of your short-term payment for more than 6 months (156 days)

If you are getting a pension or other long-term social welfare payment, you can receive an IQC for a child up to age 22 provided the child is in full-time education. However, where a child turns 22 while in full-time education, the payment of the IQC may continue while the child is receiving full-time education for the rest of the academic year.

School-going children up to age 22 are included when claiming Family Income Supplement (FIS).

You will not get an increase for a child if s/he is getting:

  • a social welfare payment (except Disablement Pension or Supplementary Welfare Allowance (SWA))
  • an Infectious Diseases Maintenance Allowance (IDMA) from a Health Board.

Who gets the Increase for the Children?

Children are usually regarded as being dependants of both parents if they are normally resident with both parents. Each parent can claim for the child(ren). If you are married and both you and your spouse are getting a social welfare payment in your own right, half the rate of the child dependant increase will be paid to each of you. This also applies in the case of a couple who are not married to each other but are living together as husband and wife.

Last modified:22/01/2009

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