Separate Payments


Print page

Table of Contents:

Legislation
Summary
1. Applicable in all circumstances
Family Income Supplement
2. Applicable only where couple reside together
Procedure
Application
Investigation
Decision
Periodic review


Legislation

The legislative provisions for separate payments are contained in -

  • Section 244(c) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 as amended and
  • Articles 203 & 204 of S.I. 142 of 2007 as amended.

Summary

Separate payments can be made where the circumstances so warrant, to a Qualified Adult, or another person, to receive a specified amount of a payment (as set out below) on behalf of the claimant.

Separate payments are usually made where it is likely that the amount of benefit payable will not be used for the subsistence of the family unit.

There are 2 separate provisions as follows:

1. Applicable in all circumstances

The general provision is that the payment of any increase in respect of a qualified adult or child dependant may be made to a person appointed for that purpose. The appropriate personal rate remains in payment to the claimant.

The following schemes are covered by this provision:

  • disability benefit,
  • occupational injury benefit
  • unemployment benefit,
  • old age contributory pension
  • retirement pension
  • invalidity pension
  • widow's or widower's contributory pension
  • deserted wife's benefit
  • one parent family payment
  • continued payment for qualified child.
  • old age non-contributory pension
  • blind person's pension

The following schemes are also covered but, where the rate in payment is reduced on account of means, the amount payable in respect of the qualified adult and child dependant is also reduced proportionally.

  • disability allowance
  • unemployment assistance
  • pre-retirement allowance.

Method of calculation in these cases is as follows:
Where - P = maximum personal rate
IQA = increase for qualified adult
CDI = child dependant increase
T = P + IQA + CDI
R = T less means.
The claimant will receive - P x R/T
The qualified adult will receive - (IQA + CDI) x R/T

Family Income Supplement

In the case of family income supplement, the entire supplement may be paid to an appointed person.

2. Applicable only where couple reside together

Alternatively, where a Qualified Adult is living with the claimant, a separate payment can be made to that Qualified Adult, equalling half the amount payable to the claimant and qualified adult (including over 80 allowance where applicable), plus all the amount payable in respect of any child dependants.

The amount payable under this provision will normally be higher than that payable under the general provision.

The following schemes are covered by this provision:

  • disability benefit,
  • occupational injury benefit
  • unemployment benefit,
  • old age contributory pension
  • old age non-contributory pension
  • blind pension
  • retirement pension
  • invalidity pension
  • continued payment for qualified child.

The following schemes are also covered but, where the rate in payment is reduced on account of means, the amount payable to the appointed person is also reduced proportionally.

  • disability allowance
  • unemployment assistance
  • pre-retirement allowance.

Method of calculation in these cases is as follows:
Where - P = maximum personal rate
IQA = increase for qualified adult
CDI = child dependant increase
T = P + IQA + CDI
R = T less means.
The claimant will receive - (P + IQA)/2 x R/T
The qualified adult will receive - [(P + IQA)/2 + CDI] x R/T

Procedure

Application

The question normally arises from a request or a written statement from the claimant or his/her spouse, or on the basis of an investigating officer's report.

Investigation

Although it is not necessary for the claimant to agree to the separate payments, agreement should be sought in all cases in advance of the separate payments commencing.

If there is any doubt as to who is actually caring for the children, a Social Welfare Investigator may be asked to visit the residence(s) of the claimant and qualified adult or other person who has applied for separate payment, and make such enquiries as are necessary to establish what the best arrangement might be.

Continuing entitlement to the increase for qualified adult or child dependant must be verified at this point.

(See separate guideline on Dependants)

Consideration should also be given to whether it would be more advantageous for the spouse or partner to claim another payment in her or his own right (e.g. One-parent family payment where s/he is living separately).

Decision

The decision does not fall within the remit of a deciding officer but is made by an officer in the Local Office or Scheme headquarters on behalf of the Minister.

The decision is therefore not appealable to the Social Welfare Appeals Office, but a person who is dissatisfied with the decision may request a review by a person of higher grade in the appropriate office.

Periodic review

The circumstances should be reviewed from time to time, especially where the couple are living apart. It should be noted that, although the claimant is responsible to notify any changes in circumstances affecting his or her entitlement, (including changes in regard to dependants)

  • he or she can only be held responsible for changes within his or her knowledge.
  • the separated spouse or partner has no such responsibility to notify.
  • any overpayment can only be recovered from the claimant.

Last modified:01/04/2015
 

 Application Forms